Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011
Updated: 2012-05-25 21:42
The US democracy is increasingly being influenced by capitalization and becoming a system for "master of money." Data issued by the US Center for Responsive Politics in November 2011 show that 46 percent of the US federal senators and members of the House of Representatives have personal assets of more than a million dollars.
That well explains why US administration' s plans to impose higher tax on the rich who earn more than one million dollars annually have been blocked in the Congress (www.finance-ol.com).
As a commentary put it, money has emerged as the electoral trump card in the US political system, and corporations have a Supreme Court-recognized right to use their considerable financial muscle to promote candidates and policies favorable to their business operations and to resist policies and shut out candidates deemed inimical to their business interests (Online edition of Time, January 20, 2011).
According to a media report, nearly two thirds of all the contributions that the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee received during the 2010 election cycle came from industries regulated by his committee. A ranking Democrat Representative on the Agriculture Committee, who served as chairman between 2007 and 2010, saw a 711 percent increase in contributions from groups regulated by his committee and a 274 percent increase in contributions over all, in the same period (The New York Times, November 16, 2011). According to a Washington Post report on August 10, 2011, nearly eight in 10 of Americans polled were dissatisfied with the way the political system is working, with 45 percent saying they are very dissatisfied (The Washington Post, August 10, 2011).
The US continued to violate the freedom of its citizens in the name of boosting security levels (The Washington Post, January 14, 2012). The Electronic Frontier Foundation in 2011 released a report, "Patterns of Misconduct: FBI intelligence violations from 2001-2008," which reveals that domestic political intelligence apparatus spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, continues to systematically violate the rights of American citizens and legal residents. The report shows that the actual number of violations that may have occurred from 2001 to 2008 could approach 40,000 possible violations of law, Executive Order, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations.
The FBI issued some 200,000 requests and that almost 60 percent were for investigations of US citizens and legal residents (www.pacificfreepress.com). The New York Times reported on October 20, 2011, that the FBI has collected information about religious, ethnic and national-origin characteristics of American communities (The New York Times, October 20, 2011).
According to a Washington Post commentary dated January 14, 2012, the US government can use "national security letters" to demand, without probable cause, that organizations turn over information on citizens' finances, communications and associations, and order searches of everything from business documents to library records. The US government can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review (The Washington Post, January 14, 2012).
Abuse of power, brutal enforcement of law and overuse of force by US police have resulted in harassment and hurt to a large number of innocent citizens and have caused loss of freedom of some people or even deaths.
According to a report carried by the World Journal on June 10, 2011, the past decade saw increasing stop-and-frisks by the New York police, which recorded an annual of 600,000 cases in 2010, almost double of that in 2004. In the first three months of 2011, some 180,000 people experienced stop-and-frisks, 88 percent of whom were innocent people (World Journal, June 10, 2011). In early July of 2011, two police officers beat a mentally ill homeless man to death in Orange County, Southern California (FoxNews.com, September 21, 2011).
In August 2011, North Miami police shot and killed a man carrying realistic toy gun (The NY Daily News, September 1, 2011). On Jan. 8, 2011, a Central California man was shot and killed by the police, who thought of him as a gang member only because the jacket he was wearing was red, "the chosen color of a local street gang." (www.kolotv.com, January 19, 2011)
In May 2011, Arizona' s police officers raided the home of Jose Guerena and shot him dead in what was described as an investigation into alleged marijuana trafficking. However, the police later found nothing illegal in his home (The Huffington Post, May 25, 2011). Misjudged and wrongly-handled cases continued to occur. According to media reports, Anthony Graves, a Texas man, was imprisoned for 18 years for crimes he did not commit (CBS News, June 22, 2011).
Forty-six-year-old Thomas Haynesworth spent 27 years in prison after being arrested at the age of 18 for crimes he didn' t commit (Union Press International, December 7, 2011). Eric Caine, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment after being tortured by police into confessing to two murders, spent nearly 25 years behind bars.(Chicago Tribune, June 13, 2011).
The US lacks basic due lawsuit process protections, and its government continues to claim the right to strip citizens of legal protections based on its sole discretion (The Washington Post, January 14, 2012). The National Defense Authorization Act, signed December 31, 2011, allows for the indefinite detention of citizens (The Washington Post, January 14, 2012). The Act will place domestic terror investigations and interrogations into the hands of the military and which would open the door for trial-free, indefinite detention of anyone, including American citizens, so long as the government calls them terrorists (www.forbes.com, December 5, 2011).