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Full Text of Bush Amnesty International Statement and the Response

Amazing to watch Bush not really answering the question of detainees being held outside the reach of law, and shifting the topic to prisoner abuse, which he minimizes and then blaming the Amnesty International report on listening to "people who hate America." Also I added the official Amnesty International Response below:

QUESTION: "Mr. President, recently Amnesty International said you have established, quote, a new gulag of prisons around the world beyond the reach of the law and decency.

I'd like your reaction to that, and also your assessment of how it came to this -- that that is a view not just held by extremists and anti-Americans, but by groups that have allied themselves with the United States government in the past, and what the strategic impact is that in many places in the world the United States these days under your leadership is no longer seen as the good guy."

BUSH: "I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation.

The United States is a country that promotes freedom around the world. When there's accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully investigated in a transparent way. It's just an absurd allegation.

In terms of, you know, the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees.

It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of and the allegations by people that were held in detention, people who hate America, people that have been trained in some instances to disassemble, that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is."

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALPRESS STATEMENT

May 31, 2005

Statement of William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, In Response to President Bush(Washington, DC) –

Today Dr. William F. Schulz, Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, released the following statement in response to President Bush:

"What is 'absurd' is President Bush's attempt to deny the deliberate policies of his Administration, which has detained individuals without charge or trial in prisons at Guantanamo Bay, Bagram Air Base and other locations. What is 'absurd' and indeed outrageous is the Bush Administration's failure to undertake a full independent investigation, and that completed reports into human rights violations in these prisons remain classified and unseen.

The network of secret detention centers operated by the US around the world must be opened to scrutiny by independent human rights groups and those responsible for torture, no matter how senior, must be held accountable. It is also worth noting that this administration never finds it 'absurd' when we criticize Cuba, China, or when we condemned the violations in Iraq under Saddam Hussein."
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