At long last, a Democratic elder statesman is taking aim at the horrendous human rights violations being perpetrated in our name by an American president and Congress. It's about time somebody of Carter's stature struck back, joining the dwindling chorus of protests from the left in this election year. Because the USA has seen fit to chuck human rights in the garbage, we no longer have any right to pretend to be a human rights champion of the world. Writes Carter:
In addition to American citizens’ being targeted for assassination or indefinite detention, recent laws have canceled the restraints in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow unprecedented violations of our rights to privacy through warrantless wiretapping and government mining of our electronic communications. Popular state laws permit detaining individuals because of their appearance, where they worship or with whom they associate.
Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared an enemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children is accepted as inevitable. After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homes this year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that such attacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.
These policies clearly affect American foreign policy. Top intelligence and military officials, as well as rights defenders in targeted areas, affirm that the great escalation in drone attacks has turned aggrieved families toward terrorist organizations, aroused civilian populations against us and permitted repressive governments to cite such actions to justify their own despotic behavior.Hats off to Jimmy Carter, who speaks truth to power in a frightening period of our history in which almost two-thirds of Americans find it acceptable for a politician to unilaterally decide who lives and who dies in lands far, far away from their own blinkered little existences. The chickens came home to roost on 9/11 and they'll be coming home again sooner or later unless more of us stand up and say "Enough."