Sunday, December 04, 2011
Former President George W. Bush is headed to Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia from Thursday through Monday to spread awareness about AIDS, cervical and breast cancer. On World Aids Day of Thursday, he met in Tanzania with former President Clinton and President Obama, who has commended Bush's continued efforts, lauding the program that "has saved hundreds of thousands and thousands and thousands of lives, spurred international action, and laid the foundation for a comprehensive global plan that will impact the lives of millions." Despite the noble cause of his trip, Amnesty International has called upon the three nations to arrest Bush as he travels between the countries, stating that there is evidence of his "alleged involvement in and responsibility for torture," referring to the Bush administration's use of waterboarding on three Al-Qaeda leaders.
Is Amnesty International acting out of genuine concern for human rights abuses, or are they following an ulterior political agenda? The organization has received a huge amount of funding from organizations with anti-Bush leaders, such as George Soro's Open Society Institute, and has oft been accused of infusing its campaigns with far-left politics, exploiting its tax exempt status. The request could be viewed as an attempt to embarrass the former President, and could even incite violence against him as travels. Critics of AI go on to note that the waterboarding was used against terrorists with the intention of saving the lives and protecting the human rights of millions of others; intelligence has suggested that this interrogation technique likely produced the information that led to locating Osama bin Laden. These were people who had devised atrocities against humanity- and yet AI is infuriated by the treatment of three terrorists. I think the critics make a valid and interesting point- but I'm left to wonder if that sort of claim is a slippery slope. If human rights exist in virtue of our being human, should we be able to sacrifice another group's rights for ours just because they are terrorists?