An American Gulag? Human Rights Groups Test the Limits of Moral Equivalency

Weekly Standard, Vol. 10, No. 37, June 13, 2005

5 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2006  

Kenneth Anderson

American University - Washington College of Law

Abstract

This 2005 article from the Weekly Standard criticizes the 2005 Amnesty International report and associated press releases and press conferences referring to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as an American gulag. It more broadly criticizes the human rights movement for wanting it both ways - on the one hand, using extraordinarily inflammatory rhetoric such as raising the spectre of Soviet death camps, while on the other hand, calling for that very same, apparently deeply criminal regime, the Bush administration, to perform the tasks of human rights enforcement that the human rights movement would like to see performed elsewhere in the world, such as rescuing Darfur from genocide. The article argues that a human rights movement arguing such inconsistent propositions - you are a great criminal, but please come rescue us - increasingly, and sadly, fails the test of moral seriousness.

Keywords: Guantanamo, detainees, interrogation, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Darfur, human rights, gulag, American gulag, torture

JEL Classification: K10, K33

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kenneth, An American Gulag? Human Rights Groups Test the Limits of Moral Equivalency. Weekly Standard, Vol. 10, No. 37, June 13, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=935770

Kenneth Anderson (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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