Thursday, May 26, 2005

Amnesty International report slamming US

Read Peggy McGuinness and Julian Ku at Opinio Juris on Amnesty International's US-slamming report. The report (update: actually, its press releases) is noteworthy for two things - first, calling Guantanamo the "gulag" of the 21st century and, second, calling for foreign jurisdictions to arrest and try a long series of current or former US government officials for complicity in torture. I agree with the Washington Post's editorial today that calling Guantanamo a gulag profoundly distorts history - and I would add dishonors Stalin's victims. (Not that AI, these days, would care.) And I agree with Julian Ku that Amnesty International is sliding over the edge into that dubious territory occupied by Noam Chomsky and Ramsey Clark. In fact, I would say that AI has managed to slither right over the edge.

Can Human Rights Watch be far behind? After all, viewed merely as oligopolists in the NGO-virtue market, in competition for headlines and column inches in the MSM, HRW and Amnesty tend to egg each other on. The even bigger question is ...

Can the ICRC be far behind? Memo to the ICRC: You too can slither right over the same edge as AI, and the crazy heart of that kind of craziness is you'll never recognize that you've even gone over the edge. Trapped in the adulation of your fans, intoxicated by your own sense of virtue ... virtue-rhetoric has a dangerous tendency to create its own path.

(Update, Friday, June 3, 2005: See this defense of US Guantanamo policy by Charles Krauthammer, via RCP, here. And even EJ Dionne takes Amnesty to task, here, via RCP.)

(Update, Friday, June 3, 2005: I have an article on this topic, "An American Gulag," appearing in next week's edition of the Weekly Standard. It should be up on its website by Saturday, June 3, 2005.)


Anonymous said...

woth reading

Skillipedia said...

We are conducting a survey on amnesty for illegal immigrants in the UK and the USA for the next 6 months at . We want to hear opinions from normal people - not political parties or think tanks.

Your opinions or feedback are much appreciated