Recently, a spokesman of the US State Department stated that America was “disturbed” at the treatment meted out to peaceful anti-Putin protestors in Moscow. This partly led to President Putin cancelling a scheduled meeting with President Obama. Further, Mr Putin did not attend the G-8 Summit held recently at Camp David. The concern of the US State Department is a bit hypocritical, keeping in mind the sordid treatment being meted out to peaceful US protestors, to air travellers at the US airports, and to others in the length and breadth of the country. It may be helpful if the US authorities turn their gaze inwards, instead of focusing on other countries. Of course, the administration in Washington will not do that since it is pursuing the agenda of international bankers, who wish to transform the US into a police state that, in fact, it now is. Leaving aside the unconstitutional and uncontrolled domestic spying, one may, very briefly, describe how the US authorities deal with the protestors, homeless people and air travellers.

The nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement, which reflected the deep discontent and anger of the American public at their exploitation, drew very little coverage from the mainstream US media. It was astonishing when the Federal Reserve, owned by the international bankers, doled out $12.3 trillion to salvage banks owned by these very families or their stooges, but refused to give $0.14 trillion to state governments to ease out the plight of the suffering American people. Tens of millions are now homeless and needless to say, right to shelter is one of the most basic human rights. The US government being the biggest claimant of human rights should have been disturbed by this violation of human rights on its own soil, under its very nose.

Whatever little coverage the mainstream media, owned by six giant corporations, gave to this peaceful movement, was, as a matter of policy, generally biased and contemptuous. This allowed and encouraged the police and other agencies to carry out “law enforcement” measures to the extreme. Countless video footages posted on the internet show how the police abuses the US citizens engaged in peaceful protest. You can hear the protestors say, “we are not doing anything”, but the police goes on crushing them on the pavement, banging their heads against parked calls or throwing them brutally on the ground and arresting them for no reason. If the non-Americans in a different continent are enraged by what they see how would those experiencing it feel? Kids as young as eight and women as old as 84 have been pepper-sprayed!

Students staging peaceful protests on campuses are assaulted by well fed, armed policemen, who pepper-spray them and manhandle them brutally. YouTube will show you visually what is going on. Now some states have passed laws, which forbid anyone from recording police brutality! Is the US not a police state now? And yet the endless parroting of human rights violations abroad by the mainstream US media and the State Department continues.

The use of tasers by the US authorities has continued for a decade, despite numerous deaths and continued protests and warnings by various human rights organisations and researchers. A taser pierces the skin with two barbs sitting at the end of electrical wires carrying 50,000 volts! Ken Adachi wrote on February 15, 2012: “Based on number of taser deaths that I discovered by searching the internet in 2005, the death toll is likely over 1,000 and possibly close to 2,000. The only way to determine a more accurate figure is to search the internet for newspaper accounts of taser deaths. This needs to be done state by state, month by month and year by year.……You cannot rely on police reporting to accurately determine how many people are killed with taser guns. The FBI in recent decades were known for under-reporting, and in some cases, ‘not’ reporting certain crimes, such as those of “missing” kids. Can we expect more honesty on the part of the police department when it comes to taser deaths?”

The insensitivity and inhumanity of US rulers and the corporate US media is quite astonishing - on the one hand, they are willing to lie about human rights abuses in other countries and on the other, they are utterly deaf and blind to the treatment being meted out to their own citizens. There has been a progressive and probably calculated rise in police brutality in the US and it appears that the entire thing is being carried out systematically to either see how far the people can take it or to get them attuned to increasingly brutal and degrading treatment.

As Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones wrote about Transportation Security Administration (TSA): “TSA abuse at airports is completely out of control with more and more cases of security workers groping women, fondling children, abusing naked body scanners, and interrogating passengers emerging every week, and yet the government’s answer to the epidemic of oppression is to hand TSA thugs more power with which to harass Americans.” They further point out that men like Michael Chertoff, former DHS Head, pushed for the use of body scanners, despite the fact that “scientists at Columbia University and the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety, along with other scientific bodies, have all warned that the devices increase the risk of developing cancer.”

The abuse by TSA has led the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to request passengers to report abuse during passenger screening in US airports. In particular, they wish the people to report on the following five points:

a) Being “forced to go through AIT machines” i.e. full-body or “naked scanners”; b) “Unnecessary groping of passenger’s breasts or genital areas”;

c) “humiliating experiences”;

d) “lack of privacy during pat-downs”; and

e) “lack of respect for religious requirements”.

Several books can be compiled based on incidents that passengers have reported about TSA abuses. They are simply disgusting and yet the US government has the cheek to talk of human rights abuses in every corner of the globe, except the United States of America! Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely - it also makes you absolutely inhuman.

n    The writer is the vice chancellor of the University of the Punjab.