By: Rick Sterling
Amnesty International has done some good investigations and reports over the years. This has won them widespread support. However, less known, Amnesty International has also carried out faulty investigations contributing to bloody and disastrous actions. One prominent example is in Iraq, where AI “corroborated” the false story that Iraqi soldiers were stealing incubators from Kuwait, leaving babies to die on the cold floor.
The deception was planned and carried out in Washington, D.C. to influence the public and congress. A more recent example is from 2011, where false accusations were being made about Libya and its leader as Western and Gulf powers sought to overthrow the Muammar Gaddafi government. AI leaders joined the campaign claiming that Gaddafi was using “mercenaries” to threaten and kill peacefully protesting civilians. The propaganda was successful in muting criticism. Going far beyond a U.N. Security Council resolution to “protect civilians,” NATO launched sustained air attacks and toppled the Libyan government leading to chaos, violence and a flood of refugees. AI later refuted the “mercenary” accusations but the damage was done.
On Feb. 7, AI released a new report titled, “Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison,” which has received massive, uncritical review in mainstream and liberal media.
Like the Iraq/Kuwait incubator story and the Libyan “mercenary” story, the “human slaughterhouse” report is coming at a critical time. The consequences of the AI report are to accuse and convict the Syrian government of horrible atrocities against civilians. AI explicitly calls for the international community to take “action.”
The co-author of this AI report is Nicolette Waldman (Boehland). She was uncritically interviewed on DemocracyNow! on Feb. 9. The background and previous work of Waldman show the interconnections between influential Washington “think tanks” and the billionaire foundation backed NGOs that claim to be independent but are clearly not.
A look at the report in detail shows it is biased and partial.