23
Sep
2004

Human rights in the war on terror

by Kenneth Roth

Boston Globe

09/22/04

Neither side in this year's presidential election got it right in the recent exchange over a more 'sensitive' war on terrorism. Dick Cheney knocked down a straw man by suggesting falsely that John Kerry wants more sensitivity to Al Qaeda. Kerry spoke not of Al Qaeda but of sensitivity 'to other nations [that] brings them to our side and lives up to American values.' However, behind that thought Kerry seems concerned mainly with better diplomatic relations. ... A campaign against terrorism that is sensitive not just to other nations but to the values they share would pay greater attention to international human rights and humanitarian law. These laws embody the restraints on war and law enforcement that the nations of the world have collectively agreed to, even in times of serious security threats. The Bush administration, however, has fought terrorism as if these restraints don't apply....

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