Chip Pitts, Board Chair of Amnesty International USA, testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the USA Patriot Act and civil liberties.
This week, Pitts recalled his testimony and experience before the Committee in an article appearing on the progressive site, CommonDreams.org. Pitts said, in part:
The Justice Department's own Inspector General in 2003 documented post-9/11 violations at home that were different only in degree, not in kind, from those seen at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo. Muslims and Arabs and those mistaken for them (Sikhs and people of color generally) were treated as sub-human, beaten, spat upon, their religion insulted, their access to family, health care, and legal counsel denied....This last sentence, sadly, is not a political or partisan comment. The Supreme Court noted in a recent opinion, "It is during our most challenging and uncertain moments that... we must preserve our commitment at home to the principles for which we fight abroad."
It pains me to say it, but a government that tolerates abuses at home is unlikely to be scrupulous when it comes to abuses abroad.
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