Panama: Verdict: The U.S. Was Not Guilty

In the wake of the Canal Zone riots last January, Panama accused the U.S. of violating the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This violation, Panama charged, was committed by the U.S. Army when it fired "on the defenseless Panamanian population" and denied Panamanians "the right of freedom of peaceful assembly and association." The Panamanian government asked the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, an unofficial but highly respected group of international lawyers, to investigate the case.

Last week the I.C.J. made its report. Verdict: not guilty. The U.S. violated no one's "human rights." Indeed, the Panamanians themselves, whatever their legitimate...

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