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Jack Healey
Jack Healey is the Director of the Human Rights Action Center.

Entries by Jack Healey

Manifest Delusion: Debunking American Exceptionalism to Protect Human Rights

(19) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 9:21 AM


It's hard to not think about America with our Independence Day recently renewing fresh memories of fireworks, barbecues, and flags. A country of superlatives in matters economic, military, and cultural exports, talking about America's future finds fountains of opinions often strong...

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Ladies and Generals in Burma and Thailand: Forward and Backward Progress in Human Rights

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 9:58 AM


At independence in 1949, Burma's fortunes seemed the brightest in the region. With a full slate of buildings old and new, good transport infrastructure, very high levels of literacy and education at-large, a well-trained civil service, a prolific publishing industry, and agricultural potential...

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Revolvers: Blurred Lines Between Human Rights Organizations and the State Department

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 8:33 AM


Americans have long held governments, as well as politicians, as not quite worthy of trust. With a public that already believed that governments trick the citizenry to enrich politicians and insiders, people have been further shaken in recent years. In the past decade...

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On Universal Human Rights: Navi Pillay, Prince Zeid, and Keeping a Strong Voice at the United Nations

(1) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 8:27 AM


My first meeting with Navanetham ("Navi") Pillay was when she was studying law while at Harvard University along with Jessica Neuwirth. Neuwirth eventually became the legal advisor at Amnesty International USA and one of the producers of the Human Rights Now...

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Chen Shui-bian, Prison, and the Human Rights Choice Facing Taiwan

(8) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 5:23 AM

By the end of the year, Taiwan's first (and to date, only) opposition president will have been held in detention or prison for seven years. There are supporters who maintain his unquestionable and pristine innocence of all charges against him and there are detractors who say that he...

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Everybody Counts, Except in Burma's Census

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 8:54 AM

From a brief moment of being a region that looked like it might fully transform and embrace human rights, the nations of ASEAN are having a bad time with them now. Brunei has announced the intent to stone people for being LGBT. Singapore doesn't even allow...

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Twenty Five Years After Tiananmen

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 8:36 AM

The Tiananmen Square Massacre occurred 25 years ago, with troops moving into Beijing and the Square by late on the morning of June 3 and with a full assault going on by the early hours of June 4. Estimates of deaths range from the hundreds well into the thousands, with...

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On a Human Rights Attitude and Advocacy: The Gregory-Chappelle (or Angelou-Baldwin) Doctrine

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2014 | 2:38 PM

Having lost Maya Angelou only a few days ago, I'm reminded of her indefatigable commitment to not merely embrace the world but to wrestle with its problems and not let them go until the world became better for everyone. Among the many trending subjects that happened today, one...

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Truth, Justice, and Accountability: The Luck of the Irish?

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 1:11 PM

To many outsiders, and the vast majority of Americans, it is difficult to imagine how truly grimly awful the period of discord known as The Troubles was to those in Northern Ireland. Sited mainly there, with plenty of spillover to both the Republic of Ireland and also across...

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An American Retreat from Human Rights?

(7) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 8:32 AM

In an ideal world, we'd need no military, no war, and no violence. But we do not yet live in an ideal world, and even the most peace-minded among us would appreciate that there is a need for a military to defend the United States. But what are we doing...

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Sunflowers, Symbols, and Nukes: A 2014 Taiwan Primer

(6) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 8:10 AM

Taiwan is the little island that has both disappeared from the political stage and is everywhere present in the everyday lives of people throughout the United States. It is not mentioned in any meaningful way in discussions of policy in the halls of our political institutions or media and it...

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Twisting Honor, Twisting Human Rights: America and Torture

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 11:58 AM

There was a time when the American public demanded something like consequences for leadership failures that transgressed ethical and moral lines. The Watergate scandal brought down the Nixon presidency, but the sense in the country was that it was an indictment of failed policies ranging from Kissinger's

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Counting Down: Burma's Race to the Bottom for Human Rights

(1) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 8:40 AM

As someone who has been long-interested in the struggle for the peoples of Burma to earn for themselves the full promise of human rights and real democracy, I waited with the world for the promise of reform and transition. Having been a founder of the US Campaign for...

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Taiwan's Straits: Democracy at a Crossroads

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 9:54 AM

Taiwan is situated at a crossroads culturally and geographically. With linguistic roots in common with Southeast Asia, contemporary cultural influences from Northeast Asia, and impacts felt internationally in technology and business, the island straddles a number of tectonic plates that make it seismically active. Building in Taiwan has...

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The Torture of the Torture-Excusers

(2) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 1:16 PM

Once upon a time, I recommended that we find an attorney general who would pursue the former administration for torture, disappearances, and secret prisons. Doesn't having the nation come to terms with these formative and basic violations of the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration on Human...

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Of Padraig and Principle: Why Americans Got Saint Patrick's Day Wrong Again

(4) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 8:49 AM

Yesterday was another St. Patrick's Day. While most Americans seem to think that it's an excuse to drink heavily throughout the day and to ape the worst caricatures of "Irishness," the Feast Day of St. Patrick is a cornerstone of the nation of my own heritage and a cornerstone of...

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First Ladies, First Principles, and Foundational Documents

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 9:55 AM

In 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady, took examples of the dregs of history and aimed for a better ever after. With clarity, power, and consensus, she shepherded the creation and ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The resulting document has become the bedrock for...

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Burma is at a Crossroads? Again?

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 12:15 PM

Ever more often these days, people are asking again about whether to use the term "Burma" or Myanmar" to refer to the country between Thailand and Bangladesh, bordering India, China, and the sea. Not long ago, those asking were usually keen to discern the lingo to identify themselves as members...

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Spring in the Horse Year: Free Chen Shui-bian

(3) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 8:37 AM

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou has just sent a representative to meet with a high-ranking member of the Chinese government in Beijing. Given the proximity of Taiwan to the People's Republic, among other things, this should be neither unusual nor a source of criticism. But President Ma is a member of...

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No Left Left in the United States

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 8:43 AM

President Clinton always struck me as an arrogant narcissist. Those qualities are present in many politicians and forgivable in some, but his transformation of the Democratic Party into the "liberal" branch of the GOP can not go unnoticed. He and former Fox commentator Dick Morris, who thought that...

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