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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dangerously deepening domestic, international abuses ─ WJ Clinton to BH Obama

Elected officials’ assault on human rights detrimental to U.S. and the world 
Editing, brief ending comment by Carolyn Bennett

Espionage obstructs“free” press, right to know

The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) this week has expressed its concern that the United States Department of Justice had requested telephone companies to turn over telephone records of news agency Associated Press (AP) journalists. “This type of practice could affect the free exercise of journalism by putting the confidentiality of journalistic sources at risk.”

Freedom of press
Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya 
Russian journalist
Writer, human rights activist 
August 30, 1958-October 7, 2006
In the statement, the Office of the Special Rapporteur said, “the importance of the right to confidentiality of sources lies in the fact that, in the context of journalists’ work ─ and in order to provide the public with the information necessary to satisfy the right to receive information ─ journalists perform an important service to the public when they collect and publish information that would otherwise not come to light if the confidentiality of their sources were not protected.” In keeping with Principle 8 of the Declaration of
Principles on Freedom of Expression of the IACHR:

‘Every social communicator has the right to keep his/her source of information, notes, personal and professional archives confidential.’

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is a principal and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS) and derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. Its mandate is to promote respect for human rights in the region and to act as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

There seems no end to how far United States officials will go, with impunity ("getting away with murder"), in violating human rights and law. 

Due process breached

In reports on its April 2013 hearing, this Commission on Human Rights said, “With regard to persons deprived of liberty, the Commission continues to be deeply concerned over the serious human rights situation in prison facilities in all countries of the region.

uring the hearings, the Commission “received information of utmost concern on the excessive use of pretrial detention and the use of solitary confinement, as well as on detention conditions in Cuba and at the Guantánamo Naval Base, United States.

“In particular, the IACHR expresses its deep concern over the practice in the United States of incarcerating children under 18 years of age in prisons for adults, without any effective separation between the two.

“It is also cause of concern to the Commission the abuses, sexual rape and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, such as solitary confinement.

“The Commission urges the United States to identify and urgently implement a federal mechanism to identify anyone under the age of 18 as a child, to keep them from being tried as adults or incarcerated alongside

CHINA logs U.S. neglect, abuse, crimes

After the U.S State Department released its selective human rights reports of world nations, China released its report on the United States’ human rights record within the United States and the world. In its report, China argues that as the United States again poses as “‘the world judge of human rights’ 

…there are serious human rights problems in the United States that incur extensive criticism in the world

he latest China report said the U.S. reports “‘are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China … [but] the U.S. turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and never said a word about it’ ─  namely ─

Self destruction
government Surveillance, violence, domestic gun deathsU.S. citizens’ civil and political rights were further restricted by the government. The US government continues to step up surveillance of ordinary citizens, restricting and reducing the freedom of the U.S. society to a considerable extent, and seriously violating the freedom of citizens.…
Police often abused their power, resulting in increasing complaints and charges for infringement upon civil rights [while] the proportion of women victims of domestic violence and sexual assault continued to rise. 

Americans are the most heavily armed people in the world per capita and firearms-related violent crimes posed as one of the most serious threats to human life and personal security [yet] the U.S. government has done little in gun control

U.S. Constitutional rights breached U.S. citizens have never … enjoyed common and equal suffrage. U.S. elections like money wars [have] the country’s policies deeply influenced by political donations: the 2012 election had an estimated cost totaling $6 billion, both parties funded by business giants. In the U.S. presidential election of 2012, voter turnout dropped five million (despite a rise of more than eight million eligible voters) from the four years before.

As $6 million bought a presidential election (and/or government), the gap between rich and poor rose and U.S. poverty rose to 15 percent in 2011 (U.S. Census: 46.2 million people in poverty); additionally, when compared with other developed countries (ref. the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), the United States “has the fourth worst income inequality.”  Since the global financial crisis in 2008, poverty in the United States has increasingly worsened.

U.S. Human rights international breachedIn the Post-Cold War era, the United States most frequently has waged wars on other countries:  both started by the United States, the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan have caused massive civilian Casualties. The U.S.-led ‘war on terror’ between 2001 and 2011 killed 14,000 to 110,000 a year (ref. Stop the War Coalition); in 2012, U.S. military operations in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan caused massive civilian casualties; U.S. soldiers “severely blasphemed against local residents’ religion by burning copies of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, and insulting bodies of the dead.” In post-war Iraq, “there was a huge rise in birth defects” reportedly caused by U.S. military forces’ “use of metal contaminant-releasing white phosphorus shells and depleted uranium bombs.”
Against domestic and international law, the United States army has detained foreigners for long periods at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. OUTSIDE THE LAW: The United States “remains a country that has not participated in ─or ratified ─ a series of core UN conventions on human rights such as ─

… the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

WJ CLINTON (1993-2001) - 
BH OBAMA (2009 - governments deepen long train of abuses

linton Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention“Shortly after the Kosovo crisis ended, the [William Jefferson] Clinton Administration came out with the “Clinton doctrine.” This doctrine basically stated that the United States would forcefully intervene to prevent human rights abuses when it can do so without suffering substantial casualties, without the authority of the UN Security Council.”

South Africa’s Nelson Mandela reportedly responded that he was: “‘resentful about” the joint United States-United Kingdom desire “to be the policemen of the world. “‘It’s a totally wrong attitude,’” he said. “‘They must persuade those countries like China or Russia who threaten to veto their decisions at the UN.

‘They must sit down and talk to them.
‘They can’t just ignore them and start their own actions.’

Clinton's WAR on Belgrade: May 7, 1999: NATO bombs Yugoslavia (Operation Allied Force); five U.S. JDAM guided bombs hit the People’s Republic of China embassy in the Belgrade district of New Belgrade. Three Chinese reporters died. U.S. CIA director George Tenet testified before a congressional committee saying that this CIA bombing, the only one in the bombing campaign organized and directed by his agency, had identified the wrong coordinates for a Yugoslav military target on the same street [Wikipedia].

Writing in early 2005 on the United States and Human Rights, Anup Shah commented said that  the “Clinton Doctrine” was “a pretty serious precedent for a powerful country to set” because, in effect, the policy “undermines international law and treaty obligations.” He went on to recall that in the past, the United States has been “extremely selective in the determination of where humanitarian intervention is needed” or even if mere concern is required.

“Allies of the U.S. have often been gross human rights violators, but those abuses have been conveniently ignored by the U.S. to be able to pursue its national interests (i.e. economic liberalization of other nations, ensuring resources ‘needed’ by U.S. remain as cheap as practically possible and so on).”

[In later contexts, one need only think of convenient allies or enemies: Iran, Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Israel]

“In some regions,” Shah continues, “the U.S. continues to provide arms to ‘allies’ that use [lethal weaponry, various sprays, gases, other chemicals, and large-scale weapons of mass destruction] to commit gross violations of human rights” ─ as it serves the U.S. pursuit of its ‘national interests.’ “After all,” he asks, “why else would they knowingly support human rights violators?” The Clinton Doctrine operating ─

‘Without the authority of the UN Security Council’ basically implies another step to undermine the UN.

While the UN “does have its flaws which need to be addressed (for example, the U.N. Security Council, plus the idea of 5 permanent (nuclear) members of the Council, is not exactly very democratic), “it is also the main international body set up to promote universal human rights.

“The U.S. was [a] key in helping establish [the UNSC] shortly after the Second World War. Various UN treaties and charters, one of which is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the U.S. has signed ─ form parts of international law, which all member states are bound to. So, to ‘prevent human rights abuses’ by by-passing the United Nations suggests that ─

the definition of human rights the U.S. wishes to uphold is DIFFERENT FROM what they (the United States) helped create and sign. It also suggests that the U.S. has other motives when choosing to intervene in other countries.

he United States during the Clinton administration apologized (March 1999) for U.S. support of successive right-wing governments in Guatemala (which got a brief mention in U.S. mainstream media compared to all the things that could have been revealed) but what was really needed and is yet to come among mounting human rights abuses “was a U.S. Truth Commission to look into and expose Washington’s similar aid (sometimes worse) during the Cold War to repressive government regimes in other nations, especially in Latin America. (It didn’t happen and practices worsened).

Also in the 1999 session of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights, Amnesty International put the United
States on a list of persistent violators of human rights ─ higher than China and excluding Cuba. In May 2001, the United States lost (retrieved in 2002) its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Commission. This was the first time since the establishment of the Commission in 1947.

Train of rights abuses endless as U.S. wars 

 member of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression today told Press TV, “The Obama administration has in some respects been ‘the most repressive ever’; and the main target of repression by the U.S. government has been the ‘Muslim population.’” 

In light of the latest revelations of domestic targeting of individuals, organizations and the press, Joe Isobaker said yesterday in a phone interview with Press TV’s U.S. Desk, “In some respects, this current administration is the most repressive ever. The reason,” he said, “is the U.S. government is in a terrible crisis; they are losing wars; they have an economic crisis that is not solvable; and they greatly fear the prospects of unrest by the American people.”
wo years ago, filmmaker Judith Ehrlich told the Guardian (UK) that U.S. President “Barack Obama has the worst record of any U.S. president when it comes to dealing with whistleblowers.” His government at that time “had indicted five alleged whistleblowers (including Bradley Manning) ─ making him the ‘worst president in terms of his record on whistle blowing’.” Ehrlich was the Oscar-nominated director of the 2009 film/documentary about the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s: “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” explored the 1970s leak of U.S. government documents on the Vietnam War.

etired veteran Asif Haroon Raja wrote in 2010, “It is paradoxical that the U.S. notorious for worst human rights violations and being the biggest violator of law today stands up as pleader for human rights and upholder of law. [The United States’] past gory acts are too many to recount.

“It has turned Iraq and Afghanistan into killing grounds where over 1.6 million have been hacked to death; millions injured critically, tens of thousands rendered homeless, widowed and orphaned.
U.S. targeting Iran as
Serbia, Libya, Somalia,
Central America, etal.

“Thousands have suffered gruesome tortures in U.S. run infamous jails, which have so far not been closed despite world protest and commitment given by Obama. [Former U.S. President] George W. Bush and his team of neo-cons along with [former British Prime Minister] Tony Blair should have been tried as war criminals for the crimes committed against humanity ─ and that too under false pretexts.

“Till November 2009, ruthless killing of militants as well as civilians was justified under the comical label of collateral damage. Deaths of civilians in each cross fire or aerial attacks were taken as a natural phenomenon in war conditions.

Post-war Iraq
“…With this kind of track record it makes one laugh to hear U.S. officials sermonizing about abuses in Swat and gloating over U.S. laws and principles of counter insurgency and trying to show the right path to Pakistan.

“ … The U.S. has earned the dubious reputation of pursuing double standards and making unsubstantiated allegations against a country which it wants to browbeat. These unholy tactics are applicable to friends and foes alike except for Israel, India and western world. The ironic part of the story is that it doesn’t feel an iota of embarrassment in leveling accusations on aspects which are the most applicable to the United States, Israel and India.”

What a pity

 expect Eleanor Roosevelt not to mention Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams as well as Sally Hemings and Dolley and Abigail are rolling over in their graves.

A country which refuses to learn from the best of its past (a country led by corrupt, self-absorbed, inept, mostly but not only men), a country which refuses to better its best in genuinely progressive effort in service to the public good is a nation not only in decline; but a nation of great danger to itself and the world ─ a nation on a road of painful self annihilation. What a pity indeed.

Sources and notes

“Office of the special Rapporteur for freedom of expression expresses its concern over telephone records obtained from Associated Press journalists ( PRESS RELEASE, R36/13),

“China hits back with report on US human rights record,” ─ The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2012 was released by the Information Office of China’s State Council, or the Cabinet, in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 issued by the U.S. State Department], Updated April 21, 2013, http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-04/21/content_16427675.htm

“IACHR Wraps Up its 147th Session” (Press Release, No. 23/13), April 5, 2013, http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2013/023.asp

“The USA and Human Rights ─ The United States ‘should not employ military force for alleged humanitarian reasons without the explicit approval of the Security Council” and “should end military support of nations committing serious human rights violations” as well as “strengthen its own participation in international human rights agreements’ [Humanitarian Military Intervention, Vol. 5, Number 1, 2000, Foreign Policy in Focus]  , Anthony Sampson, Mandela accuses “policeman” Britain, the Guardian, April 5, 2000 cited, by Anup Shah, 2005,  http://www.globalissues.org/article/139/the-usa-and-human-rights#HumanRightsWithintheUnitedStates

“‘Obama administration most repressive’” May 16, 2013, http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/303884.html

“Barack Obama worst president for whistleblowers, says film-maker” (Ben Dowell, The Guardian), June 9, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun/09/barack-obama-worst-president-for-whistleblowers?INTCMP=SRCH

Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere.

It is composed of seven independent members who serve in a personal capacity. Created by the OAS in 1959, the Commission has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Together with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“the Court” or “the I/A Court H.R.) installed in 1979, the Commission is one of the institutions within the inter-American system for the protection of human sights (“IAHRS”).

The formal beginning of the IAHRS was approval of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man at the Ninth International Conference of American States held in Bogota, Colombia, in 1948. There the OAS Charter (hereinafter “the Charter”) was adopted, which declares that one of the principles upon which the Organization is founded is the ‘fundamental rights of the individual.’

Full respect for human rights appears in several sections of the Charter, underscoring the importance that the Member States attach to it. In the words of the Charter:

… ‘the true significance of American solidarity and good neighborliness can only mean the consolidation on this continent, within the framework of democratic institutions, of a system of individual liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man.’

The Charter establishes the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) as one of the principal organs of the OAS whose function is to promote the observance and protection of human rights and to serve as a consultative organ of the Organization in these matters.

The work of the IACHR rests on three main pillars:

… the individual petition system
… monitoring of the human rights situation in the Member States
… the attention devoted to priority thematic areas…

Operating within this framework, the Commission considers that inasmuch as the rights of all persons subject to the jurisdiction of the Member States are to be protected, special attention must be devoted to those populations, communities and groups that have historically been the targets of discrimination. However, the Commission’s work is also informed by other principles, among them the following: the pro homine principle, whereby a law must be interpreted in the manner most advantageous to the human being; the necessity of access to justice, and the inclusion of the gender perspective in all Commission activities.


“U.S. and Human Rights? Grow up” (Asif Haroon Raja, “the writer is a retired Brig who writes regularly for various international and national newspapers/websites,” August 22, 2010,  
wrote in 2010http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/08/22/u-s-and-human-rights-grow-up/

SERBIA: For more than four decades after the Partisan victory of 1945, Yugoslavia had functioned as a communist federation.  LATER: Unlike other parts of the former Yugoslav federation, Serbia received little foreign investment. The legacy of warfare and sanctions by the United States and the EU, together with problems of infrastructure decline, loss of human capital, and corruption, left the country generally unattractive to foreign investors.


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


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