04 September 2012

By Any Means Necessary – US Style


The US Justice Department has determined that no charges will be filed in the cases of two terror suspects who died in CIA custory, one in Iraq (2003) and the other in Afghanistan (2002).Former 

CIA Director Michael Hayden, under whose watch the alleged torture took place, is relieved, it is reported.  He was, it is reported, “heartened” that the investigation into the CIA’s conduct and practices had ended and is sad that that CIA officers had to go through yet another review of their activities.

Gul Rahman died in 2002 at a secret prison in Afghanistan known as the ‘Salt Pit’ after being bound to a wall in near-freezing temperatures. Manadel al-Jamadi, also a suspected militant, died in 2003 in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib, where his corpse was photographed, wrapped in plastic and packed in ice.
These are just two of hundreds of cases where the US military establishment stands accused of torture, not as expression of perversion of service persons who lack discipline, but more of the part-and-parcel type in military operations.  There is ample evidence of torture and documented cases of people being tortured to death, but the US Justice Department has not mounted a successful prosecution and held people responsible for these crimes, Human Rights First President Elisa Massimino observed. 

Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, was sharper in response, describing the decision as "nothing short of a scandal”: “The Justice Department has declined to bring charges against the officials who authorized torture, the lawyers who sought to legitimate it, and the interrogators who used it. It has successfully shut down every legal suit meant to hold officials civilly liable.”


In effect the determination gives the CIA a green light to use torture as an admissible took in prisoner interrogation.  Some might say that the green light was always lit and the CIA’s track record makes it hard to reject such observations. 

A related question would be, ‘what now of the USA’s self-righteous proclamations on human rights and their violation, not to mention high minded admonishments to the rest of the world including Sri Lanka about “crimes against humanity” based on the thinnest of evidence, compared to which the CIA should be shut down?’

This determination, moreover, comes even as US-led operations in Afghanistan continue to kill ordinary civilians.  Rev. Jesse Jackson famously said in Geneva on the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Commission sessions ‘Those who own the drone are guilty’.  The discussion was on war crimes, crimes against humanity and other issues that the US needled Sri Lanka with in drumming up support for a resolution on (read ‘against’) Sri Lanka. 

Is the US telling the world something like the following?

‘Look, once we decide to launch a military operation outside the USA, we strictly adhere to the dictum ‘BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY’, be it guns, bombs, drones, torture, bribes or anything else that works.  This is our culture, please respect it.  And, also, keep in mind that what works for us need not work for you. Indeed, if we don’t like your face, i.e. if we believe that you act in any manner that we believe is against our interest, whether you like it or not, whether you are guilty or not, we will use ‘WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY’ to punish you.  This means that we will use all resources at our disposal to vilify you, throw you out of power, install a “friend” in your place, impose economic sanctions and guess what, even bomb you into the middle ages!’ 

Wait, isn’t that what the USA has been telling the world for decades?

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2 comments:

fayaz said...

absolutely correcto !

Shaik Ahamath said...

Conspicuous by their absence are the Amnesty International campaigners, usually so vociferous on Human Rights violations, proven or unproven, in other parts of the world.