According to the Telegraph (10.13.2009), the Obama Administration has scrapped human rights from the US-Russia policy agenda.
Michael McFaul, Mrs. Clinton's top Russia adviser, told Kommersant, an influential daily Russian newspaper, Washington was ready to dilute its criticism of Kremlin rights abuses.Unfortunately, there have been other reports of the Obama Administration removing human rights from the table such as when Secretary Clinton said in February that Chinese human rights "can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis." Apparently, to the Administration, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are situational and not universal human rights no matter how "self-evident" our Founding Fathers considered them.
This is one of the consequences of subjecting U.S. national security policy to the blessing of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC). Since human rights abusers such as Russia and China have the power to veto any UNSC resolution, President Obama is choosing to pay the abusers' extortion and turn a blind eye to such things as China's enslavement of North Korean refugees and organ harvesting and to Russia's convenient inability to protect human rights activists and journalists from being "mysteriously" murdered.