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Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 and all that...

9/11 and all that...

9/11 anniversary arrives to tensions over Qur'an threat and mosque

New York's bells to toll at 8.46am local time, the moment the first hijacked plane hit the north tower on September 11 2001

Some of nearly 3,000 flags erected at Pepperdine University in Malibu to honour victims of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

The rise and fall of human rights as an inspirational concept may seem shocking, but perhaps it is less so on second glance. Ever since Carter put human rights on the table, Republican presidents have found uses for them too, typically by linking them to "democracy promotion" abroad. There is no denying the powerful growth of nongovernmental organizations in the United States and around the world that has occurred since slightly before Carter's time, and impressively ever since. But George W. Bush, placing himself in an almost equally longstanding tradition, invoked human rights as the battle cry for the neoconservative vision of transforming the Middle East and beyond—at the point of a gun, if necessary—perhaps sullying them beyond recuperation. Obama seems to think so. If their current abeyance is surprising, perhaps it's because of a historical mistake: the belief that human rights were deeply ingrained in American visions of the globe in the first place. And, don't forget Tony Blair's role in the illegal war...

US court rejects Binyam Mohamed torture case

British resident cannot sue firm for allegedly flying terror suspects abroad for CIA because of 'national security concerns'

Former Guantánamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Since when has torture been a 'national security concern'?

US courts must lift lid on torture

As more evidence comes to light of corporate profiteering from rendition, arguments about 'national security' look ever shabbier

US planes land on Diego Garcia, a British territory in the Indian Ocean, used for rendition of US terror suspects. Photograph: USAF/AFP

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