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Where does the United States' human rights reputation stand six years after September 11? In releasing the State Department's 2006 Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Barry Lowenkron called 2006 "the year of the pushback." "As the worldwide push for greater personal and political freedom grows stronger," he noted, "it is being met with increasing resistance from those who feel threatened by change." What he did not fully analyze, however, is precisely why that pushback is occurring.

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