RIVKIN AND CASEY DISMANTLE THE AMNESTY International "2005 Report" at NRO Online. Needless to say, they jump right in.
First and foremost, Amnesty’s report is emphatically not an honest assessment of American compliance with international law. Rather, it is an assessment of how well the United States complies with Amnesty International’s political and ideological agenda — equivalent to the grading of individual members of Congress by domestic advocacy groups.
Which of course, makes the entire report a partisan attack. For starters, the report refers to Gitmo detainees as "political detainees," which is an entirely innacurate description.
They are captured enemy combatants. Under the laws of war, they can be detained until the conflict, or at least actual hostilities, are concluded. This has been the practice of the United States, and of every other major power in Europe and elsewhere, for centuries. It is not illegal; it is not immoral. In fact, this rule is one of the first and most important humanitarian advances made in warfare.
Amnesty International's insistence that the detainees be treated as common criminals, the authors note, is particularily ironic, considering that the International Red Cross spent so much time making sure that never happened.
Their goal at the time was precisely to avoid the criminal trial and punishment, including imposition of the death penalty, on captured members of “national liberation movements.” For its part, the United States properly resisted efforts to grant special privileges to guerillas and terrorists. It remains fully entitled to rely on the customary law of war in combating al Qaeda — and in classifying that group as “unprivileged” or “unlawful” combatants who do not qualify for prisoner of war (POW) status upon capture.
The authors also make a very astute point about the criminalization of political differences.
In light of this record, suggestions, like those made by Amnesty International and its U.S. executive director, that American officials should be prosecuted for war crimes are gratuitous, and show the left at its very worst — at its most willing to criminalize political and policy differences. This is especially true with respect to Amnesty’s claims that the “US administration had sanctioned interrogation techniques that violated the U.N. Convention against Torture.” In fact, the administration has “sanctioned” only the use of stressful interrogation methods, such as standing, hooding, and sleep deprivation, at a level which does not constitute “torture,” under either the U.N. Convention or U.S. law.
This is a must read for those trying to understand the ramifications of the AI report. In short, they have fanned the flames of America hatred and dishonestly given the Islamofascists more public relations tools.
If I didn't know any better, I'd say that AI and others would actually prefer that Islamic fundamentalism prevail in this fight for the future of the free world. Or, at least, they would prefer to see America lose.