Bush on Human Rights In Russia


Glenn Greenwald discovers a beaut: the Bush administration's detailed criticism of Russia's treatment of prisoners and detainees. Here's part of what they oppose:

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.

If you examine the Decider's executive order issued yesterday, you will find considerable lee-way for the CIA to use beatings with fists, and suspension of body parts, i.e. stress positions. The administration refuses to call these things torture when the US does it, but has no problem with plain English in talking about the Russians. And, of course, the ability to wiretap Americans without a court warrant was a critical goal of the Cheney executive branch coup after 9/11.

So repeat after me: Putin doesn't torture anyone. And neither does Bush.