Thursday, December 08, 2005

Bully Bolton responds to Arbour

Shorter Bolton: "No fair! Don't look at American human-rights abuses; look away! Look away! Hey! What Burma's doing? And over there...that Zimbabwe guy is really abusing people."

Ugh. The American ambassador to the UN did not like what Louise Arbour had to say, in her (excellent) op-ed, "No exceptions to the ban on torture." (excerpts in yesterday's post). Here's what the Angry Moustache had to say in response:
John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, criticized Arbour, calling it "inappropriate" for her to choose a Human Rights Day celebration to criticize the United States instead of such rights abusers as Burma, Cuba and Zimbabwe. He also warned that it would undercut his efforts to negotiate formation of a new human rights council that would exclude countries with bad rights records.
"Today is Human Rights Day. It would be appropriate, I think, for the U.N.'s high commissioner for human rights to talk about the serious human rights problems that exist in the world today," Bolton told reporters. "It is disappointing that she has chosen to talk about press commentary about alleged American conduct. I think the secretary of state has fully and completely addressed the substance of the allegations, so I won't go back into that again other than to reaffirm that the United States does not engage in torture."
He added: "I think it is inappropriate and illegitimate for an international civil servant to second-guess the conduct that we're engaged in in the war on terror, with nothing more as evidence than what she reads in the newspapers."
Gotta love the manufactured outrage over the timing of Arbour's article (on Human Rights Day). And belittling her understanding of American abuses by suggesting that she's reading "nothing more" than news accounts. F-you, Bolton. The UN has no room for bullies like you.

As for his comments about Condi Rice's public disavowal of torture, Human Rights Watch had this to say in today's Guardian:
"Rice is wandering around Europe saying these things," said Caroll Bogert, of Human Rights Watch. "When they whisked the [detainees] out of Romania and Poland, where did they take them? Where are they now? Who are the disappeared?"
Ms Bogert said the Bush administration's earlier use of language and its attempt to define torture so narrowly it excluded many extreme interrogation methods, cast doubt on the new pledge to abide by international conventions. "They stretch all these definitions to their most elastic breaking point," she said.
Let's just hope Bolton doesn't do anything rash. Y'know, like throw a tape-dispenser at somebody and chase them through the halls of a Moscow hotel, shouting epithets.

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