Friday, February 17, 2006

The UN Human Rights Commission and Gitmo

As Jon points out, there are reasons to criticize the UN's Human Rights Commission, chief among them that it contains nations that are, themselves, human rights abusers.

But the existence of Gitmo, our Cuban base where we house captured, accused terrorists in an attempt to keep the prisoners outside of the US criminal justice system, undermines our ability to criticize those very human rights abusers. It's when we refuse, under any circumstances, to resort to torture that we can most loudly condemn torturers. If Gitmo is undermining out ability to shout down the worst abusers, then Gitmo's a liability in the long term.

The Commission's flaws must be addressed, since those flaws certainly undermine the cause of defining and respecting human rights on a global scale. However, the fact that our human rights record is far better than Libya's shouldn't make us immune to criticism.


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