Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Double Standards

The State Department released the 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices today. In the section on Saudi Arabia, we find the following statement:

Ministry of Interior (MOI) officials were responsible for most incidents of abuse of prisoners, including beatings, whippings, and sleep deprivation. In addition, there were allegations of beatings with sticks and suspension from bars by handcuffs. There were allegations that these practices were used to force confessions from prisoners.

Compare the State Department’s criticism of Saudi Arabia to this report from the Observer (London) dated January 2, 2005:

A British detainee at Guantanamo Bay has told his lawyer he was tortured using the 'strappado', a technique common in Latin American dictatorships in which a prisoner is left suspended from a bar with handcuffs until they cut deeply into his wrists.

People in other countries pay attention to these inconsistencies. Americans, by an large, seem not to.