Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Torture. It's not just for foreigners.

Amnesty International has taken a long overdue step to connect the abuse of prisoners at places like Abu Ghraib with what goes on in American prisons. From Reuters: Torture and inhumane treatment are "widespread" in U.S.-run detention centers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba and elsewhere despite Washington's denials, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. In a report for the United Nations' Committee against Torture, the London-based human rights group also alleged abuses within the U.S. domestic law enforcement system, including use of excessive force by police and degrading conditions of isolation for inmates in high security prisons. "Evidence continues to emerge of widespread torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees held in U.S. custody," Amnesty said in its 47-page report. The blase attitude many Americans exhibit toward what the rest of the world calls war crimes at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib is a direct result of the fact that the US prison system engages in inhumane treatment, sometimes amounting to torture. The thought is that since we do it to our people, surely foreigners don't expect better treatment. But the United States is stuck in the 1920s and the rest of the world has moved on.
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