Category: Human Rights

June 17, 2003

Terrorism or National Liberation Struggle?

The word “terrorism” is bandied about by the Bush administration as it suits its political agenda. It is important to try to define and distinguish between different forms of terrorism, and to distinguish that from national liberation struggles. M. Kalliopi K. Koufa, the U.N. special rapporteur for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, has differentiated… Read more »

June 11, 2003

Dropping the Ball on Torture: The US Supreme Court Ruling in Chavez vs. Martinez

The use of torture to obtain information from suspects has become an important topic in fighting the war on terror. In December, for example, the Washington Post reported that CIA officials at Bagram air base in Afghanistan used interrogation techniques that could constitute torture. In Chavez v. Martinez, decided May 27, the United States Supreme… Read more »

February 6, 2003

A Double Standard on Torture: The U.S. Should Practice What We Preach

The Bush administration has a double standard on torture and human rights violations as it prosecutes the “war on terror.” While trying to convince the American people in his State of the Union address that war with Iraq is necessary, President George W. Bush marshaled accusations that Saddam Hussein has tortured his people to coerce… Read more »

June 6, 2002

Civil Liberties: J. Edgar Ashcroft?

On May 30, 2002, the same day America mourned the victims of the September 11 attack and the conclusion of the Ground Zero cleanup, Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller III unveiled sweeping new surveillance powers for the FBI. In order to cover up its own incompetence in failing to properly analyze… Read more »

April 11, 2002

Scalia’s Schizophrenic Theory Slights Human Rights

United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wants to have it both ways. While he claims to have the only objective theory of constitutional interpretation, his theory is internally inconsistent. Scalia calls himself a “textualist” who purports to follow the precise text of the Constitution. But he also labels his theory “originalist,” as he subjectively… Read more »

February 9, 2002

Bush and The Geneva Convention: Begging the Question

In a striking example of double-talk, President George W. Bush has announced that the United States will apply the Geneva Convention to the captured Taliban fighters in Guantanamo, but won’t classify them as prisoners of war. This is like being half pregnant. The Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War spells out… Read more »

February 6, 2002

Israel Resisters and Palestinian Rights

The government of Israel faces a serious dilemma. Its population lives in legitimate fear of terrorist suicide bombers. But its reprisals against the Palestinian civilian population have been so heavy-handed that they are creating dissension within the ranks of Israel’s own army. Indeed, a February 4 editorial in The New York Times, a long-time supporter… Read more »

June 28, 2000

The WTO: A New World Government Dedicated to the Principle That Property Interests Are More Sacred Than Human Rights

What brought more than 50,000 trade unionists, environmentalists, human rights and social justice activists from all over the world into the streets of Seattle in late November and early December of last year to protest the World Trade Organization? They all understood: “Economic globalization is the number one threat to the survival of the natural… Read more »