Amnesty’s Shilling for US Wars

For decades, Amnesty International has been a respected name in the cause of human rights, but its recent hiring of Suzanne Nossel, a longtime U.S. “humanitarian interventionist,” has swung the organization more behind the Afghan War and the use of U.S. military force, Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley write.

By Ann Wright and Coleen Rowley

The new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA – Suzanne Nossel – is a recent U.S. government insider. So it’s a safe bet that AI’s decision to seize upon a topic that dovetailed with American foreign policy interests, “women’s rights in Afghanistan,” at the NATO Conference last month in Chicago came directly from her.

Nossel was hired by AI in January 2012. In her early career, Nossel worked for Ambassador Richard Holbrooke under the Clinton Administration at the United Nations. Most recently, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State, where she was responsible for multilateral human rights, humanitarian affairs, women’s issues, public diplomacy, press and congressional relations.

Amnesty International's "NATO: Keep the Progress Going" poster at a Chicago bus stop.

She also played a leading role in U.S. engagement at the U.N. Human Rights Council (where her views about the original Goldstone Report on behalf of Palestinian women did not quite rise to the same level of concerns for the women in countries that U.S.-NATO has attacked militarily).

Nossel would have worked for and with Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, and undoubtedly helped them successfully implement their “Right to Protect (R2P)” – otherwise known as “humanitarian intervention” – as well as the newly created “Atrocity Prevention Board.”

This cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy (which has served mainly to rationalize the launching of war on Libya) is now being hauled out to call for U.S.-NATO military intervention in Syria.

“Smart Power” = smart wars?

In fact, Nossel is herself credited as having coined the term “Smart Power,” which embraces the United States ’ use of military power as well as other forms of “soft power,” an approach which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at her confirmation as the new basis of State Department policy.

An excerpt from Nossel’s 2004 paper on “Smart Power” published in the Council on Foreign Relations’ Foreign Affairs magazine sounds a lot like Samantha Power’s (and also traces back to Madeleine Albright’s) theories:

“To advance from a nuanced dissent to a compelling vision, progressive policymakers should turn to the great mainstay of twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy: liberal internationalism, which posits that a global system of stable liberal democracies would be less prone to war.

“Washington, the theory goes, should thus offer assertive leadership — diplomatic, economic, and not least, military [our emphasis] — to  advance a broad array of goals: self-determination, human rights, free trade, the rule of law, economic development, and the quarantine and elimination of dictators and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).”

Perhaps the AI’s hiring of a State Department shill as executive director of its U.S. affiliate was merely coincidental to how/why its “NATO Shadow Summit ” so closely mimicked the CIA’s latest propaganda assault, but….

The “CIA Red Cell,” a group of analysts assigned to think “outside the box” to anticipate emerging challenges, was right to worry in March 2010 when the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) found that 80 percent of French and German citizens were opposed to continued deployment of their countries’ militaries in the U.S.-NATO war in Afghanistan.

Even though public apathy had, up to that point, enabled French and German politicians to “ignore their voters” and steadily increase their governments’ troop contributions to Afghanistan, the CIA’s newly-created think tank was concerned that a forecasted increase in NATO casualties in the upcoming “bloody summer … could become a tipping point in converting passive opposition into active calls for immediate withdrawal.”

In a “confidential” memo, the “Red Cell” wrote: “The Afghanistan mission’s low public salience has allowed French and German leaders to disregard popular opposition and steadily increase their troop contributions to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Berlin and Paris currently maintain the third and fourth highest ISAF troop levels, despite the opposition of 80 percent of German and French respondents to increased ISAF deployments, according to INR polling in fall 2009.

Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters …

“Only a fraction (0.1-1.3 percent) of French and German respondents identified ‘Afghanistan’ as the most urgent issue facing their nation in an open-ended question, according to the same polling. These publics ranked ‘stabilizing Afghanistan’ as among the lowest priorities for US and European leaders, according to polls by the German Marshall Fund (GMF) over the past two years.

“According to INR polling in the fall of 2009, the view that the Afghanistan mission is a waste of resources and ‘not our problem’ was cited as the most common reason for opposing ISAF by German respondents and was the second most common reason by French respondents. But the ‘not our problem’ sentiment also suggests that, so for, sending troops to Afghanistan is not yet on most voters’ radar.

“But Casualties Could Precipitate Backlash

“If some forecasts of a bloody summer in Afghanistan come to pass, passive French and German dislike of their troop presence could turn into active and politically potent hostility. The tone of previous debate suggests that a spike in French or German casualties or in Afghan civilian casualties could become a tipping point in converting passive opposition into active calls for immediate withdrawal.”

The CIA “Special Memorandum” went a step further, inviting “a CIA expert on strategic communication and analysts following public opinion” to suggest “information campaigns” that State Department polls showed likely to sway Western Europeans.

The “Red Cell” memo was quickly leaked, however, furnishing a remarkable window into how U.S. government propaganda is designed to work upon NATO citizenry to maintain public support for the euphemistically titled “International Security Assistance Force” (ISAF) waging war on Afghans. Here are some of the CIA propaganda expert’s suggestions:

“Messaging that dramatizes the potential adverse consequences of an ISAF defeat for Afghan civilians could leverage French (and other European) guilt for abandoning them. The prospect of the Taliban rolling back hard-won progress on girls’ education could provoke French indignation, become a rallying point for France’s largely secular public, and give voters a reason to support a good and necessary cause despite casualties. …

“Outreach initiatives that create media opportunities for Afghan women to share their stories with French, German, and other European women could help to overcome pervasive skepticism among women in Western Europe toward the ISAF mission. … Media events that feature testimonials by Afghan women would probably be most effective if broadcast on programs that have large and disproportionately female audiences.”

‘NATO: Keep the Progress Going!’

Amnesty International struck similar themes in announcements posted online as well as billboard advertisements on Chicago bus stops, telling “NATO: Keep the Progress Going!” beckoned us to find out more on Sunday, May 20, 2012, the day thousands of activists marched in Chicago in protest of NATO’s wars.

The billboard seemed to answer a recent Huffington Post article, “Afghanistan: The First Feminist War?

“The feminist victory may be complete in America, but on the international stage it’s not doing so well with three quarters of the world’s women still under often-severe male domination. Afghanistan is an extreme case in point in what might be termed the first feminist war … a war that now may not be won even if Hillary Clinton dons a flack jacket and shoulders an M16 on the front lines. Still, since the Bush Administration to the present America ‘s top foreign policy office has been held by women … women who have promised not to desert their Afghan sisters.”

Our curiosity was further piqued because we consider ourselves to be women’s rights and human rights proponents and also due to our own prior federal careers in intelligence and military. (Colonel Wright is retired from the State Department/US military and Rowley is from the FBI.)

So along with a few other anti-war activists, we packed into a taxi to head to the Chicago hotel where Amnesty International’s “Shadow Summit” featuring former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other female foreign relations officials was being held.  We happened to carry our “NATO bombs are not humanitarian”; “NATO Kills Girls” and anti-drone bombing posters that we had with us for the march later that day.

As we arrived, an official-looking black car dropped off Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, who was to be a main speaker (on the first panel, along with former Secretary Albright; U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois; and Afifa Azim, General Director and Co-Founder, Afghan Women’s Network; along with Moderator Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Deputy Director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy Program).

Verveer cast a cold glance at us and would not answer Ann Wright’s questions as she scurried into the hotel with her aides surrounding her and us following behind. At first the hotel security guards tried to turn us away but we reminded the registration desk the Summit was advertised as “Free Admissions” and that some of us were members of Amnesty International.

So they let us register and attend as long as we promised to leave our signs outside and not disrupt the speakers. The hotel conference room was about half full. We stayed long enough to hear the opening remarks and the moderator’s first questions of Albright and the other speakers on the first panel.

All generally linked the protection and participation of Afghan women in government as well as the progress made in educating Afghan women to the eventual peace and security of the country as envisioned by the new strategic “partnership” agreement that Obama had just signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Ms. Verveer said Afghan women do not want to be seen as “victims” but are now rightfully nervous about their future. When we saw that audience participation was going to be limited to questions selected from the small note cards being collected, we departed, missing the second panel as well as kite-flying for women’s rights.

We noted, even in that short time, however, how easy it was for these U.S. government officials to use the “good and necessary cause” of women’s rights to get the audience into the palm of their collective hand — just as the CIA’s “strategic communication” expert predicted!

Secretary Albright?

Not everyone was hoodwinked however.  Even before the “Summit” was held, Amnesty realized it had a PR problem as a result of its billboard advertisement touting progress in Afghanistan. An Amnesty official tried to put forth a rather lame defense blaming an accidental poor choice of wording.

But many readers (and AI members) posted critical comments and questions, including concerns about Albright’s involvement given her infamous defense of Iraqi sanctions in the 1990s, which were estimated to have caused the deaths of a half million Iraqi children, with the comment “we think the price is worth it.”

Under the blogger’s explanation: “We Get It / Human Rights Now,” there were comments like these:

“Could someone from AI please explain why Madeleine Albright was invited to participate in this event? We (and especially those of us who are familiar with AI) should all be able to understand that the wording on the poster was a genuine, albeit damaging, mistake. But why Ms. Albright?”

“The posters are pro-NATO and play into prevailing tropes about so called ‘humanitarian intervention’ via ‘think of the women & children’ imagery. The posters & the forum that includes Albright are neither slight slips nor without context. AI is coping heat because they have miss-stepped dramatically. There is NOTHING subtle about either the imagery nor the message!

“It is not a case of ‘oh sorry we didn’t realize it it could be interpreted that way!’ They used pro Nato imagery & slogans ahead of & during a controversial summit that has thousands protesting in the streets. Tell me again how that is not taking sides?

“They asked a notorious apologist for mass murder of children to speak on the right of women and children…tell me again: how is that not taking sides. So it is absolutely reasonable for past supporters (and board members like myself) to be asking how it is that Amnesty USA so lost its bearings they could make a critical SERIES of errors like this?”

Of course the defensive AI blog author never answered the numerous questions asking why Amnesty had chosen Madeleine Albright as their main speaker. So we will venture an answer that probably lies in the fact that all of the powerful feminist-war hawks who have risen to become Secretary of State (or are waiting in the wings) are now taking their lead from the ruthless Grand Dame who paved the way for them, Madeleine Albright — (see Coleen Rowley’s recent articles: “Obama’s New ‘Atrocity Prevention Board’: Reasons for Skepticism” and “Militarization of the Mothers: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, from Mother’s Day for Peace”).

It’s also possible the highest ranks of the feminist wing of military interventionism (i.e. Madeleine Albright, Condi Rice, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, et al) are so passionate and hubristic about the nobility of their goal and “Amercan exceptionalism” that some have simply succumbed to a kind of almost religious (blind faith) type fervor.

The Road to Hell

Nossel’s and Albright’s theories are flawed in many ways but suffice it to say that democracies are actually not less prone to war. A long list of “democracies” – including Nazi Germany, the Roman Empire, the United Kingdom, France and the United States itself – disprove this assertion.

In any event, the U.S. has been terribly hypocritical in its support of “democracies” in foreign countries, often toppling or attempting to topple them (i.e. Iran’s Mossadeqh, Guatemala’s Arbenz, Chile’s Allende) in order to gain easier control of a foreign country through an allied dictatorship.

No one is going to argue that the goals of humanitarianism, preventing atrocities and furthering women’s rights around the world are not “good and necessary” (in the words of the CIA strategic communications expert). We would go so far as to say these ARE truly noble causes!

Testimonials about human rights’ abuse are often true and fundamentalist regimes’ treatment of women seems to vary only in degrees of horrible. But while it’s true that many women lack rights in Afghanistan, some would argue that it’s conveniently true. And that the best lies are always based on a certain amount of truth.

The devil, however, lies in the details of promoting equality and accomplishing humanitarianism. Most importantly the ends, even noble ends, never justify wrongful means. In fact, when people such as Samantha Power decide to bomb the village Libya , to save it, it will backfire on a pragmatic level.

It must be realized that it is the nobility of the U.S.-NATO’s motivation that – as CIA propaganda department has advised – should be relied upon to convince otherwise good-hearted people (especially women) to support (or at least tolerate) war and military occupation (now known to encompass the worst of war crimes, massacres of women and children, torture, cutting off body parts of those killed, as well as increasing mental illness, self-destructive behavior and suicides among U.S. soldiers and the corresponding cover-ups of all such horrible means).

In the decades after Vietnam, a number of military scholars identified declining American public support for that war as the main factor responsible for the U.S. “losing” Vietnam. One lesson learned and quickly implemented was to get rid of the military draft and put the wars on a credit card so fewer citizens would pay attention.

Some control also had to be gained over the type of free media (that led to trusted TV anchor Walter Cronkite broadcasting his public souring on the Vietnam War). A whole series of war propaganda systems, from planting retired generals as “talking heads” on TV to the assistant to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld deciding to “embed the media,” have worked pretty well to maintain the necessary level of war momentum in mainstream media and amongst public opinion.

But now, with American polls approaching the same problematic levels as those in Europe cited by the “CIA Red Cell,” we suddenly see major human rights organizations like Amnesty International (as well as others) applauding Obama’s (and the feminist war-hawks’) “Atrocity Prevention Board.”

Such sleight of hand seems to work to work even better amongst political partisans. By the way, it should be noted that Congress may allow these Pentagon propagandists to target American citizens through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013. Should we connect the dots?

There are some clear lines where the laudable need to further human rights should not be twisted into justifying harsh economic sanctions that kill hundreds of thousands of children or, even worse, “shock and awe” aerial bombing that takes the lives of the women and children the “humanitarian” propagandists say they want to help.

Madeleine Albright’s response about the deaths of a half million children on 60 Minutes, that “the price was worth it,” illustrates the quintessential falsity of what ethicists call “act utilitarianism” or concocting fictional happy outcomes to justify the terrible wrongful means.

It also seems that a human rights NGO, in this case Amnesty International, which had gained a solid reputation and hence the trust of those it has helped through the years, will be jeopardized in aligning itself with the U.S. Secretary of State and NATO.

This is exactly how the Nobel Peace Prize got corrupted, aligning itself with the U.S. Secretary of State and NATO, which is why Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire withdrew from the Nobel Peace forum held in Chicago during NATO.

Good NGOS and non-profits that want to maintain the trust in their humanitarian work tend to be very careful to maintain their independence from any government, let alone any war-making government. When NGOs, even good ones, become entwined with the U.S./NATO war machine, don’t they risk losing their independent credibility?

Ann Wright is a 29-year U.S. Army/Army Reserve Colonel and a 16-year U.S. diplomat who served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war. She returned to Afghanistan in 2007 and 2010 on fact-finding missions.

Coleen Rowley, a FBI special agent for almost 24 years, was legal counsel to the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis from 1990 to 2003. She wrote a “whistleblower” memo in May 2002 and testified to the Senate Judiciary on some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures. She retired at the end of 2004, and now writes and speaks on ethical decision-making and balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation.

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26 comments on “Amnesty’s Shilling for US Wars

  1. Suzanne Nossel – very suitable selection for the propaganda war against Islamic Republic of Iran. ““Looking back to what first sparked my own interest in human rights issues, it has everything to do growing up as an American Jew,” said Nossel in speech at the ‘Jacob Blaustein Institute’ in January 2012. Mossel also worked as deputy to Crypto-Jew, Richard Hallbrooke who played a major role in the dimemberment of Bosnia as a Muslim state in 1990s.

    Amnesty International like the United Nations – has long become a Zionist propaganda tool. The recent appointment of Zionist Jew Jeffrey Felton, US Assisstant Secretary of State for Near Estern Affairs to head United Nations’ Middle East section, tell volumes about who control international forums.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/05/04/lebanon-feltman-and-lieberman-on-israeli-mission/

  2. incontinent reader on said:

    God bless you both. You nailed it in this article!

  3. This article by Dr. Clifford A. Kiracofe, Jr. sums it up well! http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/714749.shtml (Kriacofe is a former Senior Professional Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He served as an Instructor (civilian) at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, VA. and was a Research Associate at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Inc., Cambridge, MA.)

  4. F. G. Sanford on said:

    Muddying the waters with human rights issues looks to me to be part of the grand plan. Can anyone really be so naive as to believe human rights are a real concern when we’re bombing those disenfranchised women into the stone age? R2P, or “Responsibility to Protect” is double-speak for imperial conquest. Notice we aren’t responsible enough to perform any of that “humanitarian bombing” anyplace where they don’t have valuable natural resources, or where Israel doesn’t appear to have a vested interest in the outcome.

    The concept of “Balkanization of the Middle East” has been tossed about frequently, and it fairly well hits the “divide and conquer” nail squarely on the head. The same thing is happening in every progressive initiative on the horizon. NGOs that have been established from the outset or commandeered along the way are being used to draw attention away from the object of the end game. Sure, when analyzed in a vacuum, their stated humanitarian concerns are laudable. But look at the humanitarian disaster we accomplished in Libya, and now, these “humanitarian” organizations have moved on to new horizons upon which to bestow their “protection”.

    My point is this: we’ve gotten too far into the weeds. If I could criticize this article at all, it would be that it dwells on symptoms rather than diseases. Women’s rights and human rights are issues nicely covered by the grander concept we seem to be ignoring: THE RULE OF LAW. These wars are patently illegal under both international and U.S. Law. Executive privilege does not condone political assassination or the waging of wars of choice.

    With 700 military bases around the world, it is difficult to deny that U.S. Foreign Policy represents anything other than the preservation of empire. Henry Kissinger, Madelaine Albright, Condoleeza Rice and Hillary Clinton have one thing in common, and it isn’t their gender. Until we can all get on the same page, the “empire” will continue to pursue its strategy of intervention for profit, and like Rome, will ultimately fail. “Occupy” is a lost cause for the same reason: obfuscation of a common goal by the identification of a million symptoms rather than diagnosis of the disease.

    We need to adopt R2P: Responsibility to PROSECUTE. Until a strategy with clearly defined objectives and a message the befuddled American public can grasp is promulgated, expect more of the same. Imagine the utopia we could have purchased here at home with all the money we spent “protecting” civilians and propping up dictators. We just officially congratulated Saudi Arabia on their successful transition to a new potentate. Every American should be forced to watch a video of what happens at “Chop Square” in Riyadh, so they can fully appreciate what we just congratulated. I wonder how many Americans realize that Condi Rice has an oil tanker named after her? R2P = Really Too Profitable.

    • On March 22 – the UN Human Rights Council voted to appoint a panel charged with evaluating the effects of illegal Jewish settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cutural rights of native Muslim and Christian Palestinian in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. United States was the only country in the 47-member UNHRC which opposed the decision while ten members abstained.

      The independent international fact-finding mission is to be appointed by the president of UNHRC. The decision also called on the Zionist regime “not to obstruct the process of investigation and cooperate fully with the mission“.

      As expected, Israeli prime minister Benji Netanyahu, blasted the UNHRC, calling it a “hypocritical council with an automatic majority against Israel“. Bibi added that the council “should be ashamed of itself, and has nothing to do with the human rights“.

      http://rehmat1.com/2012/03/24/netanyahu-unhrc-is-anti-israel/

  5. Paul G. on said:

    Another point is that, since Suzanne Nossel has been a unrepentant high level employee of a government which is frequently the target of Amnesty’s revelations and criticisms, her appointment has a conflict of interest. It is strange that they hire a recent official of the government that is persecuting and has psychologically tortured Bradley Manning. How can she go after the people she has so closely and diligently worked with. This is very distressing; Amnesty was an outstanding organization. I will be telling them that they will be getting zero contributions as long as Nossel works there. I hope others will tool

    • Hillary on said:

      “I hope others will too”

      Good idea Paul but it is the large contributions from neocon billionaires that will direct Suzanne Nossel’s motives I fear.

      They will as with their political contributions look for a quid pro quo result.

      • Paul G. on said:

        I wonder if there has been a change in the composition of the board of directors. They would have hired her.

  6. brian on said:

    R2P has a militaristic ring to it…and on the R2P page are military figures:

    http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/

  7. Jan Ackermann on said:

    Thanks for a great article, it was long overdue to make this a public issue. Much unfortunately, the same applies to Avaaz.org as well, they clearly take sides for the US/NATO when it comes to petitions concerning Syria etc. It would be a great thing to investigate such a powerful Online-organization like Avaaz.org and maybe some other NGO’s on this behalf as well, in order to wake the broader public up. We don’t need further propaganda orgs misleading even more people, but the facts being put on the table.

    Thanks again from Switzerland and keep on moving!

  8. Paul G. on said:

    Historically the CIA and other countries’ intelligence services have been known for setting up front organizations that look sweet but promote the real sponsor’s agenda. Hi-jacking an already existing and reputable organization is much more clever. 1984 keeps on keeping on.
    This also demonstrates the flaw with one issue movements like feminism that don’t look outside their own goals and issues and take into account broader ones. An example is the many women who were for Hillary as President because she is a she, in spite of the fact that-at the time- she was obviously more hawkish that Obama. Of course, Obamascam eventually out did W. and the Hillary in the aggression department; and now she thinks the drone program has gone too far.
    Note that Nossel is head of Amnesty International USA, but there is also the international, Amnesty International to which I will write also. I wonder how they feel about this.

  9. Frances in California on said:

    We are well and truly lost. What the Neocons learned from the hit job on ACORN was that they shouldn’t be so heavy-handed. Now they’ll try a soft-sell. There go the rest of the Liberals we were trying to waken.

  10. ceti on said:

    Really a big stink should be made of this. It was blatant conflict of interest to hire Nossel and her writings made it all to clear that she was a partisan apologist for liberal interventionism which like regular old military aggression, is the chief generator of human rights atrocities.

    Indeed, every press release of AI USA can be parsed for Western bias, where all of the West’s enemies are treated as always evil, while the West simply fails to adhere to its lofty standards when critiqued. In the case of the enemies du jour, maximal verbal outrage is expressed, regardless of the paucity of evidence.

  11. Pingback: Amnesty’s Shilling for US-NATO Wars | Wrong Kind of Green | the NGOs & conservation groups that are bargaining away our future

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  13. Among many distortions in this post, It is ludicrous, offensive and irresponsible to suggest that Amnesty International USA’s work on Afghan women’s rights is being scripted by the Central Intelligence Agency “Red Cell” report of 2010.

    Amnesty International has been monitoring and reporting on Afghanistan for decades, and we have been issuing statements and reports pertaining to the human rights of women in Afghanistan since at least the 1990s.

    AI’s advocacy is based on our own independent research into human rights abuses in a given country. As a matter of longstanding policy, we remain independent of governments, we do not espouse political ideologies or systems of governance, and we do not take positions on armed intervention. We did not call for NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan, we are not calling for NATO to remain in the country, and we are not praising NATO’s actions in Afghanistan or elsewhere. The Shadow Summit was exclusively about the right of women in Afghanistan to participate in political decisions that will impact their lives. In order to press for them to be at the table, it was necessary to direct our message to the entities who set the table. This is no way breaches our independence or impartiality.

    • If Amnesty wants to remain independent of governments, which is something we very much agree with and endorse (just as we agree with pushing for women’s and human rights throughout the world), why then did you invite former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and US State Department current “Ambassador at Large” Melanne Ververre as two of your main speakers to your NATO “Shadow Summit”? You must be aware of Albright’s responsibility for the draconian economic sanctions on Iraq that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. Are you saying that your NATO “shadow summit” followed the “CIA Red Cell’s” advice merely by complete coincidence even though Nossel worked for Hillary Clinton and the State Department up till just 6 months ago?

    • If you want to hear a liberal gasp, tell them about the AI ad campaign, letter, and who was empaneled at the shadow summit during the NATO conference in Chicago.

      Despite obfuscating claims about more women holding government posts, and more girls being in school, most are aware that Afghanistan ranks last in the world in both maternal mortality and infant mortality after ten years of NATO-led “progress.”

      And a bit of investigation turns up the token nature of women’s participation in the crony government of Karzai and pals. In a country where women are jailed for adultery after being raped, is it any wonder that even in Kabul women now customarily wear the burka, in many cases not for religious reasons, but for protection when they go out in public?

  14. chris23 on said:

    Amnesty has had a dubious reputation for several decades among those fighting for justice (and not charity):

    http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0004573.html

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/mouin-rabbani-on-human-rights-watch-and-the-gaza-massacre/

  15. I am so saddened by this news. Amnesty International supported Food Not Bombs when we were being arrested and beaten in San Francisco. They also supported us in Latin America and Asia. While it is unlikely Amnesty International will support us in our current effort to end the laws banning our work in the United States and Belarus we might not want to seek their support if it would give the impression we supported the policies of the Obama administration. The same strategy used by the U.S. here to corrupt Amnesty International and use it for soft power in the goal of corporate domination has been being used to ban Food Not Bombs as the Obama administration threatens local food programs with funding cuts if they don’t publicly support the banning of Food Not Bombs. Liberal food programs feeling that it is better to provide food then be shut down have been signing onto opinion articles attacking our work. http://www.foodnotbombs.net/Beyond public park feedings.pdf

  16. Thanks for your comment, Keith! It’s important to recognize that our criticism is limited to Amnesty-USA (to Nossel herself and whoever in AI-USA was either duped into hiring her or deliberately hired her and any of the USA Amnesty branch who are now propping her up. Amnesty as a whole has a well-deserved and great reputation for furthering human rights and working against government abuses. So it’s is not criticism of the larger Amnesty International or the local chapters who, to our knowledge, retain their integrity and I think quite a bit of independence. In fact it would not surprise me to learn that the larger International Amnesty organization (and various local chapters) are themselves displeased with how the US branch has been swayed.

    My suggestion for Amnesty members who are concerned, would be, instead of dropping all their donations and support, they might want to just switch their donations/support away from AI-USA and instead donate to Amnesty’s local chapters and/or the international organization.

    Also Philip Weiss at Mondoweiss has published more information a couple days ago regarding Nossel’s background and her warhawkish views on Iran at: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/amnesty-intl-collapse-new-head-is-former-state-dept-official-who-rationalized-iran-sanctions-gaza-onslaught.html

  17. Pingback: Rowley & Wright> Amnesty’s Shilling for US-NATO Wars « WAMMToday

  18. Paul G. on said:

    I tried this as a reply to the AI response but it dropped; so here is is at the end.
    It is unclear what branch of AI the post, disinformation, is from but sounds like AI USA. They should be clear in speaking only for themselves and not the International; as they are oh-so compromised.
    If they are as they say so independent, then why did they hire a former high level official of a government which as policy routinely practices arbitrary, extra-judicial assassinations, indefinite detentions, and kidnappings, and tortures individuals around the world. These are precisely the activities AI has opposed and revealed. Due diligence in the search for this position would have eliminated any former official of the State Dept. or the Pentagon, unless they had demonstrated a clear and extensive track record of exposing and criticizing the unethical and criminal activities of their former employers, such as Colleen and Ann have being doing so eloquently.

  19. J.H., Hamburg on said:

    Nazi Germany was not a Democracy. After support for the Nazis had begun falling, Hitler was appointed to the post of German chancellor, after which he destroyed the institutions of formal democracy there.

    The Roman Empire also wasn’t a democracy in my opinion, but a state built upon slavery.

    Still the article was very good — and very important.

  20. Pingback: DESTROY ALL MONSTERS! TRUST NO ONE! Not even Amnesty International… « GODZILLA GOVERNMENT

  21. A critical issue in this discussion is how may legitimate human rights be best served in arenas where governments have launched wholesale campaigns of intimidation and slaughter against their citizenry? On one hand I tend to agree with Gene Sharp that there are many non-violent tactics which may be employed to disempower oppressive governments.

    But still how to respond to the potential Rwandas in the 21st century? How to discern the best possible route when either/or simplifies things far too much? Or in the case of a 21st century world where growing shortages of minerals, agricultural land, oil, etc. can easily become the Trojan Horse for expanding U.S. militarism and imprudent adventurism around the globe?