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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, November 14, 2005

Rogue state

America's reputation continues to flat-line. If anyone truly believes that present-day United States is a beacon of democracy and freedom, they've clearly been spending too much time in the company of torturer-defenders.

The Observer, November 13:

"Human rights campaigners are calling it the 'November surprise' - a last-minute amendment smuggled into a Pentagon finance bill in the US Senate last Thursday.

"Its effects are likely to be devastating: the permanent removal of almost all legal rights from 'war on terror' detainees at Guantanamo Bay and every other similar US facility on foreign or American soil.

"'What the British law lord Lord Steyn once called a legal black hole had begun to be filled in,' said the British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, speaking from Guantanamo, where he represents more than 40 detainees. 'It looks as if it is back, and deeper than before.'

"If the amendment passes the House of Representatives unmodified, one of its immediate effects is that Stafford Smith and all the other lawyers who act for Guantanamo prisoners will again be denied access, as they were for more than two years after Camp X-Ray opened in 2002."

6 Comments:

Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

"America's reputation continues to flat-line. ...Human rights campaigners are calling it the 'November surprise' -... the permanent removal of almost all legal rights from 'war on terror' detainees "

The indicator that the reputation has flat-lined is not so much the fact of this latest action, but that nowdays no-one is shocked or surprised BY the fact. Just as we are settled about "the starving in Africa", US human rights abuses are now passed over in silence because this sort of thing is simply part of its identity now.

Monday, November 14, 2005 2:17:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Yes that's a good point Edward. The facade of the US being champions of freedom, democray and human rights has pretty much evaporated.

As evidence of this In Iraq, the fallback position for the US is that no matter what they do, or how bad things get, Saddam was worse.

Monday, November 14, 2005 2:44:00 pm  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

I wonder if Peter Costello will soon have cause to rue his all the way with USA comments the other week.

Monday, November 14, 2005 6:12:00 pm  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Glenn Condell said...
"I wonder if Peter Costello will soon have cause to rue his all the way with USA comments the other week."

I'm wondering whether Peter Costello even counts anymore. He has becme EVEN MORE invisible than The Bomber.

Monday, November 14, 2005 10:03:00 pm  
Blogger Human said...

It is a National shame. Over the last year I have written various Foriegn Embassys imploring their countries to take a isolating stance against the U.S. In that continued effort please write the U.S. Ambassador to Australia your feelings on the matter. Boycott American goods. Treat Americans that you meet like the pariah we are. A sneer and a turn of the back is what we deserve. Whe we demonstrate here against the Bush Regime and War we often chant "The Whole World is Watching". Well you all better be, the village you save could be yours.
Peace.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 12:26:00 am  
Blogger Pete's Blog said...

My belief that the US is NOT a "beacon of democracy and freedom" is not only driven by the vehement dare of AL to say otherwise.

US politicians are clearly falling over themselves to prove their patriotism by exacting revenge for 9/11 on a now ragged bunch of Muslim (would-be) fighters.

human, as a Pennsylvanian it must be a little soul destroying to flay youself by association. Don't feel too responsible - you were just born there.

We are all a world of dancing, happy, people (I say forgetting cynicism for a second).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 12:42:00 am  

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