My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Red Cross' bias against the US....

A nice op-ed from the Opinion Journal about the Red Cross.
The first concerns a story we heard first from a U.S. source that an ICRC representative visiting America's largest detention facility in Iraq last month had compared the U.S. to Nazi Germany. According to a Defense Department source citing internal Pentagon documents, the ICRC team leader told U.S. authorities at Camp Bucca: "You people are no better than and no different than the Nazi concentration camp guards." She was upset about not being granted immediate access shortly after a prison riot, when U.S. commanders may have been thinking of her own safety, among other considerations.

A second, senior Defense Department source we asked about the episode confirmed that the quote above is accurate. And a third, very well-placed American source we contacted separately told us that some kind of reference was made by the Red Cross representative "to either Nazis or the Third Reich"--which understandably offended the American soldiers present.

We called the ICRC last Wednesday for its side of the story, and a spokesman in Geneva confirmed that "there was a serious misunderstanding between the ICRC's team leader and [Coalition] authorities during our last visit to Camp Bucca." The ICRC also confirmed that "the team leader subsequently decided to leave the Iraq assignment."

The spokesman added, however, that he "can categorically say that the team leader did not in any sense compare the detention regime in Iraq to what happened in the Third Reich." Pressed as to whether he could rule out those terms having been used, the spokesman declined, citing the ICRC's practice of confidentiality when it comes to relations with the governments with which it works.

However, a second episode later last week shows that the ICRC is only too happy to throw that same confidentiality rule out the window when it suits its ideological purposes. It did so in the wake of the false Newsweek report about the treatment of the Quran at Guantanamo Bay. The ICRC's Washington office volunteered to the world's media that it had given the Pentagon "multiple" reports from Guantanamo detainees about mishandling of the Quran, after which the detainee complaints had ceased. Pentagon officials confirmed the news, adding that the incidents had been both "minor" and "inadvertent."

In other words, the ICRC hides behind the confidentiality rule when being candid might embarrass its own officials. But it drops the same rule when it is in a position to embarrass the United States, however unfairly. News of the ICRC Quran reports last week came just as the U.S. was scrambling to undo the damage in the Muslim world from the discredited Newsweek story.