Saturday, June 18, 2005

Gulag survivor bitch-slaps Amnesty International 
From the nation's best newspaper, the Washington Post

Several days ago I received a telephone call from an old friend who is a longtime Amnesty International staffer. He asked me whether I, as a former Soviet "prisoner of conscience" adopted by Amnesty, would support the statement by Amnesty's executive director, Irene Khan, that the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba is the "gulag of our time."

"Don't you think that there's an enormous difference?" I asked him.

"Sure," he said, "but after all, it attracts attention to the problem of Guantanamo detainees...."

The most effective way to criticize U.S. behavior is to frankly acknowledge that this country should be held to a higher standard based on its own Constitution, laws and traditions. We cannot fulfill our responsibilities as the world's only superpower without being perceived as a moral authority. Despite the risks posed by terrorism, the United States cannot indefinitely detain people considered dangerous without appropriate safeguards for their conditions of detention and periodic review of their status.

Words are important. When Amnesty spokesmen use the word "gulag" to describe U.S. human rights violations, they allow the Bush administration to dismiss justified criticism and undermine Amnesty's credibility. Amnesty International is too valuable to let it be hijacked by politically biased leaders.

Nice to see the kids put down by the adults.

And he's absolutely right - America needs to uphold a higher standard. Because, dammit, we're 'Muricans! (Fuck, yeah!)

Splash out


"Justifiable criticism" goes right down the drain when the only critics are caught so blatantly lying. Puts their other "points" into a different perspective. Considering the depths to which these critics (critics of Bush of course) can bring themselves, lying about some minor mistreatment would be totally meaningless in comparison. Which is too bad, because the truth deserves to be known, with no ambiguity.
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