The Bush administration responds to Amnesty International’s cataloging of abuses in Gitmo and beyond by tarnishing Amnesty’s name. The Musharraf regime saves Pakistan’s reputation by not allowing Mukhtaran Bibi, a gang rape victim, to go abroad.
Amnesty recently came out with a report detailing the US practices violating human rights in Guantanamo and beyond. Most conservative and Republic commentary has focused on the word “gulag” used by Irene Khan in the press conference instead of the torture and other activities of the US government. Here is Bush expressing his opinion about the report.
I’m aware of the Amnesty International report, and it’s absurd. […] It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of — and the allegations — by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble — that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report.
Dick Cheney said Monday he was offended by Amnesty International’s condemnation of the United States for what it called “serious human rights violations” at Guantanamo Bay.
“For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don’t take them seriously.”
“Guantanamo’s been operated, I think, in a very sane and sound fashion by the U.S. military. … I think these people have been well treated, treated humanely and decently,” Cheney said. “Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment.
“But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who has been inside and been released … to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated.”
On the other side of the world, via Dad, Mukhtaran Bibi is not being allowed to move about freely while the people who raped her have been freed by the courts.
Mukhtaran, the Meerwala gang-rape victim, has accused the government of forcibly restricting her movement so that she could not meet her lawyers and sympathizers.
[…] Mukhtaran said some federal government officials had recently visited her and advised her not to talk to journalists and rights activists if she wanted the government to be on her back. Their logic was that her media exposure painted a bad image of the country in the international community. “No one will have to seek help of the media and the rights activists if police and courts in the country dispense justice without any prejudice,” she remarked.
And to save the national reputation, she is not allowed to go abroad, after all she got the invitation from that “disgusting” and “absurd” organization, Amnesty International.
The interior ministry has placed Mukhtaran Mai’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL).
Sources in the ministry told Dawn on Friday that Mukhtaran Mai had been scheduled to leave for London in a day or two on an invitation from the Amnesty International.
“Her name has been placed on the ECL with a directive to the Federal Investigation Agency to ensure compliance,” an officer of the FIA said.
The official said the government had taken the decision on reports that her visit could ‘tarnish’ the image of the country abroad.
Wow! Her going abroad and talking about what happened to her would tarnish the country’s reputation but the gang rape and acquittal of the rapists didn’t?
Don’t Bush and Cheney wish they could do freely what Musharraf, the “enlightened moderate,” so easily can?
POSTSCRIPT: Chapati Mystery is right and Kristof is wrong. This is what Musharraf is. He is doing what dictators do.