‘Irritant’

So sorry human rights get in the way of the empire!

US officials regard European human rights standards as an “irritant”, secret cables show, and have strongly objected to the safeguards which could protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from extradition. In a confidential cable from the US embassy in Strasbourg, US consul general Vincent Carver criticised the Council of Europe, the most authoritative human-rights body for European countries, for its stance against extraditions to America, as well as secret renditions and prisons used to hold terrorist suspects.

He blamed the council for creating anti-US sentiment and hampering the US war on terror. “The Council of Europe (COE) likes to portray itself as a bastion of democracy, a promoter of human rights, and the last best hope for defending the rule of law in Europe – and beyond,” Carver said. “(But) it is an organisation with an inferiority complex and, simultaneously, an overambitious agenda. An investigation (by the Council of Europe) into renditions and ‘secret prisons’ in Europe connected to the US war on terrorism … created a great deal of controversy and anti-US sentiment in the Council of Europe,” wrote Carver.

The European court of human rights, the final court of appeal for human rights claims from the UK, whose judgments include the decision to ban deportations to countries which practise torture, is also singled out by the cables.

I want to hear from the same people who explained to me that voting for a constitutional law professor would usher in a new era of respect for civil liberties.

Oh, and by the way? It’s now completely obvious that Osama bin Laden accomplished everything he set out to do.

5 thoughts on “‘Irritant’

  1. Susie, stop! You’re gonna make the Philly progressive blogosphere cry.
    Or me anyway. I still can’t believe I was suckered so badly.

  2. what does the cable have to do with obama? the guardian article doesn’t even say when it was written (i.e. whether it was during obama’s term or bush’s). and in any case, the president doesn’t approve (or have any control over) the contents of cables. for the most part they just represent the opinions of the people who write them. in this case, it’s the U.S. consul in strasburg, which means he’s probably a career diplomat with at least 10 years in the DoS.

  3. @2 Snazzy Mandrake: So you’re saying that Obama has been a paragon of human and civil rights advancement? Or maybe you’re just saying that the Pres. doesn’t set the tone for the State Department’s position? Perhaps you’re not saying anything at all.

    I won’t recite the list. The Obama Administration’s record on human rights and civil liberties has been abysmal by any standard, let alone vis-a-vis his background and campaign commitments. If you’re not aware of that, you haven’t been paying attention.

    However, Susie, HRC has been a very effective water-carrier for the Administration and its neo-liberal, American exceptionalist, eternal-war foreign policy. Granted, Obama is an over-achiever disaster in this area. But where’s the evidence that HRC would have been substantially better.

  4. So you’re saying that Obama has been a paragon of human and civil rights advancement?

    no, not at all. read my comment. where do i say that?

    Or maybe you’re just saying that the Pres. doesn’t set the tone for the State Department’s position?

    yes and no. he does for the political appointees (e.g. the secretary of state, ambassadors, and special ambassadorial positions, like what richard holbrook had as special envoy to afghanistan). but career foreign service officers are independent by design. that’s why the civil service was originally created, to make sure that mid-level federal officers (below political appointees, but above non-policy positions) maintain their independence. the foreign service basically follows the civil service. which is why people like u.s. consuls really are pretty independent, within whatever confines their ambassador sets for them, of course.

    Perhaps you’re not saying anything at all.?

    actually, i think i’m saying exactly what i’m saying, that obama himself had nothing to do with this particular cable and that cables are just the expression of a particular foreign service officer’s opinions. what i’m not seeing is your comment offering any contrdiction to anything that i wrote.

    I won’t recite the list. The Obama Administration’s record on human rights and civil liberties has been abysmal by any standard, let alone vis-a-vis his background and campaign commitments. If you’re not aware of that, you haven’t been paying attention.

    who said i’m not aware of that? nothing in my comment contradicts that at all. maybe you’re the one who isn’t paying attention.

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