Darren Lenard Hutchinson is disillusioned by “Human Rights Watch’s” response to the Obama Administration’s plans to continue rendering prisoners to foreign countries, where the other countries can torture them / imprison them without having to prove they’re guilty of anything. It’s kind of funny to watch:
Human Rights Watch, a very respected and passionate defender of civil liberty, was one of the most vocal critics of the CIA’s rendition program. In fact, Human Rights Watch prepared a comprehensive document that reports incidents of alleged torture of rendered individuals. The report makes the following policy recommendations:
The US government should:
Repudiate the use of rendition to torture as a counterterrorism tactic and permanently discontinue the CIA’s rendition program;
Disclose the identities, fate, and current whereabouts of all persons detained by the CIA or rendered to foreign custody by the CIA since 2001, including detainees who were rendered to Jordan; [Emphasis mine]
Repudiate the use of “diplomatic assurances” against torture and ill-treatment as a justification for the transfer of a suspect to a place where he or she is at risk of such abuse;
Make public any audio recordings or videotapes that the CIA possesses of interrogations of detainees rendered by the CIA to foreign custody;
Provide appropriate compensation to all persons arbitrarily detained by the CIA or rendered to foreign custody (emphasis added).
Human Rights Watch rightfully opposed the practice of torture by the Bush administration, but it also demanded the cessation of rendition and that victims of the practice receive compensation.
The part I highlighted shows, I think, everything you need to know about Human Rights Watch and their “opposition” to rendition. Because there’s only one reason to limit the report to “all persons detained by the CIA or rendered to foreign custody by the CIA since 2001.” And that’s because they just don’t care about the people “rendered” by the Clinton Administration.
Just Don’t Care.
They didn’t care while the Clinton Administration was doing it, didn’t care about those people even though the Bush Administration was using their fate as one of the justifications for the Rendition program that HRW was attacking, and don’t care about the people the Obama Administration will render to other countries. What HRW cares about is scoring political points against Republicans, nothing else matters.
The same is true of any and every other “human rights group / crusader” who gives the Obama Administration a pass on rendition. If you actually care about human rights, then at a minimum, you’ll hold Democrats to the same standards as you hold Republicans. (After all, how should care more about your good opinion, Republicans, or Democrats? Isn’t that the argument “human rights advocates” make when they justify focusing all their attention on Western Democracies, rather than the truly thuggish regimes of the world? They can have more effect on the democracies? Fine. You can have more of an effect on the Democrats. So have that effect.) Failure to do so is clear proof that all your bleating about “human rights” is nothing more than partisan posturing.
Personally? I’m glad we waterboarded KSM. I’m glad we’ve done it to other terrorists caught waging war against the US. I’m happy we’ve “threatened” them with dogs and female interrogators, using their nutcase beliefs against them. AS unlawful combatants they’ve forfeited the protections of the Geneva Conventions, and should not be treated like we would treat honorable opponents.
But I’d much rather that we do the above to the people we capture, rather than expose them to real torture (dental drills, electrodes on the genitals, beatings, etc.). The fact that HRW disagrees makes me very happy that they’re on the other side. (Note, here’s what the HRW spokesman said about the Obama Administration’s plan:
“Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place” for renditions, said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. “What I heard loud and clear from the president’s order was that they want to design a system that doesn’t result in people being sent to foreign dungeons to be tortured — but that designing that system is going to take some time.“
And Tom’s willing to give them all the time they need (at least, until the next Republican President is elected).