New Report Deems U.S. Human Rights Enforcement a “Shell Game”
By: Opt IN USA
According to its 46-page report, Opt IN USA began as an effort by NJCDLP co-founders to initiate an international human rights claim for Americans reportedly enduring a “persistent pattern of persecution and mental torture imposed through U.S. legal system abuse”. The alleged phenomenon is called “The Third Degree” (TTD).
In a September 15, 2015 letter to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a coalition of 38 NGOs (non-governmental organizations)
Although America ratified the ICCPR in 1976 and the CAT in 1987, the UN Human Rights Committee and other UN Working Groups cannot examine alleged human rights violations in the U.S. by U.S. government officials, submitted by American citizens. So no American can even seek a determination that he or she is, for example, wrongfully detained in America like the recent UN condemnation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s detention in London.
“Admittedly NJCDLP is not a U.S. foreign affairs expert, but this isolation of Americans from the international human rights community should not be a virtual secret,” says Dr. Andrew D. Jackson, a NJCDLP co-founder, TTD proponent, and Opt IN USA coordinator. He adds, “Our report confirms something else that relatively few people realize: America is not protecting a substantial number of its citizens from systematic, often brutal abuse by rogue U.S. officials.”
Jackson’s colleague, Zena Crenshaw-Logal, is an attorney before the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She and her husband, Mr. Rodney A. Logal, co-founded NJCDLP with Jackson and join him in addressing TTD as a violation of U.S. international human rights and anti-torture treaties.
Crenshaw-Logal authored Opt IN USA’s debut report and several of the U.S. legal system analyses it cites. She explains, “In evaluating America’s ability to redress and deter misconduct under color of law (a/k/a official misconduct, government corruption, etc.), it undoubtedly seems reasonable, even laudable for our nation to diligently seek improvement while proudly noting how or why our legal system is effective in protecting individual rights. However, improvements we tend to avoid as a country are those most effective in hindering selective protection of individual rights. U.S. legal system abuse proliferates as a result and has produced a vast, broadly diverse underclass of Americans. Opt IN USA dubs this embattled group the Sisyphenians because for us, seeking protection through U.S. legal and political processes is little more than a shell game; a sometimes decades-long process as futile as the punishment of Sisyphus, condemned in Greek mythology to roll a boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back down every day for eternity.”
Dr. Jackson explains: “We will be reaching out to all the major human rights organizations that address U.S. governance. Hopefully they will support our push for America to adopt the Optional Protocols (OPs) for the ICCPR and CAT. We definitely need and will appreciate whatever refuge they provide us Sisyphenians. The same is true for our U.S. Ambassador to the UN, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Lawyers and Judges. We will also try teaming with the ambassadors to the U.S. of sixteen (16) foreign countries that recently encouraged America to, among other things, ratify OPs for the ICCPR and CAT, strengthen accountability for violations of those treaties in the U.S., and create a national human rights institution.”
Crenshaw-Logal explains that Opt IN USA administrators continue recruiting, organizing, and mobilizing campaign participants for orderly outreach to the U.S. Congress and Justice Department. “Federal officials are asked to address our concerns as a human rights matter and as part of national government oversight, even if they also involve state court difficulties,”
To learn more about and become part of Opt IN USA, visit http://www.thethirddegree.net/#!