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so YOU sTAgr A WAR FOR QNS,KtIL A SilfIJ4 PEOFIZI AND LAVE.A 51a. Mass EsrAitsupi WHAT PO YOU ;PIAVE “r4 5AY FOR YOUR5ELE Li= Ggc:Raig.i a website, , which claims that NGOs “have strayed beyond their original mandates and assumed quasigovernmental roles. Increasingly, nongovernmental organizations are not just accredited observers at international organizations, they are full-fledged decision-makers.” The website, which AEI is running in a partnership with the equally right-wing Federalist Society, currently contains only a handful of profiles of the evil NGOs who are now running the world. But its portrayal of several groups gives a good indication of AEI’s bias. For instance, the site says that Human Rights Watch, a group that investigates and reports on governmental and non-governmental human rights abuses around the world, “promotes sexual orientation rights,” “denounces abstinence from sex programs,” and, horror of horrors, “demands release of some detainees at Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay.” Never mind that nearly 700 men are being held at the camp \(built by or without access to legal assistance. Tom Malinowski, a spokesman for Human Rights Watch, says the AEI program “is too pathetic to be worthy of comment. It’s a wacky, ideologically driven effort that no one here takes to seriously.” He said the portrayal of his group is overly simplistic. As for the Guantanamo Bay detainees, he said his group “pleads guilty to agreeing with every U.S. ally” that some of the captives should be set free. Underlying the AEI’s attack on NGOs is a fairly astounding bit of myopia. In promoting their June 11 conference on the dangers of rising NGO power, the AEI said that the “growing power of supranational organizations and a loose set of rules governing the accreditation of NGOs has meant that an unelected few have access to growing and unregulated power.” Hmmm. Just last February President George W. Bush boasted that his administration now has 20 former AEI personnel in its ranks all but one of them unelected. Those AEI veterans include Vice President Dick Cheney and super-hawk Richard Perle, the former chairman and current member of the Defense Policy Board, an unelected and secretive body which advises the Secretary of Defense. To keep it in the family, the vice president’s wife, uber-conservative Lynne Cheney, is listed as a “senior fellow” on AEI’s web site as well. Given AEI’s pedigree and its obvious influence within the Bush Administration, would it be too boorish to note that AEI is an NGO? 1/18/03 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13