WALLA WALLA, Wash.-- With humor and passion the director of Amnesty International USA addressed the need for rights activists and security officials to attempt to strike a balance between security and liberty.
William Schulz, an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister who has been executive director of Amnesty International USA since 1994, spoke to a capacity crowd in Maxey Auditorium last night and received a standing ovation for his presentation on “Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights.” Schulz, presenting Whitman’s annual William O. Douglas Lecture, voiced his admiration of the late Supreme Court Justice’s efforts in the arena of human rights and civil liberties.
Schulz made a case for the same argument he puts forth in “Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights” (Nation Books, 2003), that when people’s rights are protected so is their country. In the book as well as in the lecture, he challenged both human rights advocates and the U. S. government to work toward a compromise, making the argument for balancing security and human rights in this age of terrorism.
This balance must be found, said Schulz, not only for the sake of preserving our rights and our security, but in order to successfully fight the war on terror. What the world most admires about the United States, he said, is the vision of our society as one that respects and protects the innocent, and provides due process to everyone, even the most heinous among us. If we betray that trust, he said, then we betray the most powerful resource we have and our enemies will use it to try to destroy us. “Our future and safety depend on us remembering that.”
CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org