US Abusing its Mandate in Iraq: UN Rights Official
Extraodinary Rendition and the Attack on the US Constitution
Reuters’s Paul Tait reports from Baghdad that John Pace, human rights chief for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), charges the US military with overstepping its mandate from the international body by detaining thousands of Iraqis without due process. The authority to arrest without an warrant has been zealously guarded by the Department of Defense and its officials even sought to influence the interim constitution so as to ensure they would be excepted from any due process requirements. Pace is also scathing on the use of secret jails, and the lack of due process, by the current Iraqi government.
The problems with Bush administration policy in this regard go far beyond Iraq. The use of “extraordinary rendition” (kidnapping suspected terrorists from other countries) has sometimes been done with shocking shodiness, so that innocents are picked up and imprisoned for months. This is the story of Khalid Masri of Germany, as told by the Washington Post.
The Bill of Rights is what the United States is supposed to stand for. It is the basis for the critique of other countries done annually by the State Department in its human rights report. Shouldn’t US institutions be bound by it even overseas?