Just when you thought the United Nations couldn't disgrace itself further, it fetches up siding with supporters of terrorists against defenders of innocent civilians. The Commission on Human Rights' special investigator on torture, Manfred Nowak, is threatening to expand his own brief and refer Britain to the United Nations General Assembly for human rights violations. This is because Britain is preparing plans to deport foreign citizens who engage in "unacceptable behavior" such as encouraging or glorifying terrorism.
It doesn't seem to matter to Mr. Nowak that Britain is tightening its anti-terror laws to protect itself in the wake of attacks on London's transit system. The British government has said it will only send undesirables to states that will promise not to torture them. Sounds like Britain is going beyond the call of duty. Foreign citizens are in a country at the goodwill of their hosts. Encouraging terrorist attacks oversteps that welcome by far; the foreigners are fortunate Britain is showing any concern about their new destination.
Not according to Mr. Nowak. He says there is no guarantee that the countries will keep their promise not to torture and that Britain is wrong to send them anywhere. According to the Guardian, Mr. Nowak is seeking permission to visit Britain and discuss his concerns with the home secretary, Charles Clarke. It would be far more appropriate for Mr. Nowak to be visiting, and publicly chastising, those countries he is concerned will torture people, rather than hampering Britain's attempts to protect its population from further terrorist attacks.
Mr. Clarke responded to Mr. Nowak's criticisms by saying: "The human rights of those people who were blown up on the Tube in London on July 7, are, to be quite frank, more important than the human rights of the people who committed those acts." Quite, but not to the Commission on Human Rights to which Mr. Nowak belongs. It's infamous for siding with terrorists against democracies. Israel is regularly chastised by the commission for interfering in the lives of Palestinian Arabs, while scant mention is made of either the terrorism that makes the interference necessary or the right of Israelis to life.
This latest disgrace from Turtle Bay follows last week's discovery that the United Nations Development Program was financing the distribution of anti-Israel propaganda in Gaza. Which comes amid the oil-for-food scandal, the sex scandal, and the inaction against the ethnic cleansing in Sudan, to list but a few. The question to ask in all this is, "Where is the secretary-general, Kofi Annan?" He was supposed to be reforming the human rights commission. The case for active, pre-emptive oversight of the United Nations by the United States Congress gets stronger by the day.