« Batman Mini-Review | Main | Kurds Riot in Iran »
June 15, 2005

Hitchens on Terrorist-Coddlers

Great stuff:

About Amnesty International's disgraceful performance, however, I can tell as well as ask. I was at one point quite close to its London headquarters, and I used to both carry and return messages for the organization when I went as a reporter to screwed-up countries. The founding statutes were quite clear: An Amnesty local was to adopt three "prisoners of conscience," one from either side of the Cold War and one from a "neutral" state. Letters were to be written to the relevant governments and to newspapers in free countries. Though physical torture and capital punishment were opposed in all cases, no overt political position was to be taken. (I remember there was quite a row when an Amnesty "country report" on Argentina went so far as to describe a guerrilla raid as "daring.") By adhering to these rules, AI became a credible worldwide group to which even the most repressive governments sometimes had to pay attention. All honor to its founder Peter Benenson, who died earlier this year.

And now look. I think it is fairly safe to say that not one detainee in Guantanamo is there because of an expression of opinion. (And those whose "opinion" is that all infidels must die are not exactly prisoners of conscience.) Morally neutral on this point, apparently, Amnesty nonetheless finds its voice by describing the prison itself as "the gulag of our times." No need to waste words here: Not everyone in the gulag was a "prisoner of conscience," either. But if an organization that ostensibly protects the rights of prisoners is unaware of the nature of a colossal system of forced labor and arbitrary detention—replete with physical torture, starvation, and brutal execution—then the moral compass has become disordered beyond repair. This is not even neutrality between the fireman and the fire. It surely expresses a covert sympathy with the aims and objectives of jihad and an overt, if witless and sinister, hatred of the United States. If only this were the only symptom of that tendency.

Thanks to NickS.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:22 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Tom Servo: "This issue reminds me of Ralph Peters letting his ..."

Rizzo the Rat: "Man, ace, could you go easy on us? All we're doing ..."

ThePrimordialOrderedPair: "[i]Turning to the Washington political infrastruct ..."

Bandersnatch: "[i] Nobody should mess with what God created natur ..."

Dack Thrombosis: "Somewhere a cuck masturbates to old episodes of Ha ..."

Our Country is Screwed: "So the rampant insubordination to PDT, the unlawfu ..."

Your Decidedly Devious Uncle Palpatine, 501st Kremlin Jewbot Gvardii: "19. Obamanations works. ..."

simplemind: "He never said he wanted to spend more time with hi ..."

Gumby: "12 Im not worried. Billie Cristal and Jonah G have ..."

DaveA[/i][/b][/u][/s]: "[i]Obamaites[/i]Vic likes Obamanites.Obamanians mi ..."

Cuthbert the Witless: "Unfieerable bureaucrats who feel that they can tak ..."

Guy Mohawk: "Oh its Deep alright, and Cold too.I mean that in b ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64