Bush administration officials were quick to respond. "I frankly just don't take them seriously," Vice President Cheney commented on CNN. General Richard Meyers said the AI allegations were "absolutely irresponsible." And President Bush dismissed the charge as "absurd."
Amnesty International was once a respected human rights organization that organized letter-writing campaigns to free prisoners of conscience and stop torture around the world. So where did AI go wrong?
Back in the early 1990s Amnesty began to embrace an agenda of "social justice." Events would show how that fluffy, feel-good concept would be used to justify the goofiest notions of the Politically Correct.
Take Amnesty's coverage of human rights abuses in Afghanistan. For years the Taliban had the nasty habit of going into remote villages, dragging innocent menfolk out of their homes, and shooting them in cold blood. Life was not easy for women, but according to the Amnesty reports, it was usually men who lost life or limb during the protracted Afghani conflict.
But one day someone noticed that women were "underrepresented" in the body counts. That's not good for feminist theory, which holds that women are always the victim in patriarchal societies.
So Amnesty started its woes of women campaign.
Here's an eye-witness story from its 1995 report, Women in Afghanistan: A Human Rights Catastrophe: "Fierce fighting broke out and we were all running away in the streets of Kabul...Suddenly, I noticed that my husband was not with us. I was crying hard calling out his name. A guard from one of the checkpoints came to me and told me to keep quiet. I told him that I had lost my husband."
The full account leaves the reader with the impression that the woman's grief deserves more sympathy than her husband's death. That's an abuse of the traditional notion that the taking of life is the greatest human rights violation of all.
Amnesty's 1999 report, Women in Afghanistan: Pawns in Men's Power Struggle, opens with this anti-male diatribe: "While the 'battles of death are played out by men, women have the responsibility for the battles of life.'" Try telling that to the Afghani men who were risking their all trying to protect the lives and honor of their women from the Taliban marauders.
Soon, Amnesty reports would begin to downplay the tragedies that befell men. Here's a statement from the 2001 report, Afghanistan: Making Human Rights the Agenda: "During 2000, at least 15 people were executed in public, including one woman who was stoned to death."
Why no mention of the sex or details of the 14 men who were executed in public?
It's hard to imagine a human rights organization, of all groups, pandering to a one-sided gender ideology. And it's difficult to believe that things could get any worse at AI. But they did.
In 2001 Amnesty International hired a former UN bureaucrat named Irene Khan and anointed her with the tinpot title, Secretary General. Subsequent events would soon reveal Khan's true agenda: to turn AI into a base camp for the international radical feminist movement.
Pay a visit to the Amnesty International website and you will learn that Ms. Khan has recently unveiled a campaign to stop violence. The campaign, Stop the Violence Against Women, aims to publicize the problem of domestic violence.
So despite the fact that women are equally likely as men to commit domestic violence, and even though men are twice as likely to die from violence-related causes, Amnesty International has opted to mortgage the credibility of its organization with the misleading message that women are more susceptible to violence.
Referring to Amnesty's wailing about Guantanamo, the Wall Street Journal lamented AI's "moral degradation" and concluded, "A 'human rights' group that can't distinguish between Stalin's death camps and detention centers for terrorists who kill civilians can't be taken seriously."
One might add, a human rights organization that sanitizes its reports to downplay the human rights violations against men and tailors its agenda to cater to a radical gender ideology, is a group that has lost its moral compass.