Left Leaning Organizations. There’s a theory that states that any organization that isn’t explicitly right wing will, over time, lean to the left. That’s not quite true. All organizations, even explicitly right leaning ones, will lean left over time.
One organization that began as a nominally apolitical group is Amnesty International. When I first became aware of AI, they were protesting things such as “The Disappeared” in Argentina. Certainly a worthy goal. They also worked to secure the release of political prisoners in a variety of nations.
But over time, as AI has learned that they can make no progress on the worst offender nations, they are still faced with the self-serving goals of any organization ( to continue to exist and grow, of course) and as such, have sought easier targets. It is far easier, and safer, and I’d bet far more remunerative, to protest against western nations that against the true oppressors of the world. AI has made much hay protesting the detention of terrorists in Guantanamo Bay. They have consistently sought the release of unlawful combatants, who, under any sane interpretation of the Geneva Conventions, would be summarily executed, but instead find themselves with access to our civilian courts, able and dedicated defense counsel provided at our expense (not to mention the large number attorneys offering their services pro bono), and the most deferential detention of any prisoners in the history of warfare.
One might argue that a sharp eye must be kept on our government to reign in its tendencies toward the excess application of its power. I’m actually fairly sympathetic to that argument. But eventually, every organization forgets its true purpose, and takes its cause to the illogical extreme. Amnesty International has done so for some time now, and here is another example of its dangerous departure from its original laudable goals:
In response to the petition, AI Secretary-General Claudio Cordone has issued a letter in vigorous defense of AI’s collaboration with Begg and Cageprisoners. Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism has the story, here. In the letter, Cordone states AI’s position outright: advocacy of “jihad in self defence” is not antithetical to human rights. That Islamists reserve unto themselves the right to determine when Islam is, as they put it, “under siege,” and when, therefore, forcible jihad is justified, is plainly of no concern — only actions America’s self-defense are worthy of condemnation.
Go read the whole thing. It’s a short read, but very enlightening.
One other note- I’m automatically skeptical of any organization that has a “Secretary General.”