John Podhoretz however decided that it was worth commenting on. And he has, in his own inimitable way. He first makes the comparison.
Podhoretz then turns his guns on Amnesty International.
Number of prisoners at Gitmo: approximately 600.
Number of prisoners in the Gulag: as many as 25 million, according to the peerless Gulag historian Anne Applebaum.
Number of camps at Gitmo: 1
Number of camps in the Gulag: At least 476, according to Applebaum.
Political purpose of Gulag: The suppression of internal dissent inside a totalitarian state.
Political purpose of Gitmo: The suppression of an international terrorist group that had attacked the United States, killing 3,000 people while attempting to decapitate the national government through the hijack of airplanes.
Financial purpose of Gulag: Providing totalitarian economy with millions of slave laborers.
Financial purpose of Gitmo: None.
Seizure of Gulag prisoners: From apartments, homes, street corners inside the Soviet Union.
Seizure of Gitmo prisoners: From battlefield sites in Afghanistan in the midst of war. (link)
The people who work at Amnesty International surely know something of the history of the Gulag. After all, the group was founded in part to serve as a watchdog of Communist human-rights abuse. They surely know that even though they might consider the American camp at Guantanamo Bay a terrible violation of human rights, it is a speck on a speck of a mote of dust compared to the Everest of horror that was the Soviet Gulag.I've always enjoyed reading this guy.
On the other hand, maybe not. Maybe the people who work at Amnesty International really do think that the imprisonment of 600 certain or suspected terrorists is tantamount to the imprisonment of 25 million slaves.
The case of Amnesty International proves that well-meaning people can make morality their life's work and still be little more than moral idiots.