Foreign critics see duplicity
A Chinese analyst says U.S. pushes human rights while acting in secret.
Revelations about CIA mistreatment of captive terrorism suspects spurred worldwide revulsion Tuesday and provided ammunition to foreign critics who accuse the United States of a double standard on human rights at home and abroad.
Advance word of the report's graphic accounts of degrading and painful "enhanced interrogation techniques" prompted the U.S. government to warn its diplomatic and military personnel around the world to be on guard for violent anti-American backlashes.
The report and the damning details revealed by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) on the floor of the Senate were received by friendly and hostile nations alike as validation of their criticism of the George W. Bush administration's secret detention and interrogation programs after the 9/11 attacks.
"This will have a very negative impact on the image of the United States," Teng Jianqun, director of the Center for Arms Control at the China Institute of International Studies, told state-run CCTV. He said U.S. officials seek to present themselves as "the big boys on human-rights affairs in the international community," publishing evaluations of other countries' behavior while clandestinely engaging in "notorious" actions of their own.
Teng described release of the report as evidence of the "struggle between the two parties" after Democrats lost control of the Senate in last month's midterm elections and "tried to gain something" by releasing the report on CIA excesses committed during the eight-year tenure of the Republican Bush.
No high-ranking political leaders in China or Russia were known to have commented on the reported CIA excesses, hewing to their defensive posture that human rights are domestic matters and other countries shouldn't interfere.
But state-run media in both countries reported in detail on the brutal methods used by CIA interrogators in what the report said were vain efforts to elicit information on pending terror plots.
"Interrogation techniques used against terror suspects by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency were brutal and far worse than the agency presented to policy makers and the American public," Russia's Sputnik news agency said in its report.
Global human-rights advocates called for charges to be brought against the American architects and perpetrators of the interrogation tactics that President Obama called "contrary to our values."
At the United Nations human-rights agency in Geneva, on the eve of International Human Rights Day, the world body welcomed the "belated" publication on findings of the Senate investigation into "the crimes of torture and enforced disappearance of terrorist suspects by the Bush-era CIA."