Activist Lawyer Criticizes U.S. For Violating Human Rights
The United States has violated human rights to such an extent that it cannot rightfully protest Vietnam's treatment of its refugees, William M. Kunstler, the attorney best known for his defense of the "Chicago Seven," said last night.
Kunstler said he sympathizes with the plight of the boat people, but added that the problem is inevitable following the massive upheaval created by the U.S. in "our illegal and immoral war."
Kunstler said he refused to sign a letter which denounces Vietnam for expelling ethnic Chinese because the statement is "a wanton and cruel act." Folksinger Joan Baez wrote the letter, which actress and activist Jane Fonda also refused to sign.
Speaking to an audience of 150 at the Law School Forum, Kunstler said he thinks he can "understand the reasoning" behind the Vietnamese government's decision to force so-called "war criminals" to search for mines left over from the war. "It's part of a terrible, terrible time," he added.
Kunstler also said widespread misconduct in the American judicial system threatens the rights of defendants