Counter-Terrorism: Look At Me

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November22, 2006: In the latest instance of human-rights groups sticking up for terrorists and their sponsors, Human Rights Watch has now come out with a report condemning the trial of Saddam Hussein. This is just the latest in a pattern of conduct that could best be described as a war against the war on terror waged by human rights groups.

Human Rights Watch has filed lawsuits in the past against the Department of Defense over prisoner treatment. In a very real sense, this group, along with others, has been trying to force the United States into treating terrorism as more of a law-enforcement matter. This approach has often failed, since terrorist organizations have been able to find out what the United States knew, as a result of court proceedings disclosures, and could therefore figure out how the United States found out, and take countermeasures. The human rights groups consider this a reasonable price to pay, in order to avoid trampling on the rights of accused terrorists.

The Saddam trial report itself takes aim at the prosecution, the judges, and even the defense counsel. But the report also takes issue with Saddam's sentence - death by hanging. It should be noted that the group seems to be content with issuing reports about violations of human rights, but often seems to shrink from actually doing anything about the violators. This is because the human rights groups are political organizations that need money and media attention in order to survive. They get neither by attacking terrorists.

Other human rights groups have also stuck up for terrorists, and major criminals, in the war on terror. In 2001, Amnesty International filed suit to get CIA documents pertaining to the 1993 effort to take down Pablo Escobar, the leader of the Medellin drug cartel. Later that year, Amnesty International waged a campaign that ultimately resulted in the release of Ahmed Hikmat Shakir from Jordanian custody. Shakir is an Iraqi national who escorted at least one of the hijackers (of the airliner that flew into the Pentagon) through Malaysian customs in January 2000, prior to attending the al-Qaeda summit held that same month. When taken into custody in Qatar, Shakir had contact information for the safehouses used in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and information on the 1995 al Qaeda plot to destroy airliners over the Pacific Ocean.

This report will be broadcast by a number of mainstream media outlets Human Rights Watch, many of whom opposed taking out Saddam's regime in the first place. It will also be ignored that the democratic Iraqi government that tried Saddam gave his rights far more consideration than Saddam gave those his regime killed - or to the potential victims of the terrorists he trained. This is not considered news. From a practical (attracting the largest audience), it isn't. The mass media, and special interest groups only survive by attracting attention to themselves. Often, all else is secondary. - Harold C. Hutchison (haroldc.hutchison@gmail.com)

 


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