Friday, June 10, 2005

Just What They Wanted

You just think they hated International Human Rights Organisations. You ain't seen nothin yet. The wingnuts at Crap 'n Quaaludes, as well as the knee-jerk torture-apologists at redstate.org link to an Amnesty USA report that, the wingnuts say, calls for the kidnapping of such saints as Bush, Rumsfeld, and Gonzales.

Actually, it calls for their arrest. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's observe redstate logic in chronological order.

First, they have great difficulty in substantiating the story. In the initial screed, though, the author quotes from Common Dreams posting by Jim Lobe, which is, in turn, quoting an AI/USA spokesman as saying:

''If those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them,'' he added. ''The apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like Acapulco or the French Riviera because they may find themselves under arrest as (former Chilean dictator) Augusto Pinochet famously did in London in 1998.''


So? This is called detaining, in compliance with international treaties, suspected war criminals. I realise that they've hated this law since that Spanish judge tried it on their favorite former South American dictator, but that's too bad. Henry Kissinger has to watch what countries he flies to now for the exact same reason, and it's a very just thing indeed that the old bastard does -- though it's a pity he hasn't been hauled to The Hague already. You wanted AI to show some consistency, you've got it. Why should American suspects be given a free pass but every other suspected war criminal be fair game? Oh, wait, don't answer: it's because an American (especially the Republican version thereof) is incapable of violating international law! We're above it! No American could possibly be a war criminal because Americans are good and the rest of the world is evil -- or, at least, they are the other team, which amounts to the same thing.

Then the wingnut commenters pile on, they are shocked, shocked! Instayokel and Concentration Camp-enthusiast Michelle Malkin link to the story, as you just knew they would. The redstaters finally find a link to the report. My god, Crap N' Quaaludes was right, it mentions Dear Leader by name! This is not only an opportunity to be once again unapologetically pro-torture and possibly cripple AI in the process, but also respond with outrage that some do-gooder IO has taken Dear Leader's name in vain and thus has committed blasphemy. Holes are punched in walls, spittle flies -- why, if they could torture those AI people...

absentee comments that, by God, even after he had started to rethink his position, it appears that AI is just a bunch of partisan hacks after all! Then he adds, almost as an afterthought, that he can't find the offending report on the main amnesty site.

Neither could I. Nor could I find it at Amnesty's Oz site, its British site, or its German site. I think it's logical to conclude that this report, then, was exclusively tailored for an American audience -- and, to be fair, an American President who had recently called AI "absurd".

But logic serves no purpose to wingnutia. The next comment, by Just Me, asks:

has AI called for the kidnap and trial of Castro? Kim Jong Il? Mugabe? Hu Jintao? Iran's Ayattollah? Or Assad? I can name others that should make the list long before we reach President Bush, Rumsfeld or Rice.


He is given several sarcastic replies in the negative by fellow wingnuts convinced they have found yet another double standard.

But I looked up "annual report" on some of those other AI sites, and, well, here's what I got from just a summary of the UK site's annual report:

* In Darfur, the Sudanese government generated a human rights catastrophe which the international community did too little too late to address
* In Haiti, individuals responsible for serious human rights violations were allowed to regain positions of power
* In the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo there was no effective response to the systematic rape of tens of thousands of women and children
* Despite the holding of elections, Afghanistan slipped into a downward spiral of lawlessness and instability which hampered efforts towards peace
* In Iraq there were gross human rights abuses by US-led forces, including unlawful killings and arbitrary detention, and by armed groups, who targeted civilians, took and killed hostages
* Russian soldiers reportedly tortured, raped and sexually abused Chechen women with impunity
* Zimbabwe's government manipulated food shortages for political reasons, continuing a campaign of repression aimed eliminating political opposition and silencing dissent


[snip]

"The USA, as the unrivalled political, military and economic hyper-power, sets the tone for governmental behaviour worldwide. When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity," said Irene Khan.

Many governments showed a shocking contempt for the rule of law. Nigeria granted Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, refugee status despite his indictment for killings, mutilations and rape


That's pretty even handed, but it won't be enough for wingnuts because, of course, the "truth" to them is that their adminstration's policies are as pure as the driven snow -- the American government is never guilty of anything in the international arena. To claim that it is, is to be "biased". Yes, they are that insane.

I'm still looking. I've found the Irish site's introduction to the 2005 AI Report. I've found the whole 2005 report online through the AI Canadian site. The intro to the Canadian site's 2005 report is a bit more complete than the Brit version. I'm pretty certain now that each country, if it's big enough or has a special issue (like IE with regard to the IRA and McCartney murders), has specialised messages from AI tailored to its natives.

Anyway, I want to go back, now, to the quote the wingnuts left out from Lobe's piece:

'If the U.S. government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior U.S. officials involved in the torture scandal,'' said Schulz, who added that violations of the torture convention, which has been ratified by the United States and some 138 other countries, can be prosecuted in any jurisdiction.


Then it goes on to cite various groups and officials in America who are not unhinged batshit wingnuts and therefore have called for bipartisan investigations into torture. "If the US continues to shirk" plus an endorsement of those who call for the US to properly investigate itself. If it does not, then it would be right for foreign countries to give American torturers the Pinochet treatment -- and by citing that Spanish precedent they are demonstrating that it's not just a thing to be aimed at Americans. Christ, wingnuts are paranoid.

You can probably expect what's next from the wingnuts. Yep, it's the treason charge, a perennial wingnut favorite but in cases like these quintessential:

act of treason or domestic terrorism? Since AIUSA is based out of New York, is calling for the arrest of US government officials and subjecting them to a court that is not recognized (ICC) an act of treason based on it being a call to overthrow the US government? If such an event were to occur, would the US government be justified in designating AIUSA a domestic terrorist organization? Assets frozen, building raided & shut down, and arrest of AIUSA directors would be a start.


As if this molotov cocktail of McCarthyist stupidity wasn't enough, for good measure he lobs this little dud of a firecracker:

To me this boils down to them being impotent and them trying to let everyone know that they are important (and money, isn't it always about the money).


Why yes, AI is just in it for the money. Note, however, the typical wingnut preference for perceived force, if it is only here expressed in the negative. Pussies! If AI had guns and some sojers and some cajones like Dubya...

Inevitably, a following fucktard approvingly cites this piece of shit article written by the genocide-enthusiast and master war criminal Henry Kissinger without mentioning Kissinger's own personal interest in fighting the concept of universal jurisdiction. Remember, these wingnuts are against dictators! They are for democracy! Yet to defend their current, younger criminals they will cite the odious arguments of their elder criminal whose crimes against humanity are myriad and massive and were executed exclusively in the service of thwarting democracies and aiding dictators.

A leftist busts these nutjobs on their "kidnapping" charge with a good analogy. Naturally, this goes over like a lead balloon and he's apparently banned.

What remains is an echo-chamber of idiocy and moral degeneracy. Wingnuts want to endorse the torture that the policies of head of their Cult makes possible. Demonising AI is the best way to do that right now.

*Edit: See also TBOGG, who catches Hindsocket confessing love for General Pinochet.

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