Yesterday I put up a PJMedia post asking where were America’s diplomats when the UN Human Rights Council unanimously adopted a report, earlier in the day, that praised the human rights record of Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya? The U.S. holds one of the 47 seats on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, but the monstrous work of fiction presented as a UN report on Libya was adopted with not a single dissenting vote. (Actually, it didn’t look like there was a vote at all — the report was simply adopted, at a brisk clip, with no call for a vote, in a sparsely filled chamber.)
So, where were America’s diplomats? Hasn’t the Obama administration argued that it’s worth legitimizing the Human Rights Council with a U.S. presence, because what we will get in return is the chance to reform the Council, through “engagement”?
It turns out the U.S. did have a delegate there, at least at some point. I flagged my post to Hillel Neuer at Geneva-based UN Watch, the monitoring group that broke the news yesterday of this latest abuse by the UN of its own mandate as a guardian of human rights. He sent back a note that the U.S. did make a statement about this report, and he sent me a copy, which the U.S. Mission to Geneva has since posted — you can read it, in all its brief and upright splendor, here. The statement does urge the new authorities in Libya to adopt various definitions and laws abolishing torture, and so forth. But it says nothing — zip, zero, nada — to correct the shameless lies in the report, which it turns out the U.S. not only approved, but applauded. The U.S. statement begins by welcoming the new, post-Qaddafi Libyan delegation to the Human Rights Council, and then immediately goes on to say the U.S. “congratulates Libya on the adoption of its UPR working report.” (“UPR” stands for Universal Periodic Review, which is the UN process that produces these reports).
It seems our diplomats at the Human Rights Council dare not speak the truth, even when faced with a stack of lies about a dead dictator who terrorized and murdered untold numbers of his own countrymen, as well as some of ours. Is America’s position at the Human Rights Council so utterly precarious that our diplomats dare not demand the UN tell the truth about such things? Was there no room to insert in that short U.S. statement one more sentence, to the effect of: “In the name of the freedom-loving American people, some of whom are right now dying for that cause in foreign lands, we deplore and object to a report stuffed with lies that lavish praise upon the ‘human rights’ record of Muammar Qaddafi, and until these sections are stricken from the document, we will not approve it.”
Or perhaps, as “engagement” proceeds in practice, diplomatic etiquette outranks truth and American principles. Today, another monitoring outfit, New York-based eyeontheun.org , released a video showing some of the praise lavished at the UN Human Rights Council on Qaddafi’s human rights record. The video ends with the note that the post-Qaddafi delegation of Libyan diplomats now being congratulated at the Human Rights Council on the birth of a new Libya are the same envoys who represented Qaddafi when the report praising him was put together. Was the aim to avoid offending them, even if that required the sacrifice of American integrity and dignity? You can find the video here, on youtube.
So, mystery solved. When the Human Rights Council adopted that disgrace of a report on Libya, America’s diplomats had not, in fact, been carried off to Mars, or wandered off to the Alps. Neither were they all awol at the cafes of Geneva. There was at least one American delegate taking part in the shameless doings in that chamber. Alas.