Revolving door between US government and human rights watch

Neighbouring Giants Edge Closer

The Kremlin Stooge

Ken Macaulay
April 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Ah, the great defenders of human rights & defenders of liberty that are the UK & US. Here’s the latest little piece of some their actions that are finally being uncovered in Iraq:

“Camp Nama: British Personnel Reveal Horrors of Secret US Base in Baghdad…
• Iraqi prisoners being held for prolonged periods in cells the size of large dog kennels.
• Prisoners being subjected to electric shocks.
• Prisoners being routinely hooded.
• Inmates being taken into a sound-proofed shipping container for interrogation, and emerging in a state of physical distress.
…detainees were subject to “beatings, exposure to extreme cold, threats of death, humiliation and various forms of psychological abuse or torture” at the JOC. The New York Times has reported that prisoners were beaten with rifle butts and had paintball guns fired at them for target practice…
…”They were being given electric shocks from cattle prods and their heads were being held under the water in the swimming pool….”
“simply sweeping under the carpet the apparent evidence of direct British service involvement with delivery to gross mistreatment amounting to torture involving hundreds if not thousands of people”.

It has longed ceased to amaze me that the largest perpetrator & exporter of torture (the US), along with it’s close allies, are essentially in partnership with many the most brutal regimes in the world, and still regards itself as the ‘defender of human rights & liberty’, with a vast army of ‘sincere’, dedicated, proselytizers who still truly ‘believe’ – inspite of information like coming out over & over & over again.
I just regard it as a mental disease these days, & hope there is a cure that doesn’t require permanent committal to a Mental Hospital…

R.C. says:
April 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm has a good article up today on PEN and the co-opting of the Human Rights industry by the US to antagonize governments who oppose it.


“Before working at State, (Susan) Nossel worked at Human Rights Watch, which has come under increasing criticism for its distorted accounts of the Chavez government in Venezuela and other official enemies of the US. And before that she worked at the UN under Richard Holbrooke as the Clintons masterminded the bombing of Yugoslavia and pushed NATO eastward in violation of assurances given by Reagan to Gorbachev.

Here we behold a revolving door between government and human rights NGOs, much like the one connecting the Pentagon and defense contractors or between regulatory agencies and the corporate entities they are to regulate. Nossel is clearly aware of the use that the U.S. government can make of organizations like PEN, writing in her 2004 “Smart Power” essay that “that the United States’ own hand is not always its best tool: U.S. interests are furthered by enlisting others on behalf of U.S. goals.” In what sense can PEN claim to be a “non-governmental organization” with Nossel in charge? In what sense can PEN claim to protect writers from the state with someone in charge who has been a frequent and unapologetic presence in the corridors of power?

Today a search on the PEN, America, web site readily yields entries for Pussy Riot, Ai Weiwei and Liu Xiaobo, but nothing is to be found for “Bradley Manning “or “Julian Assange”! That in itself speaks volumes about Nossel’s PEN. As Chomsky and others have often pointed out, the primary duty of intellectuals is to critique their own ruling elite. After all, we can most affect our own rulers and it is their actions we are most responsible for. And that is what requires genuine courage. Criticizing elites in countries that are America’s official enemies is an easy and secure career path.”