The head of Mike Pompeo's new human rights commission once compared the Boston Globe to Osama bin Laden

Mike Pompeo.
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apparently thinks there's too much confusion over what constitutes a human right. So, to clear things up, he announced on Monday that he's launching a new Commission on Unalienable Rights, a bipartisan unit that will reportedly provide him with an "informed view of the role of human rights in American foreign policy."

Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor and a former ambassador to the Vatican under George W. Bush, will head up the commission. At the announcement, she concurred with Pompeo about the panel's necessity, saying that "basic human rights are misunderstood by many, manipulated by many, and ignored by the world's worst human rights violators." Neither Pompeo or Glendon, who wrote a book about the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations, provided any significant details about what they meant by these comments, or what, specifically, the commission will do on a regular basis.

Not everyone shares their enthusiam for the project, however. Amnesty International was quick to respond.

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Glendon's appointment will also likely spark some controversy. She's known as a prominent anti-abortion voice, Politico reports (though the panel will reportedly not weigh in on issues like abortion or same-sex marriage). But one comment has already resurfaced.

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Glendon reportedly felt that the Globe's reporting created unnecessary hysteria in Boston's Catholic community. Her comment reportedly still rankles some folks.

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.