Ending Impunity – Iraq

In a penetrating article for the Asia Times, Ashraf Fahim looks at the looks at the relative lack of prosecutions or convictions against US soldiers accused of the unlawful killing of civilians in Iraq.

Michael Ratner, who heads the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York, has tackled the issue of impunity head on. CCR is currently trying to prosecute US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the former top military officer in Iraq, General Ricardo Sanchez, for their roles in the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. Ratner says the policy of giving US servicemen and high officials impunity to order or carry out torture or killings is no accident.

"I think it’s intentional," Ratner told Asia Times Online. "The military is saying, in Afghanistan and Iraq, ‘if you mess with us you’re going to die and no one is going to be held accountable’." The motivation is twofold, he believes. "Part of it is terrorizing the population and part of it is they want our army to be killers. They’re frightened that if they discipline or prosecute them, they’ll hold back." (Asia Times Online)






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