The chorus of those calling for the resignation of Richard Falk from his position with the U.N. Human Rights Council is growing ever louder. Falk is the U.N. official who last week penned an essay reprinted in Foreign Policy Journal, essentially blaming U.S. foreign policy for the terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon and the killing and maiming of innocent Americans.
In letters to President Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 25 members of Congress on Friday demanded that Falk be dismissed from his post. This demand is not based solely on his article. Falk has a history—going back to September 11, 2001—of offensive statements about terrorism directed at Americans and Israelis, blaming not the terrorists, but the governments of the countries who were attacked. On Monday, Representative Mike Kelly (R–PA), the author of the letter, expressed his outrage publicly:
The longer Richard Falk remains with the U.N. Human Rights Council, the longer his twisted anti-American and anti-Israeli views are legitimized. By retaining Mr. Falk in an official capacity, the United Nations is providing cover for the hostile, often conspiratorial sentiments shared by terrorists and rogue nations around the globe—sentiments that most recently manifested in the Boston terrorist attack. Make no mistake: Mr. Falk's continued presence at the U.N. risks spreading hatred for America and is putting American lives at risk. This is a national security issue. President Obama has a responsibility to stand up for America and demand that Richard Falk's time at the U.N. be brought to an immediate end. Secretary-General Ban must do the same.
The reaction provoked by Falk has been such that Jeremy Hammond, the editor responsible for picking up Falk's blog and reprinting it in Foreign Policy Journal, last week published a defense of Falk claiming that he was deeply misunderstood, under the title, "The Demonization of Richard Falk."
Falk's writings are, however, very clear. He criticizes America for "promiscuous wars," and "serious deficiencies in how the United States sees itself in the world." And he calls it a "hopeful sign" that in the aftermath of the unspeakable Boston bombing, callers to a PBS program expressed critical attitudes towards the United States. One of the callers quoted approvingly by Falk stated, "Is this not a kind of retribution for torture inflicted by American security forces acting under the authority of the government, and verified for the world by pictures of the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib?"
Falk ends his screed with, "Should we not all be meditating on W. H. Auden's haunting line: 'Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return'?"
To add insult to injury, American taxpayers help pay for Richard Falk's salary at the United Nations. We can stop paying this salary, and allow him to meditate all he wants.