A second sobering reality is that insecurity due to internal or cross-border conflict can threaten gains in human rights and democratic government.
Despite the Iraqi Government's continued commitment to foster national reconciliation and reconstruction, to keep to an electoral course and to establish the rule of law, deepening sectarian violence and acts of terrorism seriously undercut human rights and democratic progress.
Officers at our overseas posts go to great lengths to gather factual information for these reports.
Here we are -- over 1,800 pages and they will be posted on our website immediately after this briefing.
The reports are based on information we receive from governments and multilateral institutions, from indigenous and international non-governmental groups, from academics, jurists and the media.
We recognize that we are issuing this report at a time when our own record and actions we have taken to respond to the terrorist attacks against us have been questioned.
Our country was born in the belief that all people, regardless of race, creed, or culture are free by nature and equal in dignity; that when given a truly unfettered choice, human beings will choose liberty over oppression, the natural right to life over the constant fear of death, the right to own property over random search and seizure, and that they will choose to be ruled by the consent of the governed, not by the coercion of the state.
These basic rights should be the source of justice in every society and the basis for peace among states.
Consequently, our strategy is based on three elements: monitoring internet freedom in countries around the world, responding to threats to internet freedom and advancing internet freedom by expanding access to the internet.