During the last week some sounds raised claiming that some countries, United States included, are responsible for Torture and ill-treatment crimes. These claims aren’t new at all. They are closely related to war on terrorism which was launched n October 7th 2001. From then on there have been several violations to the Third and Fourth Geneva Convention and the Convention against torture.
The torture crimes claims
Former UK foreign affairs minister, David Miliband, claimed that the United States is involved in torturing suspects who were caught after the September 11th catastrophe. “Britain was slow to act against US torture”. On the other hand Miliband denied any British involvement in any torture crimes, or any concealment of the truth of the British role in war crimes. However, England herself wasn’t so different from The United States. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, declared last month that he has opened an investigation about the involvement of British agents in torturing suspects, promising to compensate the victims if the charges proved to be true.
Few days ago The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, said that the United States is responsible for investigating the numerous torture claims related to the former US administration. He added that there are a lot of facts that we don’t know. Finally he urged the European nations to help Obama with his efforts which are targeting a final closure of Guantanamo Concentration Camp.
Human Rights Watch reported that at least 9 detainees in Afghanistan are dead in US custody, that’s along with another 4 who were directly murdered. A US internal Army investigation revealed a widespread abuse carried out by “poorly trained and inexperienced” soldiers out of boredom and cruelty.
The Michigan Peace Team wrote on their website an article about Guantanamo Concentration Camp. The article mentioned a research by Mr. Denbeaux, a lawyer who has been working on behalf of two prisoners, and leads the legal world in defending the rights of the detainees along with his father. This research demonstrated some horrifying facts about Guantanamo and how truth must remain silent.
Torture claims and its effect on US foreign policy
Such a scandal doesn’t only represent a very big black stain in America’s freedom and justice. It doesn’t only cost The United States her credibility and her reputation in the whole world. What’s worse is: Destroying human lives, and gaining even much more enemies than there already is. Imagine the Arab masses; let aside all people world wide, watching such humiliating photos and hearing horrifying testimonies. What will their reaction be? Isn’t that a shortcut for creating and exporting terrorism? A terrorism “made in, and by, USA” And for what?
Everyone knows that such claims may not be true. But the problem lies in the fact that many are real. The policy which was followed, and maybe is still followed, is: “Guilty until proven innocent”. The photographs, capturing US soldiers posing beside humiliated and totally devastated prisoners, which were published all over the world and caused a big controversy are true. The Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq caused a world wide scandal for The United States due to the same shameful photos, this scandal was true too. Some facts cannot be denied whatsoever.
George Bush, Gen. Mark Kimmitt, Donald Rumsfeld, and others claimed that these actions were in no way representative of the United States Army and they offered them their deepest apologies.
Many questions rise here. Why did those “wrongdoings”, as Rumsfeld named them, happen? Such shameful acts didn’t happen only once, but multiple times. What does that fact show? And finally, is it enough to “say sorry”?