Further Prisoner Abuse Likely

CNN is reporting that several Human Rights Watch indicates that several prisoners suspected of being al Qaeda operatives have dissapeared and may have been tortured:

The prisoners are probably being held outside the United States without access to the Red Cross or any oversight of their treatment, the human rights group said. In some cases, the United States will not even acknowledge the prisoners are in custody.

The report said the prisoners include the alleged architect of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, as well as Abu Zubaydah, who is believed to be a close aide to Osama bin Laden.

In refusing to disclose the prisoners' whereabouts or acknowledge the detentions, Human Rights Watch said, the U.S. government has violated international law, international treaties and the Geneva Convention. The group called on the government to bring all the prisoners "under the protection of the law."

"I think the U.S. demeans itself when it adopts the philosophy that the ends justify the means in the fight against terror," said Reed Brody, special counsel with Human Rights Watch.

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said the agency has not seen the report and declined to comment.

The report -- titled "The United States' `Disappeared:' The CIA's Long-term 'Ghost Detainees"' -- said many of the prisoners have provided valuable intelligence to U.S. officials. But it also cited reports that some detainees have lied under pressure to please their interrogators.

Human Rights Watch has no firsthand knowledge of the treatment of these detainees. Much of the report stems from news accounts that have cited unidentified government sources acknowledging the torture or mistreatment of detainees.

The report provides a brief sketch of 11 detainees believed to be incommunicado in undisclosed locations. They hail from countries across the Arab world, including Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. U.S. authorities have confirmed the detention of six of them, the report said.

Certainly, this is all supposition and unproven fact, but it paints a grim picture of how we're handing the "war on terror." I really wish John Kerry would bring this sort of thing up in the debates. Certainly, anyone who is borderline on the Bush side would think twice when they think about all the human rights violations that have occured during his version of a "war on terror."
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