Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The WSJ on Amnesty International and the War On Terror

Good editorial in the WSJ today regarding Amnesty International, their recent 'gulag' comment, and the treatment of terrorists. Two quick points: it's not just that the gulag comparison is wrong factually; the use of the world gulag carries moral baggage. North Korea has a gulag, Stalinist Russia had one - but the very concept is antithetical to America as an entity. Instead, we have some regrettable, disgusting, isolated instances, not a nationwide policy as in the two communist regimes.

Second, the WSJ makes the point well that Amnesty and similar organizations have not changed their mindset properly to focus on terrorism; the prisoners held at Gitmo, Afghanistan, and Iraq are not political prisoners (at least the vast majority are not); they are terrorists. Good arguments can be made that we need to provide more legal options for these men; calling the prison system a 'gulag' does nothing to move the debate forward.

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