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US responsible for torture - will Wikileaks documents lead to action by UN?

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Wikileaks.org has published thousands of secret documents that the United States doesn't want us or the world to see. The horrific details of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are documented through these reports, and I hope that the United Nations (UN) will swiftly act to bring those responsible for war crimes to justice.

War has two purposes: To kill lots of people and to destroy lots of things. War is never pretty, and we should not kid ourselves by thinking otherwise. It should not be surprising to any of us what crimes have now been brought to light through these leaked military documents.

So what is in all of those files? Most are reports of incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan as documented and reported by the troops on the ground. The military has its own lingo, so it will seem like gibberish to most people reading these reports. There are lots of code words, acronyms, and most names are redacted which make it even harder to understand.

I will sum them up for you by saying this: In carrying out our "war on terrorism" - we became the terrorists. We became the criminals. We became a manifestation of pure evil that we claimed to be fighting against. Those responsible for these war crimes should be prosecuted in an international tribunal. It should start with trials of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove, and then extend to the officers who were in charge when these crimes were committed.

The men and women serving in these wars followed their orders, and when bad things happened - they reported them to their superiors. The leadership chose not to take action and therefore were participants in these crimes against humanity. They conspired to commit these human rights violations by issuing executive orders and circumventing the legal system. They also trampled the rights of our own citizens by using fear to pass laws like the Patriot Act.

Do leaks like this really put us in more danger? No. I do not condone the leaking of any classified information, but I don't approve of the government trying to bury evidence of criminal acts by making them secret. Our enemies dislike us, and sometimes it is for very good reasons. For them, these leaks weren't necessary because they have been living through a hell of our creation. They have witnessed first-hand their families being imprisoned and tortured, so these leaks didn't expose anything new to them. Despite the protests of our government, the US is the only one with bloody hands. The world should be proud of Wikileaks for bringing these crimes to public attention, and we must demand that those who committed these crimes be held responsible.


The following text is from UN.org: Leaked files point to serious breaches of human rights law

Leaked classified United States documents on the war in Iraq point to serious breaches of international human rights law, including summary executions of a large number of civilians, as well as torture and ill-treatment of detainees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said today.

The files, according to a statement by Navi Pillay?s office, indicate that the US knew about the widespread use of torture and ill-treatment of detainees by Iraqi forces, but proceeded with transferring thousands who had been detained by US forces into Iraqi custody between early 2009 and July 2010.

They also allegedly include information on many undisclosed instances in which US forces killed civilians at checkpoints and during operations.

US and Iraqi authorities, Ms. Pillay said, should take necessary measures to investigate all allegations made in these reports and to bring those behind unlawful killings, summary executions, torture and other serious rights abuses to justice in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which both nations are parties, and other obligations.

She called on Iraq to ratify the Convention against Torture and its Optional Protocol, which gives a UN committee the right to visit all places of detention and examine the treatment of detainees.

The official also urged the Iraqi Government to facilitate visits of human rights teams with the UN mission in the country, known as UNAMI, to monitor the rights situation in detention facilities so that advice and assistance can be given to Iraqi authorities.


As a nation, we need to examine ourselves in the mirror, see all of our flaws, and make damn sure this never happens again - at home or abroad.

Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II


I've written several blog entries on this topic. To read more, visit our page devoted to PFC Bradley Manning .

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