Pubdate: Thu, 10 Dec 1998
Date: 10/12/1998
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Author: Thomas J. O'Connell, MD

Police State

Ford's defense of the United States against Amnesty International
started unraveling with the headline. Why would a human rights
organization claiming scrupulous non-alignment ever wish to be `fed'
by any government?

Ford's logic didn't improve. Her argument that Third World rights will
deteriorate because of AI's charges will somehow diminish the `moral
authority' of America and its western allies is fatuous. To the extent
that `moral authority' is only authoritarian and unable to benefit
from open, well-reasoned criticism, it loses all claim to `morality'.

It would have been preferable if Ford, who admits some substance to
AI's charges, could have waited for their specifics before launching
her defence. Those of us who have taken a close look at the excesses
of America's messianic drug war for several years, have often wondered
when AI would finally notice the burgeoning American police state.

We do not expect to be surprised by the details in AI's report. I must
assume that Ford, if her spirited defence of Uncle Sam is sincere,
will find that many of those details give her pause.

Thomas J. O'Connell

San Mateo, Calif.