Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's Only Torture When They Do It

Oh, and extrajudicial wiretapping and lengthy pretrial detention are only bad when they do it, too.

Here's what Bush's State Department had to say about Russia's "Human Rights Practices" in 2001:
Government technical regulations that require Internet service providers and telecommunications companies to invest in equipment that enables the [Foreign Security Service] to monitor Internet traffic, telephone calls, and pagers without judicial approval caused serious concern... Lengthy pretrial detention remained a serious problem... According to Human Rights Watch's (HRW) report on torture in Russia released in November 1999, torture by police officers usually occurs within the first few hours or days of arrest and usually takes one of four forms: beatings with fists, batons, or other objects; asphyxiation using gas masks or bags (sometimes filled with mace); electric shocks; or suspension of body parts (e.g. suspending a victim from the wrists, which are tied together behind the back). Allegations of torture are difficult to substantiate because of lack of access by medical professionals and because the techniques used often leave few or no permanent physical traces.

I'm so glad we elected a leader with moral clarity.

Via Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan.

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