Amnesty International, the eminent human-rights non-governmental organization, is widely known for its advocacy in that realm. It produces reports critical of the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the Saudi-led war on Yemen. But it also publishes a steady flow of indictments against countries that don’t play ball with Washington — countries like Iran, China, Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea and more. Those reports amplify the drumbeat for a “humanitarian” intervention in those nations.
Amnesty’s stellar image as a global defender of human rights runs counter to its early days when the British Foreign Office was believed to be censoring reports critical of the British empire. Peter Benenson, the co-founder of Amnesty, had deep ties to the British Foreign Office and Colonial Office while another co-founder, Luis Kutner, informed the FBI of a gun cache at Black Panther leader Fred Hampton’s home weeks before he was killed by the Bureau in a gun raid.
These troubling connections contradict Amnesty’s image as a benevolent defender of human rights and reveal key figures at the organization during its early years to be less concerned with human dignity and more concerned with the dignity of the United States and United Kingdom’s image in the world.
A conflicted beginning
Amnesty’s Benenson, an avowed anti-communist, hailed from a military intelligence background. He pledged that Amnesty would be independent of government influence and would represent prisoners in the East, West, and global South alike.
American Anchor for Iran’s PressTV Still Jailed Without Charge
It took a solid week after her detention in St. Louis, but Marzieh Hashemi, an anchor for Iran’s PressTV and an American citizen, has finally gotten into a courtroom, and learned that she is neither being accused of any crimes nor is she facing any charges. That said, they’re not expecting to let her go any time soon.
Amazon Shareholders Seek to Restrict Facial Recognition Technology Sales to Government Agencies
People tend to think of Amazon as a big store on the internet. It is more than that. For example, in August of 2013, soon after Amazon founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post, I wrote about Amazon’s Amazon Web Services having as customers hundreds of government agencies. Included among them is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with which Amazon had a 10 years, 600 billion dollars contract to build private cloud servers inside CIA data centers.
Five Minutes Five Issues: National Emergency, Foreign Bases, Marijuana Noncrackdown, Oligarchs, Roving Patrols
A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
Ron Paul: The Warmongering in DC is Bipartisan
Included in a Thursday foreign policy report by Rick Sanchez at RT, are portions of an interview with peace advocate and former United States House of Representatives Member Ron Paul (R-TX) in which Paul explains that a big barrier to moving toward nonintervention overseas is that “warmongering” has become a bipartisan fixation. “It used to be the Democrats were considered less likely to be involved in war, but they’re every bit as aggressive as the Republicans,” said Paul.
Ron Paul to President Trump and Congress: Don’t Fence — or Wall — Us In
In 2011, when then-Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) was seeking the Republican presidential nomination, he spoke passionately from the debate stage against the US government having a fence at the US-Mexico border. “I think this fence business,” said Paul at a debate held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, “is designed, and may well be used, against us and keep us in.” “In economic turmoil, the people want to leave with their capital and there’s capital controls and there’s people control,” continued Paul, “so, every time you think of a fence keeping all those bad people out, think about those fences maybe being used against us.”