Left Out examines news and opinions left out of the mainstream media. Left Out is a public affairs program on WRCT 88.3FM co-hosted by Bob Harper and Danny Sleator. Today's program is produced by Matt Toups. Listeners are invited to call the program at (412) 268-WRCT (9728), or to send email.
Today we presented a speech by by Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch. This speech was recorded in February 2004, and was produced by Alternative Radio. The speech can be obtained from this page.
Roth is extremely articulate, and the speech contains a wealth of information that is almost never discussed in the mainstream media. Here are some highlights:
Early in the war, the US engaged in a crude bombing campaign in an attempt to kill Saddam Hussein. They were using cell phone signals to try to locate him, and this proved to be extremely unreliable. Many innocent civilians died. Such tactics in war are an agregious violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Cluster bombs have been phased out by the Air Force, but they were heavily used in Iraq by the US Army. These are indiscriminate, unreliable, and particularly deadly to children.
Roth describes the process of "extraordinary renditions", in which the CIA grabs people (usually from a foreign country) and sends them to another foreign country for torture. Of course this is in the news lately, because of a warrant issued by the Italian government for 13 CIA agents who did just this in Italy.
Roth discusses the International Criminal Court, the US's vehement objection to it, and the US's outrageous attempts to undermine it.
His overall thesis is that the "war on terrorism" is severly undermined by these kinds of human rights abuses by the US.
This Article by Roth in Foreign Affairs makes some of the same points.