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


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | 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.

Up

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12/19/02: Requiring Pakistani and Saudi male visitors to register with the INS
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11/27/02: Why men should be able to sue women who lie about who's the daddy
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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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