On Friday, at a United Nations meeting in Geneva, the United States broke a series of legal promises. Keeping those promises would have proved extremely embarrassing to the United States government by pointing out that human rights abuses are being committed here at home, and at U.S. military installations abroad.
In 1994 the United States senate ratified the U.N. Convention on Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination promising to provide reports every two years on racial discrimination in the United States. The reports were to include anywhere in the world where the U.S. military is in charge. In other words, the United States military no matter where it was on the globe, agreed to report discrimination. That now includes Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.
The treaty is the “supreme law of the land” under the U.S. Constitution, article 6, clause 2. Every nation that signed the treaty was charged with giving a national report on such basic areas of discrimination as health care, education, and prison terms. According to the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute and the National Lawyers Guild, the United States on Friday presented a report to the United Nations Committee, never mentioning Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, or the behavior of U.S. corporations working under U.S. military contracts.