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The U.S. has long touted itself as a defender of human rights, but the so-called practice of American human rights has proven just to be a fig leaf covering up for frequent instances of arbitrary torture and prisoner abuse scandals at the country’s “black sites.”

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has set up “black sites” in many countries under the pretext of its “War on Terror” to secretly put alleged terrorist suspects under arbitrary detention and extort confessions using torture techniques.

The Guardian reported that, according to a newly declassified report of the U.S. government, a detainee at a secret CIA detention site in Afghanistan was used as a living prop to teach trainee interrogators torture techniques. Brutal and horrifying “enhanced interrogation techniques,” including torture, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, knocking prisoners’ heads against walls, and dousing them with ice-cold water, all of which are cruel acts against humanity, have reportedly been used at these “black sites.”

The Costs of War project based at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University published early this year indicated that the U.S. has set up “black sites” in at least 54 countries and regions around the world, and has detained hundreds of thousands of people since the 9/11 attacks, including Muslims, women and juveniles. U.S. taxpayers are spending $540 million a year just to support the detainment of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

While trampling on the rule of law and violating human rights, the U.S., a self-anointed “beacon of human rights,” has meanwhile casted a scrutinizing light onto others all while keeping itself shrouded in the dark.

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