I have to say, think tanks in D.C. usually don’t get this exciting. But the centrist Center for Strategic and International Studies mixed it up on Twitter last night with Amnesty International — then apologized for the incident.
It started when Amnesty plunged into the Ferguson debate on Monday, announcing that it sent a 13-person “human rights delegation,” to the Missouri town, “which included observers who monitored police and protester activity and sought meetings with officials. Other members of the delegation trained local activists in methods of non-violent protest.”
“Amnesty International has a long and tested history of monitoring and investigating police conduct, not just in foreign countries, but right here at home in the United States,” said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA, in a statement. “Our delegation traveled to Missouri to let the authorities in Ferguson know that the world is watching. We want a thorough investigation into Michael Brown’s death and the series of events that followed.”
Amnesty called for a “prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown,” along with investigation of “any human rights abuses in connection with the policing of protests” and a “thorough review of all trainings, policies and procedures with regards to the use of force and the policing of protests.”
“Moving forward, we must seize this moment to bring about a wide-ranging review of all trainings, policies and procedures with regard to the use of force and the policing of protests in Ferguson and around the country,” said Hawkins. “This is a moment for people around the country – and around the world – to join the Ferguson community in raising concerns about race and policing, and about the impact of militarization on our fundamental right to peacefully assemble.”
Amnesty tweeted last night, “US can’t tell other countries to improve their records on policing and peaceful assembly if it won’t clean up its own human rights record.”
Then came the CSIS response in the wee hours, which has since been removed:
The think tank pulled the tweet and issued this response:
Our sincerest apologies to @Amnesty & our followers. Our last tweet was sent in error. We’re reviewing internal policies for social media.
— CSIS (@CSIS) August 19, 2014
Famous names at CSIS include former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and Henry Kissinger.