Closing prison would show leadership (letters to L.A. Times)
- LOS ANGELES TIMES
Closing prison would show leadership May 29, 2006
Re "War on Terror Has Hurt Rights, Group Says," May 23
Amnesty International is the latest human rights group
to criticize alleged U.S. torture of prisoners, also citing China and
Russia for human rights violations. Previously, the United Nations
Committee Against Torture urged the U.S. to end rendition and secret
prisons, and Human Rights Watch urged the U.S. to accept the
recommendations of the U.N. committee.
International leaders and human rights agencies have criticized
indefinite detention of prisoners at Guantanamo who have yet to be
charged, and they have called for closure of the prison.
When will the Bush administration acknowledge the criticism and
recommendations of these bodies that are respected worldwide? How
much longer will denials and justifications obfuscate the reality of
conditions in prisons under U.S. control?
As more released prisoners from Guantanamo and other prisons tell
their stories, evidence mounts that torture has been practiced and
sanctioned by the U.S.
Surely, torture is an indefensible and illegal practice that this
administration can no longer justify in the name of national security
and the war on terror.
LENORE NAVARRO DOWLING
Without a doubt, the war on terror is failing on several grounds and
sparking an increase in human rights abuses. As Americans, we should
be extremely concerned that the country associated with freedom and
democracy is increasingly being associated with prison-abuse scandals
Our government should be the leader in enforcing human rights without
compromising national security. Instead of reducing our human rights
standards for the so-called war on terror, we must be at the
forefront of protecting our citizens and upholding basic human rights
for every person.
We should close the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or at least
subject the prisoners to a valid due-process system. Such measures
would weaken our enemies' rhetoric against us and make the U.S. a
stronger moral nation.