I like to read foreign news coverage of domestic events. It provides a different perspective than what we typically get through our megacorporate mainstream media here.

Sometimes you find important stories that somehow never seem to make the nightly news here, because there just isn’t time to cover it, given the public’s apparent demand for minute-by-minute coverage about which tabloid magazine is going to publish the first pictures of Brad and Angelina’s twins (or whatever the celebrity crisis du jour is). The foreign press can also provide insight into how the rest of the world is perceiving and interpreting our various political leaders’ pontifications and bloviations.

Occasionally, getting a foreign take on something can be rather eye-opening.

Through some quirk of the internet, I ended up on a UK-based Amnesty International update list in addition to the material I receive from the US Amnesty International. Not news, precisely, but a newsletter of sorts, so close enough.

Today’s action item for Amnesty International was rather eye-opening:

Since Pakistan became a key ally in the US-led “war on terror” in late 2001 thousands of people, both Pakistani and foreign nationals, have been arbitrarily detained in Pakistan, denied access to lawyers, families and courts, and held in secret places of detention.

Placed outside all protection of law, they are victims of enforced disappearance. Several hundred of them have been unlawfully transferred into foreign, particularly US, custody and many of them have been tortured or otherwise ill-treated. (emphasis added)

That’s right, folks. We’re now officially the bad guys that Amnesty International is rallying its supporters against.

Can we just fast-forward to 1/20/09 before Dubya and his minions do any more damage to our reputation in the international community? Please?

jane doe