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Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts

Lectures on Human Rights

Short Version: mp3, 2.93 MBs, 3:34

[Col. Recorded 5/9/04]

A recent U.N. based human rights report critical of Cuba came at a wonderful time.

Cuban president Fidel Castro, at a vast May Day celebration in Havana, gently, but soberly, criticized both Mexico and Peru for their joining with the U.S. in a diplomatic
attack on Cuba, for her treatment of US-backed dissenters there.

While Pres. Castro did indeed criticize those countries, he heralded Mexico's long and proud history of independence, and her Revolution against Spanish conquest. Within weeks of Pres. Castro's remarks, Mexican and Peruvian ambassadors were recalled from Havana, an act applauded by the US State Department.

Within days of that applause, however, came the pictures from the dark corridors of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Almost instantly, a hush settled over Washington.

Just hours before the horrific and humiliating pictures from Abu Ghraib were made public, US president George W. Bush took to the fundraising stump, to announce that 'torture no longer happens in Iraq, because we removed Saddam Hussein'; and he robotically repeated his refrains about the Iraqi regime's 'rape rooms.'

Then came the flics from prison, of grinning US soldiers, torturing, beating, sexually humiliating hooded, naked, Iraqi men — with whispers of rapes in the wings!

American claims to the right to lecture others on 'human rights', rings exceedingly hollow in its sheer hypocrisy.

Bush exclaims: "This isn't an America I recognize."

Really?

One wonders if this transplanted Texan ever bothered to study how his adopted state was carved out of Mexican soil; or, for that matter, how much, perhaps most of US land was stolen from Indian territories? Perhaps not.

It is precisely this oddly American form of amnesia that allowed Abu Ghraib to happen; and that prepares Abu Ghraibs to come.

It is precisely this racist, xenophobic blindness that assures us that those 7 or so guards did it alone, and that allows us to whitewash this scandal.

About 7 years ago, this prison was racked by scandal. Over a score of guards, and several ranking officers were implicated in an orgy of racist violence, and abuse of handcuffed prisoners, at SCI-Greene. Many prison guards were fired, and several were demoted in rank.

Months thereafter, however, union arbitrators has the vast majority (if not *all* of them) back at the job, albeit at other prisons.

It took time; but perhaps a year thereafter, the whitewash was complete.

Is it therefore surprising that one of the guards at the heart of that scandal, plays a repeat at Abu Ghraib?

Already, within days of the news, the skeleton of a whitewash can be sensed ... 'isolated incident'; '... limited to seven or eight guards'; '... the guards were untrained...', etc. These are the garb with which this whitewash will be clothed.

Meanwhile, the US architects of the anti-Cuban resolution, are hoisted on their own petards — the images from Abu Ghraib, where Americans practice the human right of humiliation.

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.