Should Be Indicted
By Mahmood Khattak
21 November, 2006
In the last fortnight or so a
lot has happened in the world: Saddam Hussein, after an unfair trial,
was sentenced to death for ordering the murder of 182 Kurds; The balance
of the US Congress swung back the Democrats' way; and Donald Rumsfeld
resigned as the defence secretary.
"Rummy" was one
of the main people behind the wars that have now gotten United States
nowhere, and have made the world an even dangerous place to live. In
order to wipe out "terrorism", he went beyond the wildest
dreams of any terrorist: secret renditions, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo,
you name it. The list is long.
In doing so he also trampled
upon the most cherished of all intangibles: human rights. Many of the
human rights have argued that he should be tried for all the torture
committed under his watch. The question is: should he be absolved of
all the war crimes that were committed by the allied forces while he
was at the helm of the affairs?
One organization has asked
that he should be tried for that. The center for constitutional rights
(CCR) has filed a 220-page document with a court in Germany. According
to the group, Rumsfeld "personally approved torture as means of
interrogation." An ex-US Army Brigadier General, Janis Karpinski,
will testify against her former boss.
Most of the people defending
Rumsfeld would take the alibi that he was not personally torturing those
people. They'd argue that he should not be charged; only the individuals
that tortured those detainees should be charged.
This excuse is the lamest
that one can get too. Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death for killing
182 people, even though he did not pull the trigger himself. Hitler
did not kill all the six million Jews in Holocaust himself. Both the
men above are held responsible for those crimes because they authorized
it. So authorization became synonymous in that context with committing
the real crime.
And Rumsfeld authorized
the tortures too. The documents filed by the Human Rights organizations
have shown that. Shouldn't Rummy be charged in the same spirit then?
Or the rules of Justice change from person to person? What Rummy did
was both against the domestic law and the international conventions.
It was illegal as well as unethical.
Besides, since the authority
all the way went to Rumsfeld, he will be held responsible for all the
acts that were committed under his watch. Just like a captain he is
to blame when something went wrong, whether he knew about it or not.
It is very doubtful that
Rummy will go to jail for those crimes. But it wont be meaningless to
indict him. Posterity will already know him as one of the most incompetent
US defence secretary of all time. His indictment will add a feather
of infamy to his cap.
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