American Hypocrisy on cyber warfare & human rights

Glenn Greenwald

Some excellent posts by American blogger and author Glenn Greenwald. He is a former Constitutional and civil rights litigator, is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and is the winner of the 2010 Online Journalism Association Award for his investigative work on the arrest and oppressive detention of Bradley Manning.

He blogs in http://www.salon.com/ one of the most respected and informative of the alternative news websites in the world, especially on US politics.

In his latest post he takes the Obama administration to task for its escalation of cyber warfare and the militarisation of the internet, noting a recent article by Columbia Professor and cyber expert Misha Glenny

“The United States has long been a commendable leader in combating the spread of malicious computer code, known as malware, that pranksters, criminals, intelligence services and terrorist organizations have been using to further their own ends. But by introducing such pernicious viruses as Stuxnet and Flame, America has severely undermined its moral and political credibility.”

He also notes a recent Op-ed by former President Jimmy Carter criticising Obama for the extended use of powers of not only indefinite detention but also targeted assassination of those deemed by “officials” to be suspected of or affiliated to terrorist groups, including US citizens.

Carter points out there are still 169 prisoners at Guantánamo Bay (despite Obama pledging to close it during the election campaign)

About half have been cleared for release, yet have little prospect of ever obtaining their freedom. American authorities have revealed that, in order to obtain confessions, some of the few being tried (only in military courts) have been tortured by waterboarding more than 100 times or intimidated with semiautomatic weapons, power drills or threats to sexually assault their mothers. Astoundingly, these facts cannot be used as a defense by the accused, because the government claims they occurred under the cover of “national security.” Most of the other prisoners have no prospect of ever being charged or tried either.

Even those who may entirely innocent of anything can’t be released because it is safe to say that after such a long period of unjustified detention and/or torture, if they weren’t anti-American before, they will be now. Its Catch 22 for those poor suckers. They had to be imprisoned and tortured to prove their innocence, but in the process they became no longer innocent and have to remain imprisoned.

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