Magazine article The Nation

Amnesty International in Incubator Climb-Down

Magazine article The Nation

Amnesty International in Incubator Climb-Down

Article excerpt

On April 18, Amnesty International announced that its fact-finding team, recently returned from Kuwait, had been able to confirm a "wave of arbitrary arrests, torture and killings" there since the withdrawal of Iraqi forces. "However," AI's news release continued, "on the highly publicized issue in the December report of the deaths of babies, Amnesty International said that although its team was shown alleged mass graves of babies, it was not established how they died and the team found no reliable evidence that Iraqi forces had caused the deaths of babies by removing them or ordering their removal from incubators."

The chair of Amnesty International USA, Winston Nagan, kindly forwarded me an early copy of the release "because of your interest in this topic." Such gentility did not earlier elevate the soul of AI USA!s executive director, John Healey, who suggested in an Amnesty Action" bulletin for March/ April that "some well-known critics of U.S. Government policies began to read the report [on Iraq's human rights abuses in Kuwait] and publicly wish it away." Healey must have been talking about me, since to my knowledge no one else had been critical of any aspect of the report. In other words, anyone challenging Al on any detail was thereby whitewashing Iraqi atrocities altogether.

This dishonesty on Healey's part is well matched by his earlier opportunism. In the first three weeks of August, Amnesty International rushed out a mass mailing, in the form of phony telegrams, announcing, "While this massive war-threatening crisis captures us all, we cannot for a single instant forget the thousands of innocent men and women in Iraq who have long been suffering atrocious human rights violations under the government of Saddam Hussein. …

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