The blatant disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law in the “war on terror” continued to make a mockery of President George Bush’s claims that the USA was the global champion of human rights. Images of detainees in US custody tortured in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq shocked the world. War crimes in Iraq, and mounting evidence of the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in US custody in other countries, sent an unequivocal message to the world that human rights may be sacrificed ostensibly in the name of security.
The USA continued to pressure governments throughout the region to sign unlawful immunity agreements shielding US personnel from surrender to the International Criminal Court. Of 12 countries that had refused to sign, 10 had some military aid suspended as a result. In November the US Congress threatened to cut off development aid to countries that refused to sign.
From Amnesty International (USA)
...since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, about 50,000 people had been detained during US military and security operations.
A number of detainees, reported to be those considered by the US authorities to have high intelligence value, were alleged to remain in secret detention in undisclosed locations. In some cases, their situation amounted to “disappearance”. Some individuals were believed to have been held in secret locations for as long as three years. The refusal or failure of the US authorities to clarify the whereabouts or status of the detainees, leaving them outside the protection of the law for a prolonged period, clearly violated the standards of the UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
...released documents showed that the administration had sanctioned interrogation techniques that violated the UN Convention against Torture and that the President had stated in a central policy memorandum dated 7 February 2002 that, although the USA’s values “call for us to treat detainees humanely”, there are some “who are not legally entitled to such treatment”. The documents discussed, among other things, ways in which US agents could avoid the international prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including by arguing that the President could override international and national laws prohibiting such treatment.
These and other documents also indicated that President Bush’s decision not to apply the Geneva Conventions to detainees captured in Afghanistan followed advice from his legal counsel, Alberto Gonzales, that this would free up US interrogators in the “war on terror” and make future prosecutions of US agents for war crimes less likely.
Conscientious objectors Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejía Castillo and Sergeant Abdullah William Webster were imprisoned; they were prisoners of conscience. Both men remained in prison at the end of the year.
You really should read the whole thing for yourself, because there is just too much to highlight.
Some domestic stuff too, like 40 people being killed by police using tasers. Wow.
So how bad is it for bushie?
Well, Reuters is reporting that:
Four years after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, human rights are in retreat worldwide and the United States bears most responsibility...
Yeah, that's bad.