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by
Bridget Johnson

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August 19, 2014 - 6:06 am

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:

csisamnesty

The think tank pulled the tweet and issued this response:

Famous names at CSIS include former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and Henry Kissinger.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
I think they had it right the first time
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's something about the tone of AI's statement. One of authority. But I'm wondering what authority AI actually has, or even how much weight it can throw around. As far as I can tell, all it does is compile statistics, write reports, and issue statements expressing its outrage over this or that.

The other thing is, I thought AI went after nations and governments in order to expose human rights violations. In Ferguson, there's nothing to expose - as of last Friday, it's all out front. See, we have this thing called "freedom of speech" and this other thing called "freedom of the press." That means we don't need international organizations to air our dirty laundry. We do it ourselves.

Perhaps AI could make itself more useful by snooping around and digging up some real hidden outrages - if they can find any. That would "help" the "oppressed" much more than jumping on the Ferguson bandwagon (which everybody's invited to ride).

I question their motives. Sounds like a waning old organization trying to restore its already dubious relevance.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pulling the tweet doesn't make it not true. Even when I was in college, Amnesty International was the movement you joined when you wanted to look like you cared, but didn't want to do much. All you had to do was write letters to dictators, attend marches and talk about how much you cared.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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Should CSIS apologize for speaking the truth? I don't think so. And if Amnesty International is so concerned about black American deaths, why don't they put teams on the ground in Chicago, New York, Detroit et al?
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Amnesty International has a team on the ground in Missouri. Riiiight.

How many teams do they have in Iran and Zimbabwe?
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think they're forming one up to stand up to the IS caliphate guys about that whole mass-murder/beheading thing. Hurry up while seats are still available!
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think they had it right the first time
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's something about the tone of AI's statement. One of authority. But I'm wondering what authority AI actually has, or even how much weight it can throw around. As far as I can tell, all it does is compile statistics, write reports, and issue statements expressing its outrage over this or that.

The other thing is, I thought AI went after nations and governments in order to expose human rights violations. In Ferguson, there's nothing to expose - as of last Friday, it's all out front. See, we have this thing called "freedom of speech" and this other thing called "freedom of the press." That means we don't need international organizations to air our dirty laundry. We do it ourselves.

Perhaps AI could make itself more useful by snooping around and digging up some real hidden outrages - if they can find any. That would "help" the "oppressed" much more than jumping on the Ferguson bandwagon (which everybody's invited to ride).

I question their motives. Sounds like a waning old organization trying to restore its already dubious relevance.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
AI has the same kind of authority as Jimmuh Carter when he monitors elections -- no legal authority. But the more they pontificate, the more their friends like it.
As a nation, the US has a very good track record on investigating police use of force. AI might have this conversation with Hamas or with ISIS. If they live long enough.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe they could investigate illegal guns trafficked to Mexican drug cartels from U.S. government agencies that were used in crimes affecting over 300 Mexican citizens.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Effected them fatally if I might add. According to "The KingPin Act" there was gun running and fatalities caused by those criminal actions; there is no Statute of Limitations on accessory to murder.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
In vino veritas, I suspect.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pulling the tweet doesn't make it not true. Even when I was in college, Amnesty International was the movement you joined when you wanted to look like you cared, but didn't want to do much. All you had to do was write letters to dictators, attend marches and talk about how much you cared.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
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