America’s Deplorable Human Rights Record
by Stephen Lendman
Far and away, America’s human rights record is the world’s worst. No other nation approaches its unprincipled history. Earlier crimes against humanity were largely internal and regional.
Twentieth century ones went global. New millennium ones elevated atrocities and other human rights abuses to an unprecedented level. It keeps rising. America is guilty of virtually every crime imaginable and then some.
Former dovish US diplomat, advisor, and father of Soviet containment George Kennan explained what reflects America’s post-WW II foreign and domestic policy. His February 1948 “Memo PPS23” said:
“(W)e have 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. (It makes us) the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships (to let us) maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national society.”
“To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction….”
“We should dispense with the aspiration to ‘be liked’ or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism.”
“We should (stop talking about) unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization.”
“The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans (ideas and practices), the better.”
Ravaging one nation after another followed. America today wages multiple direct and proxy wars. US military bases infest the world. CIA elements operate everywhere. US special forces perform various military related services globally. Wherever they show up, they’re killers, not protectors.
Domestically, America is more battleground than homeland. FBI, CIA, NSA, FEMA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Patrol, and other federal agencies work jointly with state and local authorities against the interests of most US residents.
Anyone can be arrested, charged, prosecuted, and imprisoned for any reason or none at all. By presidential diktat, any US citizen at home or abroad can be murdered.
Others can be arrested and detained indefinitely uncharged in military prisons. Innocence is no defense. State terrorism is policy at home and abroad. That’s how police states operate.
Freedom, human rights, and other democratic values are non-starters. Supporting what’s right is hazardous. Challenging Washington’s right to dominate globally risks persecution or death. America is unfit and unsafe to live in.
For the past 13 years, China’s State Council Information Office published comprehensive reports on US human rights. Its most recent is titled “The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011.”
It said America’s State Department publishes annual human rights reports for over 190 countries. It turns a blind eye to its own appalling record. China explains what Washington and supportive media suppress.
Its latest May 2012 report reveals America’s “true human rights situation….and urges the United States to confront its own actions.” Six topics are covered:
(1) life, property and personal security;
(2) civil and political rights;
(3) economic, social and cultural rights;
(4) racial discrimination;
(5) women’s and children’s rights; and
(6) human rights violations abroad.
China’s report reveals “a small yet illustrative fraction of the United States’ dismal record on its own human rights situation.”
America’s “tarnished human rights record has left it in no state – whether on a moral, political or legal basis – to act as the world’s human rights justice, to place itself above other countries and release the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year (that) accuse and blame other countries.”
At the same time, it absolves itself through silence, duplicity, and/or bald-faced lies. According to the State Department:
“The protection of fundamental human rights was a foundation stone in the establishment of the United States over 200 years ago.”
“Since then, a central goal of U.S. foreign policy has been the promotion of respect for human rights, as embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
“The United States understands that the existence of human rights helps secure the peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and prevent humanitarian crises.”
China’s report advised Washington to clean up its own act at home, stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, and “cease using double standards on human rights” to advance its own imperial agenda.
Beijing accused Washington of “severe” human and civil rights violations. At the same time, it claims Americans live in the “land of the free.”
Why then were around 1,000 peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in the early weeks of their campaign? Police brutality was brutal and unconscionable. It continues to reflect despotism, not democracy.
America furthers “international disorder.” It tramples on the rights of global citizens and its own. It operates the world’s largest domestic gulag. It’s also one of the most repressive.
Press freedom is a figure of speech. Dominant media sources produce propaganda and other forms of managed news and information. Truth is a scarce commodity. Constitutional freedoms are denied.
Money power runs America. Predatory capitalism benefits at the expense of most others. Congress is infested with millionaires. Complicit with corporate crooks, they harm ordinary people and wage war on humanity.
America’s 1% benefits at the expense of most others. Social America is eroding en route to disappearing altogether. Resisters face harsh crackdowns.
Poverty is at record levels. So is homelessness, hunger, and overall deprivation. Racism is institutionalized. Basic needs go unmet. Praying to the wrong God is called terrorism. Numerous other human rights abuses reveal a nation unfit to live in.
America’s human rights record is appalling. Political prisoners fill its gulag. Dissent is criminalized. Police state laws target resisters. Torture is official policy. So is permanent war on the world.
Peace, stability and security are four-letter words. Elections are farcical. Duopoly power controls them. Ordinary people have no say.
State Department charges against other nations are mostly uncorroborated. China uses data from the US Justice Department (DOJ), FBI, other US agencies, state ones, think tanks, as well as domestic and international media.
They reveal a far different America than Washington or scoundrel media reflect. Dark truths are exposed to the light of day. They’re in plain sight for anyone to see.
On October 19, RIA Novosti headlined “US Takes Flak Over Human Rights Record,” saying:
Russia’s Foreign Ministry denounced America’s human rights record. It cited “maltreatment of children, breach of privacy, police brutality, secret jails and freedom of expression issues.”
Russia’s lower house State Duma got the report. On October 22, it’ll hold hearings on human rights. A “Duma source privy to the document” told RIA Novosti that “hundreds of thousands of children in the United States are mistreated….”
In 2010 alone, around 1,600 deaths resulted. Special attention was given to how adopted Russian children are treated. Citing US NGOs, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said “about one police officer in 100 has been involved in criminal abuses, including sexual harassment, indecent behavior or rape.”
America has the largest domestic gulag. Numerous secret prisons operate abroad. Internal spying is out-of-control. Privacy is routinely violated.
Last December, another Russian report criticized America’s human rights record. On December 28, Russia Today (rt.com) headlined “US violating human rights at home and abroad: Russian report,” saying:
Russia’s Foreign Ministry discussed numerous US domestic and foreign human rights abuses. On the pretext of fighting terrorism alone, fundamental rights are denied.
“The situation in the United States….is far from the ideals proclaimed in Washington,” the report said. “The incumbent administration continues to apply most of the methods of controlling society and interfering in the private lives of the American people that were adopted….under George Bush on the pretext of combating terror.”
Russia also condemned “the exterritorial application of US legislation (that) seriously harms Russian-US relations.”
“It leads to violations of the basic rights and freedoms of Russians, including arbitrary arrests and abductions from third countries, cruel treatment, criminal prosecution on the basis of evidence given by false agents and doubtful evidence.”
Washington-led NATO was accused of appalling human rights abuses. Civilian casualties it’s responsible for “provide a portrait of” military recklessness and lawlessness.
Crimes of war and against humanity define its operations. Eyewitnesses provide damning evidence.
Democracy at home is hypocrisy, not real. It exists in name only. Fundamental freedoms are absent or endangered. Speaking truth to power is hazardous.
The state of America at home and abroad is appalling. Indisputable evidence reveals a record reflecting tyranny. Conditions aren’t improving.
They’re worsening en route to institutionalizing total police state control. It’s fast approaching. No one is safe anymore for good reason. Humanity is at risk.
America’s agenda reflects unchallenged dominance no matter the cost. Truth is the most dangerous disinfectant. Suppressing it is policy. Propaganda wars precede hot ones. Human rights and civil liberties are denied for our own good.
Patriotism means going along or else. Humanity may not survive unless policies this out-of-control are stopped. Awareness enough to do it is sorely lacking. Hopefully something will change before it’s too late.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.