Thursday, June 09, 2005

 

Is Amnesty International Now An Enemy?

Apparently, yes - a cowardly enemy.

Dr. William F. Schulz Executive Director, Amnesty International USA wants foreign governments to arrest and try Americans for violations of international law:
If the US government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior US officials involved in the torture scandal. And if those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them.
Schultz goes on to announce a new AI campaign:
Today, as we focus on the torture scandal, Amnesty International USA announces its new grassroots campaign, "Denounce Torture: Stop It Now!" Public opinion surveys have shown that Americans oppose the use of torture, and Amnesty International will work to turn that opposition into action. We will educate and mobilize tens of thousands of people around the country to take action to end torture and ill treatment and pressure the government to hold individuals accountable at all levels of the chain of command.
This statement was released May 25; the media have ignored it:
A different omission marred the reporting of Amnesty International's report charging torture in U.S. detainment camps. The group didn't just call Guantanamo a "gulag," an over-the-top remark that was universally reported. In a press release that most reporters ignored, the group also invited foreign governments to snatch certain visiting American officials off the streets and bring them to trial for crimes against humanity. The suggested snatchees, should they travel abroad, were President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA Director George Tenet, and other unnamed civilian and military officials. Amnesty International said that "all states have a responsibility to investigate and prosecute people responsible for these crimes," just as the British pounced on Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998. The snatching recommendation wasn't new, but the Amnesty press release is a useful reminder of the dangers of signing on to the International Criminal Court.
Steven Den Beste, for one, saw this ICC business coming:
The actual principle to which they (Europeans) refer is more or less summarized thusly:
The International Criminal Court will prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, but it will step in only when countries are unwilling or unable to dispense justice themselves.
See? No problem. As long as the US keeps its own house clean, the ICC won't step in.

No, not exactly. The key word in there which is causing the problem is "unwilling". What the government of the US has been claiming is that enemies of the US will use the ICC to try to persecute American soldiers or politicians frivolously as a way of getting revenge. Given that we're the top dog, the strongest nation, the one a lot of people resent, there are bound to be such cases.

So suppose that one of our enemies claims that something done by the US which we consider a legitimate act of war is rather a "war crime". The US looks at the claim and decides that it's ridiculous, and refuses to even consider investigation.

Bang! The US is "unwilling" to investigate or prosecute, and now the ICC has jurisdiction. It can, in principle, order arrests, confine those who are captured, try them and sentence them (in actuality or in absentia) all without any consent or control by the US.
(Den Beste posts about the explicit list of crimes over which the ICC claims jurisdiction here.)

Fortunately, Congress also saw this coming and passed the American Servicemembers' Protection Act of 2002, which President Bush signed.

Captain Ed gets it right:
That's quite a stringent call coming from AI -- a demand that foreign governments ignore diplomatic immunity and seize traveling officials from the United States, in order to put them on trial in a kangaroo court. I wonder, did Schulz make the same demand about Fidel Castro, Kim Jong-Il, the Iranian mullahs, or any of the other dictators around the world that really do practice torture on their own populations, or worse. Apparently not; Amnesty only unleashes its venom on freely elected leaders, a rather cowardly act masquerading as telling truth to power.

These revelations absolutely destroy any credibility for AI as a nonpartisan, independent organization dedicated to human rights. It has sold itself out as yet another tiresome, radical Leftist screaming machine with double standards so ridiculous that their very scope amounts to self-satire.
---------------
We elect our leaders, and we hold them accountable. Moreover, when we send our leaders abroad to interact with leaders of other countries, we expect those countries to extend normal diplomatic status, or to warn in advance when that status will not be extended. Violating that status by imprisoning our leaders and diplomats is an act of war against the United States. Those joining in Amnesty International's call for other nations to commit an act of war against us should be held politically accountable for their position.
They should also be held criminally liable, as should anyone who supports them. This includes those who join AI's new "grass roots" campaign should it advocate or attempt to facilitate foreign governments committing an act of war against the US or seek in any way to involve the ICC in the war.

Update:
Bryan Preston comments:
Schultz should face charges for treason and he should be tried as an enemy agent of influence. The facts on that are plain--he tried to persuade foreign powers to cripple our government while we are engaged in hostilities. It should be a straightforward trial from that point of view. The discovery portion of the trial should focus on Amnesty's financial records, seeking proof that Schultz and his organization have been bought and paid for by some foreign power (probably via CAIR or some similar Islamist mouthpiece) or by some Soros-esque figure.

Yeah, that's a fantasy, I know. This nation doesn't take treason seriously anymore and doesn't prosecute traitors. If it did, Schultz wouldn't be the only one facing jeopardy.
He's right. It's time we started taking treason seriously again, before it's too late.

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