Saudi King Spurns Summit, US Before US Human Rights Body

Editor’s Note – The ‘chickens are coming home to roost’ because of the collective failures of the Obama/Clinton/Kerry foreign policy failures. Putin is flexing Russia’s muscles and he is now cozy with China, and the entire Middle East is in complete disarray.

Perhaps an example of how bad it is, now the Obama Administration is laying prostrate before the U.N. Human Rights Council, and the new Saudi king has spurned Obama’s invitation to attend the big Camp David Summit with Arab Leaders and a one-on-one with Obama himself:

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, escort President Barack Obama to his meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim, Saudi Arabia, Friday, March 28, 2014. Rawdat Khuraim is a green oasis located 62 miles northwest of the capital city of Riyadh and King Abdullah's private desert encampment is located within Rawdat Khuraim. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, escort President Barack Obama to his meeting with Saudi King Abdullah at Rawdat Khuraim, Saudi Arabia. The meeting did not happen.

In a statement, al-Jubeir said the summit Thursday coincides with a humanitarian cease-fire in the conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting Shiite rebels known as Houthis. He said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also interior minister, would lead the Saudi delegation and the king’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is defense minister, will also attend.

President Barack Obama had planned to meet Salman one-on-one a day before the gathering of leaders at the presidential retreat but the White House did not take his decision to skip the summit as a sign of any substantial disagreement with the U.S.

The king, who took power in January after his brother King Abdullah died, has not traveled abroad since his ascension to the throne.

At the summit, leaders of Gulf nations will be looking for assurance that Obama has their support when the region feels under siege from Islamic extremists and Syria, Iraq and Yemen are in various states of chaos. Arab allies also feel threatened by Iran’s rising influence and worry the nuclear pact taking shape with the U.S., Iran and other nations may embolden Tehran to intrude more aggressively in countries of the region. (From the AP in Riyadh.)

The excuse sounds valid, but the King could be much more productive for his country and the Yemen/Iran issues by attending the summit – so the excuse to us is basically a snub; an insult! This is not the first time King Salman spurned Obama. Back in March when Obama was in Saudi Arabia, a meeting was supposed to be held on the 28th; it never happened.

The bigger insult, among many others, is having to explain our ‘policing’ issues here in the USA to the U.N. human rights body. When we see who sits in that body, the insult grows ever larger. Recently a statement about how best to hide your human rights abuses is to sit on that body. Hide in plain sight.

This is also the second time the US has been reviewed since 2010 – during the tenure of the man who had the best position in US history to advance race relations in this country. Instead, it is now ‘open season’ on our police, Guantanamo is still open, and Obama still bows everywhere. Embarrassing!

US Defends Record Before Top UN Human Rights Body

BY GEIR MOULSON – ASSOCIATED PRESS, Berlin, Germany

The United States heard widespread concern Monday over excessive use of force by law-enforcement officials against minorities as it faced the U.N.’s main human rights body for a review of its record.

Washington also faced calls to work toward abolishing the death penalty, push ahead with closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center and ensure effective safeguards against abuses of Internet surveillance. Its appearance before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva is the second review of the U.S. rights record, following the first in 2010.

AP Photo/Alexander ZemlianichenkoRussian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping watching the Victory Parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe.
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko – Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping watching the Victory Parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe.

A string of countries ranging from Malaysia to Mexico pressed the U.S. to redouble efforts to prevent police using excessive force against minorities.

“We must rededicate ourselves to ensuring that our civil-rights laws live up to their promise,” Justice Department official James Cadogan told delegates, adding that that is particularly important in the area of police practices and pointing to recent high-profile cases of officers killing unarmed black residents.

“These events challenge us to do better and to work harder for progress through both dialogue and action,” he said at the session’s opening. He added that the government has the authority to prosecute officials who “wilfully use excessive force,” and that criminal charges have been brought against more than 400 law-enforcement officials in the past six years.

Several countries, including Brazil and Kenya, voiced concern over the extent of U.S. surveillance in the light of reports about the National Security Agency’s activities.

David Bitkower, a deputy assistant attorney general, responded that “U.S. intelligence collection programs and activities are subject to stringent and multilayered oversight mechanisms.” He added that the country doesn’t collect intelligence to suppress dissent or to give U.S. businesses a competitive advantage, and that there is “extensive and effective oversight to prevent abuse.”

Faced with widespread calls for a moratorium on executions and a move to scrap the death penalty, Bitkower noted that it is an issue of “extensive debate and controversy” within the U.S. He pointed to “heightened procedural safeguards” for defendants prosecuted for capital offenses.

Brig. Gen. Richard Gross, the legal counsel to the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, told the council that President Barack Obama has said closing Guantanamo – in which he has been thwarted by Congress – is “a national imperative.” The remaining detainees are detained lawfully, he said.

The so-called Universal Periodic Reviews of U.N. member nations’ human rights records started in 2008. Each country’s record is reviewed roughly every four years.