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.
.@amnesty scoffs at Pompeo's announcement on the formation of a human rights commission: "This administration has actively worked to deny and take away long-standing human rights protections since Trump's inauguration..." pic.twitter.com/1JqiZFtX32
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.
.@SecOfState7O Pompeo's #HumanRights commission chair Mary Ann Glendon on @BostonGlobe 's Catholic priest abuse expose: "If fairness & accuracy have anything to do with it, awarding the Pulitzer to the Boston Globe would be like giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Osama bin Laden."