Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Amnesty Internationally, Ignorance Locally

Amnesty International released it's annual report on human rights violations recently. In it's 308 page report it wasted no time in attacking everybody's favorite whipping boy...

"Guantanamo has become the gulag of our time," Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan said as the London-based group issued a 308-page annual report that accused the United States of shirking its responsibility to set the bar for human rights protections.

Did she say ‘gulag’? As in the Soviet 'Gulag'? The Russian/USSR prison system known as 'Gulag'? Does she know a rat’s ass about history? Or does she even care when she has pot shots to take at the US?
How ‘bout we look a closer at just how big of morons this woman and her organization are when they make such ignorant inflated claims as these...

From, ‘Gulag: A History’:
In the course of the Soviet Union's existence, at least 476 distinct camp complexes came into being, comprising thousands of individual camps, each of which contained anywhere from a few hundred to many thousands of people.


...the total number of prisoners in the camps generally hovered around two million, but the total number of Soviet citizens who had some experience of the camps, as political or criminal prisoners, is far higher. From 1929, when the Gulag began its major expansion, until 1953, when Stalin died, the best estimates indicate that some eighteen million people passed through this massive system. About another six million were sent into exile, deported to the Kazakh deserts or the Siberian forests. Legally obliged to remain in their exile villages, they too were forced laborers, even though they did not live behind barbed wire.

And this from Institute of Historical Review, ‘The Gulag: Communism’s Penal Colonies Revisited’ by Dan Michaels:

Frenkel's special talent for improving inmate work efficiency was quickly noticed by the camp officials there, and it was not long before he was ordered to explain his ideas and methods to Stalin personally. His main proposal was to link a prisoner's food ration, especially hot food, to his production, essentially substituting hunger for the knout as the main work incentive. Frenkel had also observed that a prisoner's most productive work is usually done in the first three months of his captivity, after which he or she was in so debilitated a state that the output of the inmate population could be kept high only by removing (killing off) the exhausted prisoners and replacing them with fresh inmates. Another method of stimulating enthusiasm for work among prisoners -- and at the same time culling the camp population by killing off the weak -- was quite simple. When the prisoners were called out on a work detail, they fell into line. The last man in to line up would be shot as a laggard ("dokhodyaga"), one weakened enough to be useless for work. These policies would ensure a constant inflow of new prisoners, providing fresh labor while weeding out opposition to Stalin and his party.


...under the direct supervision of secret police chief Lavrenty Beria, thousands of Gulag inmates were used to support the Soviet nuclear bomb project by mining uranium and preparing test facilities on Novaya Zemlya, Vaygach Island, Semipalatinsk, and dozens of other sites. Later, the Soviet navy employed Gulag prisoners to rid decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines of radioactivity.


Robert Conquest, who of Western scholars has done the most to investigate and to reveal the crimes of the Soviet regime, estimates that one out of every three new inmates died during the first year of imprisonment. Only half made it through the third year. Conquest estimates that during the "Great Terror" of the late 1930s alone, there were six million arrests, two million executions, and another two million deaths from other causes in the camps. It is Conquest's belief that, by the time of Stalin's death in 1953, about twelve million had perished in the Gulag. Certain investigators, such as the late Andrei Sakharov, have put the figure much higher, from 15 to 20 million.

Sound anything like Guantanamo to any of you? Anything at all?