Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Human Rights

by Sally Ann Cruikshank

edited by Cristina Mutchler

I personally believe torture, whether done by an individual or government, is morally reprehensible. The way I would approach such an editorial is to explain that anyone, suspected of torture, whether it be a U.S. official or a leader in another country, should be investigated. I would also add that foreign correspondents and other journalists wield tremendous power in their ability to bring such issues to the attention of the public. In such an editorial, I would appeal to journalists in both the U.S. and Zimbabwe to investigate the claims of human rights violations against Bush and Mugabe.

When it comes to extraordinary renditions and wiretapping, I agree with Aerin that these are two very different issues. While no one wants to have their personal conversations spied upon, the U.S. is certainly not the only country that employs such measures of security. In the case of extraordinary rendition, proof of such practices would mean the U.S. was playing a double standard. If the U.S. is in fact sending people to other countries to be tortured, I personally believe that is the same as doing the torture itself.

As a foreign correspondent, I believe I would only factor in the developments of Bush's accused human rights violations if the accusations were pertinent to the story. For example, if it was the U.S. criticizing a country for human rights violations, I would include the own charges leveled at the Bush administration. However, if I was just writing about the human rights violations in that particular country, not in the context of criticism from the U.S., I would probably not mention the U.S. at all.

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