Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Hysterical Human Rights Organization
Brands Guantanamo "Gulag Of Our Time"

From Associated Press:

LONDON - Amnesty International branded the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay a human rights failure Wednesday, calling it "the gulag of our time" as it released a report that offers stinging criticism of the United States and its detention centers around the world.

The 308-page report accused the United States of shirking its responsibility to set the bar for human rights protections and said Washington has instead created a new lexicon for abuse and torture. Amnesty International called for the camp to be closed.

"Attempts to dilute the absolute ban on torture through new policies and quasi-management speak, such as 'environmental manipulation, stress positions and sensory manipulation,' was one of the most damaging assaults on global values," the annual report said.

Some 540 prisoners from about 40 countries are being held at the U.S. detention center in Cuba. More than 200 others have been released, though some have been jailed in their countries; many have been held for three years without charge.

"Guantanamo has become the gulag of our time," Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan said.

A spokesman for the Department of Defense declined to comment on the report, saying he had not seen it. But Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter said the U.S. government continues to be a leader in human rights, treating detainees humanely and investigating all claims of abuse.

At least 10 cases of abuse or mistreatment have been documented and investigated at Guantanamo.

Several other cases are pending.

"During the year, released detainees alleged that they had been tortured or ill-treated while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and Guantanamo. Evidence also emerged that others, including Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and the International Committee of the Red Cross, had found that such abuses had been committed against detainees," the report said.

Let's look a little bit at what the real Gulag was all about:

Gulag was the branch of the Soviet internal police and security service that operated the penal system of forced labour camps and associated detention and transit camps and prisons. While these camps housed criminals of all types, the Gulag system has become primarily known as a place for political prisoners and as a mechanism for repressing political opposition to the Soviet state.

In 1931–32, Gulag had approximately 200,000 prisoners in the camps; in 1935 — approximately 1 million (including colonies), and after the Great Purge of 1937, nearly 2 million people.

During World War II, Gulag populations declined sharply, owing to mass "releases" of hundreds of thousands of prisoners who were conscripted and sent directly to the front lines, but mainly due to a steep rise in mortality in 1942–43. After WWII the number of inmates in prison camps and colonies rose again sharply and reached the number of approximately 2.5 million people by the early 1950s.

While some of these were deserters and war criminals, there were also repatriated Russian prisoners of war and "Eastern workers", were universally accused of treason and "cooperation with an enemy" (formally, they did work for Nazis). Large numbers of civilians from the Russian territories which came under foreign occupation, as well as from the territories annexed by the Soviet Union after the war were also sent there. It was not uncommon for the survivors of Nazi camps to be transported directly to the Soviet labour camps.

The total documentable deaths in the corrective-labour system from 1934 to 1953 amount to 1,054,000, including political and common prisoners; note that this does not include nearly 800,000 executions of "counterrevolutionaries", as they were generally conducted outside the camp system.

So, they mention the 1.8 million documentable deaths. They also mention that during WWII there were mass "purgings" of the Gulag system where prisoners were released and "sent directly to the front lines."

You may have heard the number 20 million bandied about when discussing how many Soviet citizens Stalin murdered during his reign. Well, many of those 20 million were Gulag prisoners "sent directly to the front lines."

In other words, Stalin and his Gulag system were responsible for the deaths of millions and millions of people.

Amnesty International is comparing Guantanamo Bay to that. Gantanamo Bay, where 10 documented cases of "ill-treatment" have been discovered by the "Federal Bureau of Investigation."

This is an example of anti-American hysteria on the part of Amnesty International.

Such hysteria takes attention away from the real human rights abuses going on is places such as Sudan, Saudi Arabia, China, and the Congo. Such hysteria is also an insult to the memory of the brave human beings who stood up to the totalitarianism of the Soviet system, and were killed for their efforts.

Amnesty International ought to be ashamed of themselves.