Monday, August 8, 2011

Truth and Justice

We do not generally repost material written by others. If we don't have something to add to the discussion, we leave it to others to publicize such materials.

Today is one of those exceptional days, though. While we have nothing to add, we want to be sure readers are aware of a news item in The Huffington Post.

This is a note from Vincent Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, reproducing a letter by Laura Raymond from CCR that was submitted to the Wall Street Journal, but not, Warren notes, published there.

Raymond was responding to an unbelievable (literally) editorial published by the WSJ, written by the wildly uninformed Mary Anastasia O'Grady, giving her weird spin of the report of the official Honduran "Truth Commission". Like all O'Grady's writing about Honduras since the coup, her editorial bears the same relation to reality as a bad drug trip-- with the drug here being the intoxication of Hugo Chavez-based fear mongering.

Raymond managed to do something I could not: find a way to use the insane WSJ editorial as an occasion to correct the historical record, writing that the official Truth Commission
was initiated by Honduran government officials who have been behind ongoing serious human rights abuses and without the input and involvement of civil society. Upon the Commission’s inauguration, Honduran and international human rights bodies sharply criticized it for lack of compliance with international standards for truth commissions. O’Grady states that Honduran social movements “didn’t quite get the condemnation they sought” from this Commission with the recent release of its report. The truth is, Honduran civil society never sought anything from this Commission; they knew it was doomed from the very beginning which is why a platform of the country’s leading human rights organizations established an alternative “Commission of Truth,” which has its own report coming out this fall.

In one simple paragraph, Raymond clarifies where progressives in Honduras stand with respect to the official Truth Commission.

The Center for Constitutional Rights describes its goal as
advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

CCR us doing an outstanding job following up on issues of violation of constitutionality in Honduras brought about by the 2009 coup.

Their Fact Sheet on the official Truth Commission and the independent "Commission of Truth" (or True Commission) is an excellent beginning point to understand these two different initiatives. CCR has engaged in US Freedom of Information Act requests in support of the work of the True Commission. CCR has also sued Roberto Micheletti in US court, on behalf of the parents of Isis Obed Murillo, who was killed early in the coup when President Zelaya attempted to land at Tegucigalpa.

Raymond did, in the end, have to repeat the crazy stuff O'Grady said in order to refute it. This was something we wanted to avoid (and clever readers will notice we did not repeat O'Grady's craziness here).

But what Raymond managed to do, that we could not, is find a useful thing to say that goes beyond simply trying to remind people that the sun actually does rise in the east.

Kudos to her, and to CCR, for truth and justice.

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