General refutes himself

The story is in the Washington Times. See if you can spot all the things that are wrong:

Gen. Richard B. Myers yesterday condemned as “absolutely irresponsible” an Amnesty International report that compared prisoner treatment at Guantanamo Bay to the Soviet gulag, adding that 100 out of 68,000 detainees held in the war against terrorism were abused…

Amnesty International also suggested that foreign governments investigate senior U.S. officials involved in “torture scandals” and arrest and question Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, former CIA Director William Tenet, and Vice President Dick Cheney.
“I think it’s irresponsible. I think it’s absolutely irresponsible,” Gen. Myers told “Fox News Sunday…”

“I think Congress has a responsibility in a mature fashion to continue to hold hearings on this issue to make sure that we’re exercising our proper oversight responsibilities and those of us who have traveled in the region cannot overstate the impact that Abu Ghraib and other things that have happened have damaged the image of the United States of America in the Middle East,” [Senator John] McCain said…

Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident sentenced to the gulag, also criticized the Guantanamo comparison, telling Time magazine this week that the Amnesty report lacks credibility.

“I have very serious criticisms of Amnesty. There is no moral clarity. It doesn’t differentiate between what I call fear societies and free societies,” Mr. Sharansky said.

“In the democratic world, there are violations of human rights, but they are revealed and dealt with. In a fear society, there are no violations of human rights because human rights just don’t exist,” said Mr. Sharansky, who now lives in Israel and has served in its parliament and Cabinet. “Amnesty International says it doesn’t support or oppose any political system, so it ends up with reports that show a moral equivalence” among regimes.

  1. What are we doing with 68,000 people in detention?
  2. Given well-documented Israeli abuses of the Palestinian people, why is someone connected to the Israeli government being treated as an authority on human rights abuses against an Arab population?
  3. How are we to reconcile Sharansky’s claim that in “fear societies” there are “no violations of human rights” with Bush administration policy that human rights violations, e.g. in Iraq, justify military intervention?
  4. Why does the story only treat General Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a subordinate to Rumsfeld and Cheney, as authoritative and diminish the voice of Amnesty International and other human rights organizations?
  5. John McCain uses the word “mature,” implying that those who suggest that war crimes ought to be treated like–well, crimes against humanity–are behaving immaturely. Why is he not being challenged on this?

I’m sure I’m overlooking something…

Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

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