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"We Have Nothing to Hide" US Hypocrisy: Refusing Official Access to Manning

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Published on Apr 14, 2011

FULL TRANSCRIPT: http://representativepress.blogspot.c...
STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN MARK C. TONER: ... Look, for our part, we are -- we do our Human Rights Reports every year. We are candid in our exchanges with China about human rights concerns both from the podium and in our private meetings with them. And certainly, we don't regard it as an interference in our internal affairs when any foreign government or individual organization monitors our human rights practices. And we are proud to say that our system of government allows for that kind of comment without fear or without fear of recrimination. And it speaks to the value of our system, we feel. 

So I wouldn't describe it as that. Obviously, we've got a very broad and complex and varied relationship with China, and as the President said, it's one of the pivotal relationships of the 21st century, and we feel that these kinds of people-to-people, individual-to-individual exchanges build that relationship and strengthen it going forward. 

MATTHEW LEE (Associated Press): Can you explain why, if the United States is proud of its human rights record, that the UN special rapporteur has complained that you're not allowing him independent access to Bradley Manning? 

TONER: We've been in contact with the UN special rapporteur. We've had conversations with you in terms of access to --

LEE: With me? 

TONER: I'm sorry. We've had conversations with the special rapporteur. We've discussed Bradley Manning's case with him. But in terms of visits to PFC Manning, that's something for the Department of Defense. 

LEE: And the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) with the same problem? You are -- the State Department is the direct contact with the ICRC. At least it was for the Guantanamo inmates. Have you had any contact with them? 

TONER: I'm not aware. I don't know. I'd have to look into that. But in terms of the UN special rapporteur, we've had conversations with him. We have ongoing conversations with him. But in terms of access to Manning, that's something for the Department of Defense.


ARSHAD MOHAMMED (Reuters): If you welcome scrutiny, where's the harm? 


TONER: I said we're having conversations with him. We're trying to work with him to meet his needs. But I don't understand the question. 


MOHAMMED: Well, you said you welcome scrutiny from outsiders of the United States human rights record -- 

TONER: Right. We do. 

MOHAMMED: -- that you feel that it speaks to the strength of the U.S. system. So why does it take very lengthy conversations to agree to let a UN special rapporteur have access to an inmate? 

... See blog for full transcript: http://representativepress.blogspot.c...

LEE: I understand that you're put in a difficult position where you say that you're willing, as Arshad noted when the -- that you're -- you don't understand why China is so upset because the U.S. is willing to open up its human rights situation to all kinds of scrutiny -- 

TONER: And, Matt -- 

LEE: And then the first example that anyone raises, you're not. 

TONER: And, Matt, I would raise with you the fact that much of China's report came from open source, which is what an independent media does, and would note that that kind of independent media does serve a function. And there are details about the Manning case and other human rights concerns out there, but I'm not going to talk about it here.
http://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/...
http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshger...
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/2011...
http://www.state.gov/video/?videoid=9...
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/201...
I voted for Bradley Manning in the 2011 @TIME 100 poll: http://twitter.com/RepPress/status/58...
Manning being transferred according to leak.
"The Pentagon did not even bother to notify Manning's lawyer of the transfer; he had to learn of it through the media leak. "
"... U.S. military officials, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity, deny Manning was tortured, but one said "the Marines blew it" in terms of how they treated him."
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/gle...

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