In February, 2001, the Bush State Department issued a highly critical report documenting Russia’s human rights abuses, both domestically and with regard to its treatment of foreign detainees. I found the document randomly today while searching for something else. Among the Russian moral outrages we protested:
1. Monitoring of internet traffic, telephone calls, and pagers without judicial approval caused serious concern.
2. Lengthy pretrial detention
3. Law enforcement personnel regularly using torture to coerce confessions from suspects and that the Government not holding most of the torturers accountable for their actions.
4. Torture by police officers occurring within the first few hours or days of arrest, taking the forms of beatings with fists, batons, or other objects; asphyxiation using gas masks or bags (sometimes filled with mace); electric shocks; or suspension of body parts (e.g. suspending a victim from the wrists, which are tied together behind the back).
5. Proceedings taking place behind closed doors and the defendants and their attorneys being denied the details of the charges.
6. While the President made statements about the need for a “dictatorship of law,” the Government has not institutionalized the rule of law required to protect human rights.
7. There were reports of Government involvement in politically motivated disappearances in Chechnyans.
8. The NGO Memorial claimed in October that the total number of detainees had exceeded 15,000 persons. Many of these persons disappeared, but the majority were bought back by relatives
9. The concentration of ownership of major media organizations — already a serious threat to editorial independence in 1999 — increased during the year.
10. Internet experts and right-to-privacy advocates say that interagency technical regulations called SORM-2 (SORM is the Russian acronym for System for Operational Investigative Measures), which were issued by the Ministry of Communications, the FSB, the Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information, and other agencies present a serious threat to privacy rights, and violate the Civil Code, the Constitution, and international norms.
11. Internet service providers were required to install, at their own expense, a device that routes all Internet traffic to an FSB terminal. Those providers that did not comply with the requirements faced either loss of their licenses or denial of their license renewal.
You would have thought that since 911, the US government might have shown some discretion with regard to lecturing to other countries about human rights abuses. Not so.