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Today's Amnesty International press release gives a grim and scathing report of the Bush administration's policies on abuse and torture of prisoners. Is this what Bush meant by Compassionate Conservatism? Here's an exerpt:

"Many questions remain unanswered and torture-facilitating policies remain in place," Amnesty International said. "The US administration's repeated assertions that human dignity is a non-negotiable right ring hollow in the face of its failure to ensure a fundamental change in direction after the scandal of Abu Ghraib."

As well as reiterating Amnesty International's call for a commission of inquiry, the report suggests a framework by which the USA could work towards preventing future torture and ill-treatment of detainees in its custody. This framework is Amnesty International's 12-Point Program for the Prevention of Torture by Agents of the State, developed from more than 30 years of working against torture. The report shows that the USA failed to maintain basic safeguards against torture and ill-treatment. It offers more than 65 recommendations for the authorities.

Point 1 of the 12-Point Program is "Condemn Torture" -- the highest officials of the country should make clear their absolute and unequivocal opposition to torture and ill-treatment under any circumstances, including war and any other public emergency. Government documents that have come into the public domain in recent months show that the US administration utterly failed in this regard as it embarked on the "war on terror".

"What these documents show is a two-faced strategy to torture," Amnesty International said. "It has been a case of proclaim your opposition to torture in public, while in private discuss how your President can order torture and how government agents can escape criminal liability for torture."

(emphasis added is mine)

Read the full report

Originally posted to The Mockingbird on Wed Oct 27, 2004 at 03:45 PM PDT.

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