Friday, May 27, 2005
On this day:

Amnesty Int'l Labels Guantanamo Bay a "Gulag"

National Review: Amnesty Unbelievable -- The human-rights organization plays anti-American politics. By David B. Rivkin Jr. & Lee A. Casey Dale Franks at QandO notes:
"Amnesty International has declared the US treatment of enemy combatants to be the 'gulag of our times.' "In response, the Washington Post gets it exactly right, saying:
Like Amnesty, we, too, have written extensively about U.S. prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay, in Afghanistan and in Iraq. We have done so not only because the phenomenon is disturbing in its own right but also because it gives undemocratic regimes around the world an excuse to justify their own use of torture and indefinite detention and because it damages the U.S. government's ability to promote human rights. But we draw the line at the use of the word "gulag" or at the implication that the United States has somehow become the modern equivalent of Stalin's Soviet Union. Guantanamo Bay is an ad hoc creation, designed to contain captured enemy combatants in wartime. Abuses there—including new evidence of desecrating the Koran—have been investigated and discussed by the FBI, the press and, to a still limited extent, the military. The Soviet gulag, by contrast, was a massive forced labor complex consisting of thousands of concentration camps and hundreds of exile villages through which more than 20 million people passed during Stalin's lifetime and whose existence was not acknowledged until after his death. Its modern equivalent is not Guantanamo Bay, but the prisons of Cuba, where Amnesty itself says a new generation of prisoners of conscience reside; or the labor camps of North Korea, which were set up on Stalinist lines; or China's laogai, the true size of which isn't even known; or, until recently, the prisons of Saddam Hussein's Iraq.