Jewish World Review Jan. 21, 2003 / 18 Shevat, 5763

Dan Abrams

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Human rights groups still don't get it when it comes to the new war on terror | Human Rights Watch, one of the most objective and reputable of the groups, has come out accusing the administration of "not conducting the war according to human rights principles," criticizing the way suspects and prospective witnesses have been treated.

NOW I WOULDN'T presume to know the details of every suspect's detention, but it seems clear these human rights groups still refuse to accept our new reality of an enemy desperately trying to blend into our societies, and then willing to die for the cause.

That necessarily changes how even possible suspects can and should be treated.

In England on Tuesday, a police officer stabbed and killed. Another in critical condition after a terror suspect's home was investigated for the poison Ricin. The suspect had been restrained for about 40 minutes, but escaped and attacked the officers as they were searching.

My guess? Human rights groups would have objected to restraining the subjects while their home was just being searched.

In 2000, a federal corrections officer was stabbed in the eye by an al Qaeda leader after the defendant was allowed to remove his cuffs for a meeting with his lawyer. The officer went into a long coma, permanently brain damaged. I would guess the human rights groups would have objected to the cuffs as well. Human Rights Watch argues that the antidote to terror is "a strong human rights culture," that pushing for more human rights protections will somehow lead fewer people to become terrorists.

Come on. It's nice to see they've become amateur shrinks, but it really strains credulity to suggest that there would be fewer budding terrorists if the U.S. better adhered to certain human rights norms when investigating suspects abroad.

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JWR contributor Dan Abrams anchors “The Abrams Report,” Monday through Friday from 6-7 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. He also covers legal stories for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” To visit his website, click here. Comment by clicking here.


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01/13/03: Why the administration should share intelligence with U.N. inspectors
01/10/03: From a special punishment to a garden variety one
01/08/03: Should victims of a terror attack sue the city?
01/06/03: The "Jackpot Jury" syndrome continues
12/30/02: It's the holidays, let me order my wine!
12/20/02: The judge who dropped the ball in the battle over who owns Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball, valued at nearly $2 million
12/19/02: Requiring Pakistani and Saudi male visitors to register with the INS
12/18/02: Why many seem to misunderstand Iraq's international obligations
12/17/02: Shouldn't there be a standard for what would trigger a war with Iraq?
12/13/02: Judge Rose by what he did on the field
12/12/02: Manhattan prosecutors making a mistake in the Central Park jogger case
12/11/02: Why our government refuses to fully cooperate in the prosecution of a possible 9/11 conspirator
12/10/02: Hezbollah, not a terrorist organization, says Canada
12/09/02: The world's cynical view of America
12/04/02: Why we need to stop electing judges
11/27/02: Why men should be able to sue women who lie about who's the daddy
11/26/02: Training lawyers to be touchy-feely
11/25/02: The story of a real American hero
11/22/02: In Illinois, academics lawyers, judges hurting their pro-life cause
11/15/02: A close reading of Iraq's letter of acceptance makes it clear that Saddam will almost certainly refuse to live up to its terms
11/14/02: Al Jazeera: A state-sponsored mouth-piece
11/13/02: Should Moussaoui be sent to a military tribunal?
11/12/02: Should human rights activists complain about the detainees' treatment?

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