Scott Horton


The Other Scott Horton (no relation), international human rights lawyer, professor and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine, discusses the public grievances that motivated Kyrgyzstan’s second revolution in five years, Russian ambivalence about the US regional presence, the critical strategic importance of the US airbase at Manas, evidence of CIA intervention with Gitmo hunger-strikers at the infamous “Camp No” and the ominous McCain/Lieberman detention bill.

MP3 here. (26:15)

The other Scott Horton is a Contributing Editor for Harper’s magazine where he writes the No Comment blog. A New York attorney known for his work in emerging markets and international law, especially human rights law and the law of armed conflict, Horton lectures at Columbia Law School. A life-long human rights advocate, Scott served as counsel to Andrei Sakharov and Elena Bonner, among other activists in the former Soviet Union.

He is a co-founder of the American University in Central Asia, and has been involved in some of the most significant foreign investment projects in the Central Eurasian region. Scott recently led a number of studies of abuse issues associated with the conduct of the war on terror for the New York City Bar Association, where he has chaired several committees, including, most recently, the Committee on International Law. He is also a member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice, the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, the EurasiaGroup and the American Branch of the International Law Association.

5 thoughts on “Scott Horton”

  1. Misapplied a technique & wasn't being monitored close enough? Three times!!?? Doesn't pass my smell test. My guess is that the torturers weren't getting what they wanted and ended up killing the prisoners out of frustrations & revenge.

  2. I respect Horton's work on civil rights and on Camp No, but I think he's way off on Russia and Krygyzstan. Like a lot of academic types, it seems, he is afraid to say anything that might involve 'speculation', so he goes to the opposite extreme and makes what might be called hidden assumptions. For example, to state the obvious, that the US was heavily involved in the 'Tulip Revolution', is just a bridge too far for him, it seems. Too speculative. And he offers the kind of false justification for this position that is typical of those who seem to deny that there are ever covert factors in anything – he states that there was an actual desire for a change in Krygyzstan, so (by implication) the US couldn't possibly have had a role. Yeah, well, for the CIA to manipulate a revolution, there would have to be some degree of fervor there to begin with. No one is suggesting that they made it up out of nothing, or that they could. So his argument is just bunkum. The same kinds of arguments were used about Iran. Oh, since there is obviously a desire for reform in Iran, the US COULDN'T have been involved there, though we already know that the US has been HEAVILY involved in covert manipulations in Iran for a long time.

    Then Scott goes on to tell us that Obama has a totally different policy towards Russia than Bush. That's just total bunk, apparently based on that same excess of caution, this time leading him to believe the public PR about what is going on, because we all know that pols never dissemble, or Obama clearly doesn't . If FACT, Obama has been escalating the buildup of missile defense and other forms of threat and encirclement around Russia, and that includes rebuilding and recommitting to Georgia. The difference from Bush is that Obama's persona about it is less abrasive, and that Russia appears to be willing to play along – but then again, they really don't have any other choice, and on top of that, they've apparently been paid off with some sweet deals (eg France, India), to go along more easily. But it's not as though anything they did would cause Obama to back off. Both sides are playing nice publicly, but that doesn't say much at all for what is going on behind the scenes. What we know is that Obama IS laying the pressure on Russia every bit as hard as Bush did. He's just not 'facing' them as much.

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