We knew it would happen, and it has: the rest of the world is following our lead on treatment of detainees and torture.
AP story this morning: Detainee Treatment Emulated
Manfred Nowak, the UN “special rappporteur” on torture, said that “when he criticizes governments for their questionable treatment of detainees, they respond by telling him that if the United States does something, it must be all right.”
Another money quote:
“The United States has been the pioneer, if you wish, of human rights and is a country that has a high reputation in the world,” Nowak said. “Today, many other governments are kind of saying, ‘But why are you criticizing us? We are not doing something different than what the United States is doing.'”
As another diarist said on dailyKos, even when other countries disagreed with us or resented us, there was always a feeling that the US was based on a different set of principles, that we were the nation founded on the idea of freedom and respect for human rights. If we abandon those ideals, we are nothing but another big, arrogant country.
And the world turns away, disappointed, even as they throw our actions back in our face.