Jimmy Carter Says U.S. Anti-Terrorism Policy Violates Human Rights

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wrote an op-ed in The New York Times slamming the U.S.’s human rights record after 9/ll.

Carter wrote that as a result of our anti-terrorism policies that infringe on human rights “our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues.”

Carter said that although the United States has “made mistakes in the past,” we took it to a whole new level this past decade, breaking the Universal Declaration of Human Rights we helped create.

He wrote:

“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.’”

For example, Carter wrote that the legalization of indefinite detention “violates the [Declaration’s] right to freedom of expression and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.”

He wrote that everyday, U.S. residents also find their civil liberties violated, as recent laws “allow unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications.”

Carter also discussed our continuous use of drones despite our knowledge of civilian deaths. He wrote that this fact has become normalized: “The death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable.”

He also mentioned the acts of torture on Guantanamo Bay prisoners and how they seems tolerable “because the government claims they occurred under the cover of 'national security.'"

Carter wrote that “at a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe,” the U.S. should especially be adhering to basic human rights. “But instead of making the world safer,” he wrote, “America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.”

Carter concluded by urging citizens to pressure Washington to obey for human rights. 

AlterNet / By Alyssa Figueroa

Posted at June 26, 2012, 3:10pm

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