Amb. Susan Rice Condemns Prof. Richard Falk

by Matthew Shaffer

Over on his personal blog, Richard Falk, international law scholar and “Special Rapporteur” to the United Nations on the “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967” came this close to coming out as a 9/11 truther: 

What fuels suspicions of conspiracy is the reluctance to address the sort of awkward gaps and contradictions in the official explanations that David Ray Griffin(and other devoted scholars of high integrity) have been documenting in book after book ever since his authoritative The New Pearl Harbor in 2004 (updated in 2008). What may be more distressing than the apparent cover up is the eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials. Is this silence a manifestation of fear or cooption, or part of an equally disturbing filter of self-censorship? Whatever it is, the result is the withering away of a participatory citizenry and the erosion of legitimate constitutional government. The forms persist, but the content is missing.

As Jeffrey Goldberg notes on his blog, Susan Rice consequently asked that Falk be removed from his position. From her statement: 

Mr. Falk endorses the slurs of conspiracy theorists who allege that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were perpetrated and then covered up by the U.S. government and media. 

Mr. Falk’s comments are despicable and deeply offensive, and I condemn them in the strongest terms.  I have registered a strong protest with the UN on behalf of the United States. The United States has in the past been critical of Mr. Falk’s one-sided and politicized approach to his work for the UN, including his failure to condemn deliberate human rights abuses by Hamas, but these blog comments are in another category altogether.  

In my view, Mr. Falk’s latest commentary is so noxious that it should finally be plain to all that he should no longer continue in his position on behalf of the UN.  I would note that U.S. and many other diplomats walked out in protest in September 2010 when Iranian President Ahmadinejad made similarly slanderous remarks before the UN General Assembly. 

The United States is deeply committed to the cause of human rights and believes that cause will be better advanced without Mr. Falk.