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Is an Agency of the U.N. More Important Than an Agency of the U.S.?


The administration’s report to the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights is disgraceful for reasons beyond simple enumeration. Not only does it read like a high school term paper based on a Howard Zinn textbook, but it also conflates America’s human rights successes with Obama hagiography.

The Obama administration has no obligation to participate in the activities of the U.N. Council on Human Rights, the antecedent of which was responsible for such anti-American and anti-Israel travesties such as the Durban Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Nonetheless, over the last year the administration consulted with hundreds of people across the country “representing a diversity of communities and viewpoints” to produce the report for the U.N.

Yet at the same time the administration was engaged in this endeavor, the Department of Justice was refusing to provide critical witnesses and information in response to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ statutory investigation into DOJ’s enforcement of civil rights laws — with specific attention to the dismissal of the New Black Panther Party case (DOJ also has stiffed various members of Congress who are seeking similar information). This, despite the fact that DOJ has an obligation under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1975b(e) to “cooperate fully” with the Commission’s investigation.

Particularly noteworthy in this regard are the sections in the report touting DOJ’s efforts “to strengthen enforcement of federal voting rights laws.” Paragraph 27 even highlights the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) that protects “the equal rights of all by facilitating complete and accurate voter rolls.”

And that’s precisely what the NVRA is designed to do. One big problem: the uncontroverted sworn testimony before the Commission of former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams shows that a high-level political appointee in DOJ told the attorneys of the Voting Rights Section that Section 8 of the NVRA — the provision designed to insure voter eligibility — would not be enforced. Moreover, Adams’s testimony, supported by several affiants, alleges that the culture within DOJ is hostile to enforcing voting rights laws against minority defendants on behalf of white victims.

The Commission continues to seek evidence either corroborating or rebutting these allegations. Maybe we’d get more cooperation if we changed our name to the U.N. Commission on Civil Rights.


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