Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Human Rights Day

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Today is Human Rights Day.  It seems appropriate that today there is widespread discussion about the Senate Report titled, Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program.

While much in the report is disturbing, I was not surprised by the content since much of the information was leaked earlier.  What is positive about the report is that it was released at all.  While some involved with national security may disagree with me about its release, I believe we have a responsibility as citizens to hold our elected officials responsible when they break the law.  It is clear from the report that laws were broken and the human rights of detainees were violated.  Releasing the report allows us to learn from these past mistakes and hold our government employees responsible for violating laws.

Take a look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted by the U.N. after the atrocities of World War II.  No matter where one is in the world there are examples of human rights abuses that must be addressed.  All societies have to consider whether or not enough is being done.  Whether it is modern-day slavery in Africa or political persecution in Venezuela, there are examples of human rights abuses in most countries of the world.

We have to consistently strive to shed light on these abuses to avoid past mistakes.

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