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Humanitarian Law Project By: Jean Pearce
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, April 14, 2004


In January, the Humanitarian Law Project scored a legal victory it had long been seeking when a Los Angeles Federal District Court judge struck down parts of the Patriot Act. The section of the Act in question barred American groups like HLP from providing advice and non-military aid to known terrorist groups across the globe.

As a result, the HLP will now be able to aid the two Marxist terrorist groups that were the subject of the lawsuit. One of the groups, the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is responsible for over 200 suicide bombings, including attacks on mass transit and other civilian targets and the assassinations in the early 1990s of the prime ministers of India and Sri Lanka.

The other, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), fought in the name of Marxism and Kurdish nationalism, for an independent state in southeast Turkey in the 1980s and ’90s. It was one of the first groups to use suicide bombers and, with the backing of Syria, the  PKK engaged in the massacre of civilian villages where its dogma was opposed, eventually leaving an estimated 30,000 dead.

 

Despite this, most of the media described the HLP as a “human rights” group in its coverage earlier this year. HLP could better be described as a vehicle of the most extreme elements of the pro-terror Left – and of the United Nations, which are increasingly becoming indistinguishable from each other.

 

As a United Nations nongovernmental organization (NGO), the HLP has consultative status, receives its funding from the UN and reports to the UN’s commission on Human Rights.

 

For more than a decade, the American leftists who run the HLP have been “monitoring” their own country on behalf of the UN and making damning reports before the commission and on the floor of the UN, most of them about “atrocities” supposedly committed in or by the United States, particularly during both Iraq wars.

 

The HLP is the creation of Los Angeles real estate magnate Aris Anagnos, who has spent the last three decades bankrolling Marxist causes across the globe.

 

From the Nicaraguan Sandinistas to Marxist rebels in Chiapas to Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro, Anagnos seems to never have encountered a Communist he didn’t admire.

 

In 2000, Anagnos told the Los Angeles Times that Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was “one of the outstanding statesmen of the world today.”

 

“He has served his people faithfully and unselfishly and is a model for presidents to imitate,” Anagnos was quoted as saying. “And I'm not being funny.”

 

No leftist cause is apparently too radical for Anagnos. The last major lawsuit Anagnos got behind, to the tune of at least $600,000, was the now infamous Christic Institute RICO case in 1985, which alleged that the CIA had dabbled in assassinations funded by drug money and that the agency was in cahoots with the Nicaraguan Contras, using drug money to finance their war against the Marxist Sandinistas – and to assassinate Communists across the globe. The media quietly dropped the story after it turned out that most of the witnesses named in the case weren’t real people. The Institute was forced by a judge to pay the legal expenses of the high ranking CIA officials and others named in what he called a “frivolous” suit. Anagnos and his wife were also heavy financial sponsors of the Christic Institute itself, which was largely responsible for other well-known conspiracy theories, including accusations that the CIA sold drugs in American ghettoes, a discredited theory still widely held among American blacks, including Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

 

Anagnos founded the HLP the same year the Christic suit was filed, for the purpose, it appears, of helping Marxist rebels and terrorists around the globe. It shares an address with Anagnos’ real estate company and dozens of other loosely intertwined leftist groups in the Los Angeles Peace Center, at 8124 West 3rd Street in Los Angeles. The Center is funded by the Carolyn & Aris Anagnos Peace Center Foundation as a rent-free home for progressive organizations and has become a hub of leftist activity in L.A. It is home to the Coalition for World Peace (CWP), a member of the United for Peace & Justice Coalition. Among CWP’s five member organizations is the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, a Communist Party spin-off group co-chaired by leftist organizer Leslie Cagan, head of UFPJ, longtime Communist Party member and one of the main forces behind last year’s national antiwar protests.

 

For years, Anagnos has also been a major donor to the Pacifica Radio Network, a group of donor-funded stations that advocate Marxist ideas and radical conspiracy theories – like Jewish doctors injecting black babies with the AIDS virus.

 

At times at 8124 West 3rd Street, it’s hard to tell where the HLP and Coalition for World Peace end and Pacifica Radio begins. Until recently, Pacifica station KPFK’s local advisory board held its meetings at the Peace Center. HLP Executive Director Lydia Brazon sits on Pacifica’s Board, which Cagan chaired until this week.

 

The Center is also the home to the West Coast offices of such groups as the Democratic Socialists of America, the National Lawyers Guild and Americans for Democratic Action.

 

Like Anagnos, HLP’s president, University of Southern California Assistant Professor and former Freedom Rider Ralph Fertig, appears to dabble in paranoia, as well. Fertig is a supporting member of an international group called Campaign Against Criminalizing Communities (CAMPACC), a group that opposes anti-terrorism laws here and abroad. According to a statement on its website, the group believes that the crusade against terrorism is part of an international plan by the “secret security state” to exploit national insecurity. The group alleged this Big Brother wannabe is creating fictitious enemies in much the way the government did in Orwell’s 1984. The goal of this secret entity both here and abroad, they believe, is to intimidate immigrant communities from participating in the political process, “harass and prosecute” activists like themselves and give governments unlimited access to information on their political activities.

 

Over the years, the “torture victims” whose causes the HLP has taken up have included Los Angeles gang members targeted by the Los Angeles Police Department and jailed Whitewater figure Susan McDougal.

 

In 1997, Parker and the HLP called McDougal a “torture victim” and a “political prisoner” for refusing to testify against President Bill Clinton and petitioned the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Group on Arbitrary Detention to investigate McDougal's case.

 

The group was also behind well-publicized international accusations that the U.S. might have committed “atrocities” in both Iraq wars by using bombs tipped with depleted uranium. (However, HLP has never been able to produce any evidence to this effect.)

 

“Our organization considers the Iraq situation an atrocity followed by a catastrophe,” Parker testified. “The international community simply must respond or risk being overtaken in every way by a power (the U.S.) that did not and does not intend to abide by the principles of humanitarian law carefully carved out since the first Geneva Convention.”

 

In fact, the United States is the Great Satan to HLP members. Hence, it must be weakened, neutered and rendered of no effect. Hence, it should come as no surprise that chief among the HLP’s aims is disarming the United States. In July of 2003, while testifying before a UN Commission on Human Rights subcommittee, Karen Parker, a Los Angeles attorney who has represented HLP before the UN for years, claimed that the fate of the whole world lies in being able to carry out the “true disarmament” of the U.S.

 

“The smaller, poorer countries cannot possibly keep up with ‘arm-chair’ wars or they will bankrupt themselves,” she said, urging the UN to give America’s enemies a fighting chance in their war against the United States. “Even the other developed countries are far, far behind this technological madness. If the United States is allowed to use and develop these weapons, all other countries are reduced to peonage at the mercy of the United States.”

 

As Parker explained in an interview in Human Rights Action, the HLP newsletter, the group considers the World Court – formally called the International Court of Justice – to be “the highest legal body in the world.”

 

In addition to their paranoia about America and their hope that Third World countries will stand up to the U.S. in battle, HLP’s supposedly humanitarian leaders possess and amazing tolerance for brutality when it is committed by fellow Marxists.

 

In 1988, before a scheduled summit between U.S. and Soviet leaders on human rights, Parker led a press conference in New York to assure Soviet leaders that despite U.S. rhetoric, the real human rights problems weren’t in Russia, but in America. American human rights violations had reached “truly mass proportions” Soviet leaders were told, including the tragedy of “the starving the homeless.” Meanwhile, a recent tour of the USSR by lawyer William Kunstler (founder of the Center for Constitutional Rights) had proven that the U.S. government’s allegations about violations of human rights in the Soviet Union, including the persecution of Soviet dissidents, were “absolutely unfounded.” (Tell that to Sakharov and Solzenitsyn.)

 

Sixteen years later, Fertig displayed the same dismissive attitude about the trail of blood – to say nothing of the human rights violations – that the LTTE has left in its wake. In an interview with Sri Lanka’s Sunday Leader newspaper about the HLP’s Patriot Act suit, Fertig said the LTTE’s history of violence was “quite irrelevant in this case.” He then explained that the suit was really about the right of any individual to send aid for “non-violent humanitarian projects” of the LTTE.

 

According to media reports, a spokesperson for John Ashcroft said that the Justice Department is considering an appeal of the ruling in the case. Americans concerned about the threat terrorists pose to their own nation – and Western civilization as a whole – can only hope the decision is appealed, and HLP follows its Communist heroes into the dustbin of history.




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