Amnesty International Calls To Stop Brett Kavanaugh Nomination

by Bamidele Ogunberu Posted on September 25th, 2018

Washington, D.C., USA : In a letter to Senators, Amnesty International issued a rare call for a halt to a vote on President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court unless and until any information relevant to Kavanaugh’s possible involvement in human rights violations after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

“In addition to concerns about Kavanaugh’s involvement in torture and other ill-treatment by the U.S. government, we are deeply concerned about Brett Kavanaugh’s record on a range of other human rights issues, including s****l and reproductive rights” – Amnesty International.

“More information must be made public to determine Kavanaugh’s role in relation to such practices,” the organization wrote. “Amnesty International has long called for declassification of any documents or other materials depicting or describing enforced disappearance, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or other human rights violations, including acts of abduction and rendition, by US or non-US personnel after the attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001.”

Kavanaugh was working in the George W. Bush administration at the time of the attacks.

Amnesty International is calling for a freeze on Kavanaugh’s confirmation process until those documents are released publicly, calling the vetting of Kavanaugh’s human rights record “insufficient.”

The organization said the vote on Kavanaugh should be “further postponed unless and until any information relevant to Kavanaugh’s possible involvement in human rights violations—including in relation to the U.S. government’s use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, such as during the CIA detention program—is declassified and made public.”

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) in an August letter made a similar request, calling for the declassification of documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the White House after 9/11. The senators claimed he was more involved in those controversial policies than he originally let on.

Two publicly available documents cast doubt on Kavanaugh’s assertion that he was not involved in the United States’ post-9/11 counterterrorism policy, the senators wrote.

The senators wrote that “in 2006, Judge Kavanaugh told the [Senate Judiciary] Committee under oath that he was ‘not aware of any issues'” regarding post-9/11 policies, including the treatment of detainees and the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

“At least two documents that are publicly available on the Bush Library website from Judge Kavanaugh’s time as Staff Secretary suggest that he was involved in issues related to torture and rendition after 9/11,” the senators wrote, citing two documents that seem to indicate Kavanaugh was looped into conversations about polices regarding torture.

Amnesty International does not typically weigh in on the appointment of individuals to government positions unless they “are reasonably suspected of crimes under international law,” according to the Monday letter.

Amnesty International Letter To Senators

Dear Senator,

Amnesty International USA calls on you to halt the vote on President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Amnesty International takes no position on the appointment of particular individuals to government positions, unless they are reasonably suspected of crimes under international law and could use their appointment to the position in question to either prevent accountability for these crimes or to continue perpetration. At the same time, the organization calls on governments to thoroughly vet candidates in regard to any human rights concerns arising from their prior conduct.

Amnesty International believes that the vetting of Brett Kavanaugh’s record on human rights has been insufficient and calls for the vote on his nomination for Supreme Court of the United States to be further postponed unless and until any information relevant to Kavanaugh’s possible involvement in human rights violations—including in relation to the U.S. government’s use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, such as during the CIA detention program—is declassified and made public.

Amnesty International has long called for declassification of any documents or other materials depicting or describing enforced disappearance, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or other human rights violations, including acts of abduction and rendition, by US or non-US personnel after the attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001.

According to his biography, Brett Kavanaugh “served for more than five years in the White House for President George W. Bush. From July 2003 until May 2006, he was Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary to the President. From 2001 to 2003, he was Associate Counsel and then Senior Associate Counsel to the President.” In a letter dated August 16, 2018, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to make a number of documents related to Brett Kavanaugh’s record public, noting that, “at least two documents that are publicly available on the Bush Library website from Judge Kavanaugh’s time as Staff Secretary suggest that he was involved in issues related to torture and rendition after 9/11.” More information must be made public to determine Kavanaugh’s role in relation to such practices.

In addition to concerns about Kavanaugh’s involvement in torture and other ill-treatment by the U.S. government, Amnesty International is deeply concerned about Brett Kavanaugh’s record on a range of other human rights issues, including s****l and reproductive rights, access to abortion, women’s rights, LGBTI Rights, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, environmental rights, gun violence, refugee rights, criminal justice, surveillance and detentions at Guantánamo.

As s****l assault also implicates a number of human rights, including the right to be free from gender-based discrimination and violence, we also call for a thorough vetting in regard to any allegations made against Kavanaugh to this effect, including those by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez. Sincerely,

Margaret Huang Executive Director Amnesty International USA”

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Bamidele Ogunberu

Bamidele Ogunberu

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