December 11, 2005

"Human Rights" Lawfare Revealed

In a previous article I speculated that the US is running a shell game on "human rights" organizations with its "secret CIA prisons" story. The previous article left some threads dangling:

Why put quotes areound "human rights"?
Why would the US do such a thing?

A great illustration of the reasons behind both is here. A Danish paper exercises free speech and publishes images of Islam's prophet and threats of violence and state action ensue. The Danish paper acted entirely within the law but the "UN High Commissioner for Human Rights" is on the case and seems to be on the side against free speech and for threats to shut down same.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour was investigating the matter. "I understand your attitude to the images that appeared in the newspaper," Arbour wrote the Organization of the Islamic Conference. "I find alarming any behaviors that disregard the beliefs of others. This kind of thing is unacceptable."

So if an entirely legal political cartoon is going to put a newspaper and several cartoonists under legal scrutiny and difficulty, what are the fates of US military and civilian interrogators of muslim terrorists? Can they look forward to anything other than investigation after investigation, with threats to follow for even completely false accusations?

Why would the US subject itself voluntarily to this sort of lawfare? It wouldn't if it had any sense. If we had a healthy human rights sector, investigating a Danish publication on human rights grounds for publishing a few cartoons should have led to widespread calls for the firing of the current commissioner. It hasn't. This makes the use of scare quotes fully justified. The "human rights" sector is sick and needs reform.

The War on Terror has no business voluntarily getting caught up in that fight. Thus a lack of information sharing, thus a lack of cooperation, thus an operation that actually is free enough to do its real job of interrogating prisoners not covered by any of the laws of war because they are the worst sort of international war criminals.

Posted by TMLutas at December 11, 2005 11:00 AM