Opinion

Kennedy clan on wrong side of Moroccan human-rights battle

Two scions of the Kennedy clan went to Morocco recently and came away with a breathless tale of police brutality against separatists. The problem? The separatists represent the Polisario Front, a brutal rebel group linked to al-Qaida and drug smugglers.

Their first-hand account, which was published by The Huffington Post, doesn’t mention that their radical chic tour continued to the Polisario Front’s remote Saharan camps in Southern Algeria, where the rebels used the naïve Kennedy women for all the propaganda value they could wring out of them.

Kerry Kennedy is the seventh child, out of 11, of former Senator Robert F. Kennedy, but she has worked the hardest to invoke her father’s name for fame and glory. (Sen. Kennedy was slain by a Palestinian gunman, Sirhan Sirhan, in 1968 while campaigning for president.)

She served as executive director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial until a 1995 dispute ended her involvement, and as honorary president of the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation of Europe. But Kerry Kennedy is best known for running the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, which she launched in 1988.

She and the RFK Center seem to specialize in documenting the human rights abuses of America’s allies, ranging from El Salvador and South Korea to the first nation in the world to recognize America’s independence, Morocco. Ms. Kennedy has done some good work documenting genuine abuses in Sudan, China and Burma. But now America’s allies from the Cold War and the war on terror seem to be of particular interest.

Even if Kennedy’s stories need to be exaggerated a little.

Mariah Kennedy-Cuomo, age 17, was the other Kennedy on the Morocco trip. Mariah’s mother, Kerry, was married to Andrew Cuomo from 1990 to 2005.

The Huffington Post story is a first-person narrative of this mother-daughter team bravely taking on Morocco’s fearsome security state. It doesn’t seem like much.

Through a car window, Mariah was snapping photos of a separatist demonstration when a man reached into the vehicle to block her lens. This is big drama.

The two Kennedys claim, without offering any evidence, that the man was a plainclothes police officer. He may as easily have been a rude onlooker.

Then an anti-government activist claimed to have recognized another man as an officer in Morocco’s “secret police.” Again, no evidence is offered — except the word of an activist who seeks to divide Morocco into two states, like Korea.