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Here Comes the UN's Libyan Blights Council

There's a section of blather about the improvement of prison conditions (and perhaps they have somewhat improved, since Qaddafi's regime massacred up to 1,200 prisoners at Libya's Abu Salim Prison, and according to one witness, covered up the killings by dumping bodies in a trench and covering them with cement).

There's also a boast that "the existing law on prisons in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is considered one of the most modern laws in the world." Who is doing this considering is not mentioned. But the modernity of Libyan prison law seems to have escaped the notice of the U.S. State Department, which notes in its 2009 human rights report on Libya that prisoners there are subjected by security forces to "cruel, inhuman, or degrading conditions" and denied adequate medical care (see the death in 2009 of leading Libyan dissident Fathi Eljahmi).

In a similar vein, Libya's statement extols Qaddafi's "Great Green Charter of Human Rights of the Era of the Masses," lists a jumble of UN conventions to which Libya is signatory (which ought to make you worry about those conventions), and winds up with another brief flash of honesty that ought to scare the daylights out of anyone really concerned with human rights. Namely, Libya plans to make a special effort "to advance and promote human rights" in keeping with its membership in the League of Arab States, the African Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (head-quartered in Jeddah) and the Non-Aligned Movement (recently chaired by Cuba, now planning a 2012 summit on Iran's Kish Island, according to the Tehran Times).

You get the idea.

But here's the point. Any UN member state that votes to put Libya on the Human Rights Council has received this bilge, swallowed it, and flashed a thumbs up. For that matter, any state that fails to protest actively, explicitly and quite loudly is complicit in this monstrous perversion of the most basic principles of human rights.

The clock is ticking down the last few hours before this vote. Will we hear anything from President Obama's Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice? For that matter, will we hear anything from the outreach-loving White House? Under Obama, the U.S. joined the Human Rights Council last year, with the stated aim of trying to improve it from within. The U.S. bankrolls almost one-quarter of the budget of the same General Assembly that will vote Thursday on Libya's bid for a seat on that Human Rights Council. Is a UN Libyan Blights Council what Americans are about to get for their money?