Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On December 10th, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the text. Here is the text.

There are 30 Articles to the document. Here is Article 5:

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Perhaps Bush and Cheney have not heard of this prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. I am sorry to say that it appears that neither has the CIA nor the U.S. Army. We can deduce this from the CIA's secret detention sites and the Army's establishment of Abu Ghraib.

Consider Article 10:

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Bush and Cheney have made fair and public hearings a joke. For example, some prisoners in Guantanamo have been there since 2002 without any trial or public hearing. Even here in the U.S., Bush made Padilla, a U.S. citizen, an enemy combatant not entitled to a trial, until the U.S. Supreme Court threatened to take up his case.

Bush and Cheney and their gang have no excuses. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been in existence long enough for anyone to claim that they were unaware of its provisions.

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