Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WikiLeaks Reveals Bush Administration Contradictions On Human Rights

Cables released by WikiLeaks expose the Bush administration's contradictory stance on human rights cases in China and Germany. The administration expressed concern about the persecution of Chinese writer and dissident Liu Xiaobo (left), recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia due to his imprisonment by China:

Dozens of leaked State Department cables made it apparent that American diplomats closely followed the travails of Mr. Liu and other activists and regularly pressed Chinese officials to honor international norms for basic freedoms, even as Washington muted its public position on Chinese behavior.

...As early as two weeks after Mr. Liu was first detained, President George W. Bush’s ambassador, Clark T. Randt Jr., “urged the Chinese government to release him and stop harassing peaceful dissidents,” a Dec. 29, 2008, cable stated.

When it came to its "War on Terror," the Bush administration's stance on human rights was quite different. Khaled el-Masri (left), a German citizen of Lebanese descent, was kidnapped and jailed due to mistaken identity. The CIA pressured the Germans not to press for the arrest of agents involved in el-Masri's "extraordinary rendition," the practice of sending suspected terrorists to countries that practice torture:

The cables indicated what was long suspected by German opposition leaders who led a parliamentary inquiry into the case: intense political pressure from Washington was the reason that Germany never pressed for the arrest and extradition of 13 operatives believed to be from the C.I.A. who were ultimately charged in indictments issued in Spain and in Munich.

...Mr. Masri was seized on Dec. 31, 2003, as he entered Macedonia while on vacation; border security guards confused him with an operative of Al Qaeda with a similar name. He says he was turned over to the C.I.A., which flew him to Afghanistan, where he says he was tortured, sodomized and injected with drugs. After five months, he was dropped on a roadside in Albania. No charges were brought against him.

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