WASHINGTON -- The United States set the international standard for freedom and democracy decades ago but recently has fallen far short of the mark, often becoming an "impediment" to the sort of human rights that it once championed, Amnesty International says in a report to be issued Wednesday.
The organization put Washington's recent record at the top of a list of "the five greatest disappointments" in the field of human rights in the past 40 years.
"Twenty-five years ago, (President) Jimmy Carter made human rights a central tenet of his foreign policy," the report says. "Today, however, the United States is as frequently an impediment to human rights as it is an advocate."
The report says Carter's successors in the White House "have ignored or opposed several key human rights treaties."
It cites specifically the Clinton administration's opposition to pacts banning the use of land mines and establishing an international criminal court.
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