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No amnesty for the disingenuous

By Frank Salvato
web posted June 13, 2005

There is no doubt that the Internet has opened up a whole new way of communication for everyone who can access it. Email, websites, digital downloads; what used to take days if not weeks to communicate through letters and photographs can now be done in less that thirty seconds. So, it is curious how anyone can still be "played" by the disingenuous when it comes to ideological propaganda.

Recently, Amnesty International went to great pains to orchestrate a few well-attended press conferences. At each of these media events they repeated the same baseless allegation: The United States of America was running an "archipelago of gulags" around the world. They insisted that prisoners of war were "disappearing into" these "gulags."

Last week, Amnesty International USA's Executive Director William Schulz pretty much debunked his organization's "gulag" allegations. Schulz told Chris Wallace, the host of FOX News Sunday, "We don't know for sure what all is happening at Guantanamo and our whole point is that the United States ought to allow independent human rights organizations to investigate." He also said he had "absolutely no idea" whether the International Red Cross had been given access to all prisoners and said he feared others were being held at secret facilities or locations.

So, let's look at the facts of the matter without Amnesty International's contrived spin.

Detainees sitting in a holding area watched by military police at Camp X-Ray inside Naval Base Guantanamo Bay in January 2002
Detainees sitting in a holding area watched by military police at Camp X-Ray inside Naval Base Guantanamo Bay in January 2002

Amnesty International hasn't any proof whatsoever that any mistreatment of prisoners is taking place at Guantanamo Bay. In fact, they wouldn't know if the camp was being run by America's version of Colonel Klink and being guarded by a like version of Sergeant Schultz. For all they know Guantanamo Bay is the new Area 51 complete with both living and dead extra-terrestrials. (Let's see how long it takes for that to make the rounds)

The inclination not to believe the allegations made by Amnesty International is further bolstered by the fact that Mr. Schultz admitted they had no information on whether or not the International Red Cross had seen all the prisoners at Gitmo. Seeing as the IRC, is about as clandestine as Richard Simmons this notion is very hard to entertain. The fact that the two organizations routinely find themselves on the top ten lists of organizations that spew condemnation of America would lead one to believe that their respective chairmen have "red phones" to each other's offices on their desks.

So, Amnesty International has no proof of any prisoner mistreatment and they haven't a clue as to the conditions inside Guantanamo Bay. Based upon their own admission they have no business making allegations. It doesn't take a leftist ideologue to deduce that their accusations are a manifestation of their anti-war in Iraq, anti-War on Terror, anti-America and anti-George W. Bush doctrine.

Amnesty International held sensationalized press conference "fiction fests" to get its name back in the news. As a wise man once said, ‘any press is good press.' I can't remember who said it so I will just attribute it to Al Gore. He invented everything, so I am told.

When it all comes down to it, Amnesty International really has nothing to crow about. Looking at all of the true atrocities taking place throughout the world it is fair to say that they have failed miserably in their mission statement while targeting the one government who has done the most to further the ideal of human rights.

Two weeks ago, the United States released a list of 14 countries that have failed to do enough to stop the modern-day practice of slave-trading. That slavery is still an issue in the 21st Century is absolutely appalling. What is even more appalling is that while the US list includes some close allies in the War on Terror and threatens them with economic sanctions if they continue to be delinquent in taking measures to halt this very real atrocity, Amnesty International railed against the United States calling our government officials human rights violators.

In Amman, Jordan two weeks ago the second "honor killing" of the week took place. A young Muslim man tied the hands of his sister, gagged her and took her to a deserted area west of that town where he stabbed her to death. The divorced 25-year old woman was slaughtered because her brother said she was "involved in immoral relationships." Nineteen female citizens of that country died at the hand of that immoral ideology last year. Their murderers either went unpunished or received reduced sentences, often without jail time. Meanwhile, Amnesty International railed against the United States branding our government officials human rights violators.

In Sudan hundreds of thousands are being starved to death and murdered at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. Children are being raped at the hands of UN Peacekeepers in Darfur. Yet Indignantly, Amnesty International fabricates human rights violations against the United States government.

Is Amnesty International being disingenuous? Only in the extreme sense of the word.

The word atrocity is so over-used by blowhards like Williams Schulz that its meaning is being obfuscated. This is very dangerous. We should never allow the meaning of so chilling a word to be revised and the events it rightfully describes rendered inconsequential.

I urge Mr. Schulz and the rest of the "silver-spoon crowd" who like to throw around the word atrocity to watch a video clip titled, Eleven Deaths Before Your Eyes, hosted by Don'tStare.net. I will warn you up front, this is probably going to be the most disturbingly graphic thing you will ever witness if you haven't been to war. It is not for the faint of heart but it is a reality in the world of Islamic fundamentalism and it is the very definition of atrocity.

After bearing witness to a true and real atrocity, courtesy of the Internet, perhaps the privileged, insulated elite who feel compelled to hold press conferences to accuse the greatest provider of humanitarian aid and freedom the world has ever known of human rights violations will think twice. Then again, even the technological marvel that is the Internet would have a problem getting through heads that thick.

Frank Salvato is Vice President and Executive Director of the Basics Project and managing editor for TheRant.us. His pieces are regularly featured in Townhall.com. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and numerous radio shows. His pieces have been recognized by the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention and are periodically featured in The Washington Times as well as other national and international publications. He can be contacted at oped@therant.us Copyright © 2005 Frank Salvato


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