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Saturday, May 6th 2006

Straying Off Path

The U.N. Committee Against Torture has started questioning U.S. officials. Not that the United States hasn’t suffered from some human rights violations (I won’t go into my personal opinion here) but this debate really should be a matter of resources.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture, the global body’s watchdog for a 22-year-old treaty forbidding prisoner abuse, asked U.S. officials about a series of issues ranging from Washington’s interpretation of the absolute ban on torture to its interrogation methods in prisons such as Abu Ghraib, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

To spend time interrogating the U.S.’s faults you have to admit you’ve done all you can for all the much more serious human right violations around the world. This isn’t to excuse torture in the U.S., but if the world has a limited set of resources and 20 suspected terrorists die in U.S. custody and 10,000 Thai children are sold as sex slaves what really needs the U.N.’s focus here? There are too many more serious violations, even specifically of incidents of torture, which are getting inadequate attention and effort to justify this committee questioning the U.S.

You can take this U.N. questioning about as seriously as this Chinese government report on the condition of human rights in the U.S.