Tuesday, October 25, 2011

VAU Afgh 101: Outrages Upon Personal Dignity

This is part of a series of eight "virtual teachins" on U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan.

The crime of Outrages Upon Personal Dignity is described on the website for Mike Haas' book, George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes. Here, we will look at the specific legal basis for charging perpetrators as war criminals for Outrages Upon Personal Dignity, and list sources reporting relevant U.S. actions in Afghanistan.





Viewers of this page are strongly encouraged to contribute comments and additional sources in the comments section!

If the American public knew the nature of the crimes that its government was committing in Afghanistan, could it possibly sit still and not force an end to the war, and the removal of U.S. military, intelligence, and contractors from Afghanistan?

LEGAL BASIS
The crime of Outrages Upon Personal Dignity is described on the website for Mike Haas' book, George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes.

Of the array of war crimes considered as part of VAU Afghanistan 101, this particular one challenges all of our platitudes about being "civilized." Do we really need to argue over whether it is an outrage on human dignity to engage in sexual humiliation? To taunt someone on account of and by way of their religion? To threaten them with attack by an animal? Not to mention the infliction of physical pain . . . .

REPORTS FROM AFGHANISTAN

It was outrages upon personal dignity that first shocked a broad swath of the American public into confronting our country's criminal behavior: Abu Ghraib.

Most recently, we have seen the conviction of members of U.S. Army "kill teams" that murdered and otherwise engaged in outrages upon Afghanistan people, including "playing with the corpse of [a murdered] teenager 'as if it was a puppet'" . . . keeping a "victim's skull as a trophy" . . . "slicing off body parts from Afghans, including the fingers of a man, and keeping them or giving them to other soldiers as trophies."

Is there any way that we can begin to estimate the magnitude of the crimes that have been committed in-between? More important, do we think for one minute that the commanders and leaders who have fomented, welcomed, and covered up ALL of these outrages have been held responsible?

Return to the main VAU Afghanistan 101 page.


Related posts


Virtual Antiwar University (VAU) 101 focuses on eight categories of U.S. war crimes, selected from Mike Haas' book, George W. Bush, War Criminal? The Bush Administration’s Liability for 269 War Crimes.

(See VAU Afghanistan 101: US War Crimes )














"This act was aimed at suppressing the power of the organisation by demoralising the activists, but turned out to be counter-productive as it undermined the moral authority of the government. The Act was viewed as violating basic human rights, not only of the suffragettes but of other prisoners. The Act's nickname of Cat and Mouse Act, referring to the way the government seemed to play with prisoners as a cat may with a captured mouse, underlined how the cruelty of repeated releases and re-imprisonments turned the suffragettes from targets of scorn to objects of sympathy."

(See Obama: Just the Latest "Cat" in a Cynical and Long-running "Cat and Mouse" Game? )