Human Rights First Statement on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11
WASHINGTON — Human Rights First’s President and CEO Mike Breen, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11, with the following statement.
“Two decades after the attacks of 9/11, we commemorate the memories of the Americans killed and honor those otherwise affected by these heinous attacks. We must also note that we are still living with the repercussions of that day’s events and the misguided or disingenuous policies passed under the guise of national security.”
“Now, with 20 years of experience, it’s time for the United States to reconsider the post-9/11 policies that have given rise to anti-Muslim sentiment, restricted civil rights, distorted our domestic affairs and skewed our foreign policy. The militarization of policing and border enforcement burgeoned in the post-9/11 security state. The current human rights crisis in Afghanistan is an all too real reminder that the United States must rethink its approach to foreign policy and leave behind the short-sighted narrowly focused security approach that dominated decision-making in the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11.
“As someone who served in Afghanistan and who leads a human rights organization today, the failures of the era are abundantly clear. I see this anniversary as an opportunity for the U.S. government to commit itself to human rights-centered policies at home and around the world.”