Wednesday, May 25, 2005

"The Gulag of Our Time"

Amnesty International is out with its annual report on human rights abuses around the world. Predictably, the organization reserved some of its harshest criticism for the U.S., and the detention centers where we house suspected terrorists. Amnesty President Irene Kahn branded the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba "a human rights failure," describing the facility as the "gulag our time."

Such remarks are simply beneath contempt. Amnesty International and other, self-styled human rights groups conveniently forget a few salient facts about the detainees at Guantanamo and other locations. First, they are among the most dangerous terrorists on earth--individuals whose hatred of life and freedom make them an immient danger to human rights of millions of people around. Following the recommended criteria of Amnesty International, these terrorists should be provided with free legal counsel and full access to the U.S. judicial system, where liberal judges would, undoutedly, set many of them free to kill and kill again. From my perspective, the U.S. is advancing the cause of human rights by keeping those terrorists in prison and liberating millions who would otherwise be threatened by them.

Secondly, many of these detainees swear allegiance to terrorist organizations (namely Al Qaida) that have no standing under the Geneva Convention or other intenational protocols. In fact, under those agreements, Al Qaida and Taliban operatives caught in Afghanistan and elsewhere could be summarily--and legally--executed. Instead, the U.S. has offered humane treatment, including food, shelter, clothing and the right to practice their religious faith. At least one Al Qaida prisoner at Gitmo, after being nursed back to health by American military doctors, observed that "we're fighting the wrong people."

Thirdly, reports and accusations of prisoner abuse have been investigated and resolved, although Amnesty and its liberal allies are dissatisfied with the results, because the inquires haven't implicated senior Bush Administration officials. Indeed, the most comprehensive inquiry into those charges--completed by the DOD a few weeks ago--seems to confirm what most of us already know. Incidents of prisoner abuse and torture--while deplorable--are few and far between.

That's a far cry from Amnesty's accusations of a "gulag" at Guantanamo Bay. But it's hardly surprising. Go the the on-line version of their 2005 report, and look at Amnesty's assessment of human rights conditions in China and North Korea, where the gulag is alive and well. To its credit, the organization details some of the human rights abuses that are associated with those regimes. But you'll never find find the word "gulag" mentioned in conjunction with those two brutal dictatorships, where thousands are detained in slave labor camps, and millions have died at the hands of their communist masters.

Let me get this straight: the genocide of those evil governments, carried out systemically for more than 50 years, doesn't equal a state-run "gulag," but isolated abuse of suspected terrorists at Gitmo more that meets that definition.

Such hypocrisy is simply galling.....

No comments: