From the last, best hope of earth to Abu Ghraib: What has happened to the vision of America as the land of justice? In countless ways, at home and in the world, this country has abandoned its commitment to the protection of human rights.
The Palmer Raids were one of the most notorious episodes in American legal history. A. Mitchell Palmer, President Woodrow Wilson's attorney general from 1919 to 1921, rounded up 3,000 allegedly "subversive" aliens for deportation. Only about 300 were actually deported, but the roundup was widely deplored as crude and lawless intimidation.
When Richard Holbrooke was chosen to be United States ambassador to the United Nations last June, the State Department's inspector general received an anonymous letter charging that Holbrooke had violated ethics rules. The writer, who described himself as a department employee, said he based his charges on hearsay.