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Forum Post: A Cruel and Unusual Record: Carter Condemns Obama

Posted 2 years ago on June 25, 2012, 7:05 p.m. EST by vvv0625 (-9)
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Op-Ed Contributor

A Cruel and Unusual Record

By JIMMY CARTER

Published: June 24, 2012

A Cruel and Unusual Record: Carter Condemns Obama

THE United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.

Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.

While the country has made mistakes in the past, the widespread abuse of human rights over the last decade has been a dramatic change from the past. With leadership from the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This was a bold and clear commitment that power would no longer serve as a cover to oppress or injure people, and it established equal rights of all people to life, liberty, security of person, equal protection of the law and freedom from torture, arbitrary detention or forced exile.

The declaration has been invoked by human rights activists and the international community to replace most of the world’s dictatorships with democracies and to promote the rule of law in domestic and global affairs. It is disturbing that, instead of strengthening these principles, our government’s counterterrorism policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the declaration’s 30 articles, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Recent legislation has made legal the president’s right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or “associated forces,” a broad, vague power that can be abused without meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress (the law is currently being blocked by a federal judge). This law violates the right to freedom of expression and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, two other rights enshrined in the declaration.

In addition to American citizens’ being targeted for assassination or indefinite detention, recent laws have canceled the restraints in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications. Popular state laws permit detaining individuals because of their appearance, where they worship or with whom they associate.

Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable. After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes this year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that such attacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.

These policies clearly affect American foreign policy. Top intelligence and military officials, as well as rights defenders in targeted areas, affirm that the great escalation in drone attacks has turned aggrieved families toward terrorist organizations, aroused civilian populations against us and permitted repressive governments to cite such actions to justify their own despotic behavior.

Meanwhile, the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, now houses 169 prisoners. About half have been cleared for release, yet have little prospect of ever obtaining their freedom. American authorities have revealed that, in order to obtain confessions, some of the few being tried (only in military courts) have been tortured by waterboarding more than 100 times or intimidated with semiautomatic weapons, power drills or threats to sexually assault their mothers. Astoundingly, these facts cannot be used as a defense by the accused, because the government claims they occurred under the cover of “national security.” Most of the other prisoners have no prospect of ever being charged or tried either.

At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.

As concerned citizens, we must persuade Washington to reverse course and regain moral leadership according to international human rights norms that we had officially adopted as our own and cherished throughout the years.

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, is the founder of the Carter Center and the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/opinion/americas-shameful-human-rights-record.html

48 Comments

48 Comments


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[-] 3 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Excellent post. Finally! Someone who puts justice before politics.

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8689) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

yeah Romeny will get you some justice alright

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Tunnel vision: Seeing only two possibilities when there are really many.

Cause: Decades of brainwashing by the two major parties.

So Carter really wants Romney?

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8689) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

denial ain’t just a river in Egypt

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The two party system is so ingrained in our thinking, I seriously doubt it could ever be conquered. But I will keep speaking against it with the hope that some day it will.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8689) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

It is ingrained in our Constitution and I will oppose any effort by the 1% to rewrite that.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The two party system in our constitution? Where?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8689) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I think matt sums it up pretty well

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I've had better presentations

my point being that

there is no partial representation of parties . The party that wins 51% of the vote in each territory get full representation while the party that losses gets none.

In congress the majority party controls law while the minority are those that oppose law

still not satisfied with my presentation

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Political parties are the street gangs in Congress. They are not necessary to Democracy anymore than the bloods and crips are necessary to a neighborhood.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Are you confusing the two parties, reps and dems, with the two houses of Congress, senators and representatives?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

representation has been based on territory (senate)

and population also divided into territories (house)

so each territory is locked into on all nothing single representations

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8689) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

thank you Matt, wouldn't of been my choice with hind sight, but hey these guys did a pretty good job given few models to look at

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

and the horse back communication system

[-] 3 points by Nevada1 (4495) 2 years ago

Thank you vvv, for this post/link.

Everyone needs to see this.

Best Regards

[-] 2 points by HempTwister (667) from Little Rock, AR 2 years ago

Did he mention police suppression of free speech and assembly?

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8689) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I voted against this man in 1980, because I wanted a third way, I went with Anderson, I am so ashamed of what I did to this country by not voting for the Democrat that year, at least in 2000 I got it right and voted Gore but not enough did. Now look what it’s got us, and some would say let Romney win? Do you really think it can’t get worse? We got a lot of work to do, but giving up is no way to start.

[-] -3 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

You are as full of pro-Democrat pro-Obama pro-Two Party Tyranny pro-fascist regime bullshit as a Christmas turkey, factsrfun. This ship already sailed:

Americans Have Three Choices In November: Bushbamney, Third-Party or Nobody:

http://open.salon.com/blog/watchingfrogsboil/2012/05/18/americans_have_3_choices_bushbamney_third-party_or_nobody

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8689) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

At least you present a solid case, no wait a minute your just full of bullshit, the only thing left to figure out is are you a total fish buying into the "their all the same" crap or just a right wing troll, well time will tell either way you're full of shit.

[-] -1 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

Everybody and their brother knows you're a paid plant placed here to help Bushbamney get re-elected, factsrfun. How is calling someone who also knows the whole right-wing/left-wing dichotomy is false a liar going to help you do that? Oh I see! You're fighting to preserve the two-party tyranny! And as such, you were at least correct in judging me to be your enemy, as I am the enemy of ALL Democrats and Republicans...

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I agree with The great Jimmy Carter, the last 10 years have brought us down a deeply disturbing path. I agree that both parties are complicite. I believe repubs created the atmosphere to pass their tight wing anti human rights agenda, and Dems betrayed their progressive principles when they caved in. I also agree that most of all WE are to blame because this has happened with no dissent from the general public!. No politician will stand against anti human rights policies if the public is asleep. But the atmosphere is slowly changing Thanks to subtle changes by Pres Obama. And dissent is finally growing with OWS. We should point out the positive actions politicians have taken while maintaining pressure/protest of the drone assassinations.

[-] -1 points by monjon22 (508) 2 years ago

Suble changes by Obama??!!! Obama has taken away more rights than any other President in the history of the United States. He is the first president to put a hit on and kill and American citizen. Obama is the President who wants to detain American citizens indefinitely on suspicion of association with groups who may associate with other groups. Obama has killed more women and children with his non-stop drone attacks than any other President.

[-] -2 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

"But the atmosphere is slowly changing Thanks to subtle changes by Pres Obama."

I guess we could just say thanks for the bump, but this is over the top...

You are either a paid Obama propagandist, an incredibly naive Obamapologist, or simply mentally unstable. Either way, know that given the opportunity to take your keyboard and repurpose it as a suppository for you, we would gladly and immediately make the insertion.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

insults = weak arguments. I'm just not so partisan or blind that I can't see the small changes that have occured. I guess you can't accept that Pres Obama is trying to undo the mess that the republicans have created. We must continue to protest the drone assassinations, the guantanamo prisoners, the patriot act, ndaa. The left wing has to exert the pressure of it's principle if we are going to repeal the right wing policies we all disagree with. It will take years to undo. patience and solidarity in fighting the right wing wackos. insert 'dat motherf%$ker! LMFAO

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Drone strikes In Pakistan:

Bush 52

Obama 278

No, I can't accept that president Obama is trying to undo the mess that the republicans have created.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan

[-] 0 points by monjon22 (508) 2 years ago

Obama has out-Bushed Bush on many levels. This is just one more. Obama won the prestigious AdAge Marketer of the year award for 2008. He always was / is a brand. The perfect scam put over on the American people by the billionaires who bankrolled him.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Amazing how a single letter, either D or R, completely changes the perception of what is right and wrong for the same deliberate and cruel acts against humanity.

[-] -1 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

Thanks for bumping the post, Odronaman. Just do keep in mind that all anonymity is fleeting, and your day of reckoning WILL come...

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 2 years ago

Obama has taken a humanist approach on a couple things; saying no to waterboarding and putting people with pre-existing conditions first in regards to health care. Carter may be saying 'big deal' in the grand scheme of things. He's right. It's unfortunate that Carter was labeled as being weak because of his failed attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran but down the road he may be viewed as our last president who was worth a damn.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

how could such a man become president in the first place ?

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 2 years ago

Who, Carter or Obama?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

Carter

I'm suspicious of who put the politicians in place

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 2 years ago

Not sure what you're getting at. The two parties put them in place and people can rise quickly within the party. With Obama vs Romney the line has been blurred completely and I don't see the point in voting for a major party now.

[-] -1 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

Jimmy Carter Accuses Bushbamney. of ‘Widespread Abuse of Human Rights’:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/06/jimmy-carter-accuses-u-s-of-widespread-abuse-of-human-rights/

[-] -2 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

"There is little time left for Obama to redeem himself, though. As a gesture of good faith, however, I suggest that, at the very least, President Obama begin by returning his Nobel Peace Prize."

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/12459454-clash-of-the-presidents-carter-vs-obama

[-] 4 points by factsrfun (8689) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

He was given the prize for getting the Republicans out of the White House, that's how much the rest of the world understand how important that is.

[-] 2 points by HempTwister (667) from Little Rock, AR 2 years ago

Yup. The prize was actually won by the American voters. For getting the NeoCons out of power. The world thought we had lost our minds when we reelected Bush. The world had been waiting to exhale for eight years. Right after laughing their asses off at us making such a huge deal out of a blow job.

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

He was given the prize to soften the blows he was about to lay on the African continent.

[-] -2 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

That's a lie, like most of your partisan propaganda, but we take no offense as we would love to see the Democrats and Republicans completely destroy each other in every sense of the phrase. So thanks for bumping the post.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8689) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

no problem, worth the bump to expose what a pure troll you are, people should know who the latest GOP plant is

[-] -1 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

Ok. Tell us. Who is the latest GOP plant? We'd like to expose them just as we have exposed you...

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 2 years ago

It should have been called the 'Please Don't Bomb Me Prize'.

[+] -5 points by shadzworth (-394) 2 years ago

The Ambiguously Inept Duo. Carter,Obama,arguably the two worst POTUS's in American history. That's the real story the rest is just filler.

[-] 1 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

My personal estimation of Mr. Peanut went up 100-fold after reading this.

Yes, his presidency was a failure. But now I wonder if that failure was his punishment for not playing the game like ALL of his corporate puppet successors have.

[+] -4 points by shadzworth (-394) 2 years ago

His failure was our (America's) failure. He played HIS game and was a huge fuck up,just like Oblama is. Corporations aren't all the "evil master minds" that ya'll keep regurgitating.

[-] 1 points by vvv0625 (-9) 2 years ago

The "evil master minds" use Corporations and CEOs to accomplish their agenda just like they do Political Parties and Puppet Politicians. It's all part of the Kleptocracy:

http://ldrlongdistancerider.com/images/Kleptocracy_and_You.jpg