Q: When Is A War Crime Not A War Crime?

A: When it’s carried out by the US military:

WASHINGTON – American abuses of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib were terrible, but they are not crimes on par with beheadings and other acts carried out by terrorists, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Friday.

“Has it been harmful to our country? Yes. Is it something that has to be corrected? Yes,” he said. “Does it rank up there with chopping off someone’s head off on television? It doesn’t. It doesn’t. Was it done as a matter of policy? No.”
(Source: Miami Herald)

So… innocent people, held illegally with no charges made against them, tortured and ritually abused by US troops. That’s hunky dory with Rumsfeld. That’s just a minor deviation by a few “bad apples.” Let’s forget all about those pictures of Iraqi corpses with joking US soldiers posing next to them, defiling the dead bodies with the gleeful malice of Waffen SS officers. That was just a hiccup in the glorious liberation of oil-rich Iraq.

The last part of the above quote is yet another lie from Rumsfeld. There have been many reports that the policy of torturing prisoners wasn’t a spontaneous aberration but that it came directly from the officers in charge. So, it was a matter of US military policy. But what else is “a matter of policy?”

Let’s not forget the children held without trial at Guantanmo Bay. No charges, no access to lawyers. These children have been kidnapped by the US military.

Imagine if North Korea had similarly kidnapped a group of American children and been holding them illegally for the past two and a half years. Can you hear the outrage and condemnation that would pour from the mouth of Rumsfeld and the other PNAC Nazis? But when the good ole US of A does it, that’s fine and dandy

It’s all legal, of course, because the PNAC Nazis just invent new laws to justify their terrorism and torture as and when they see fit. Such as the Military Order on the Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism, signed by President George W. Bush on 13 November 2001:

The Order allows non-US citizens to be held indefinitely without charge or trial, or to be tried by military commissions — executive bodies, not independent or impartial courts.

Amnesty International has called for the Military Order to be rescinded ever since it was signed, on the grounds that it is fundamentally flawed and because trials under its provisions will violate international fair trial standards. The military commissions will entirely lack independence from the executive, will place severe restrictions on the defence, provide no right of appeal to any court, and may admit coerced evidence. The fact that only foreign nationals are eligible for such trials violates the prohibition on the discriminatory application of fair trial rights.
(Source: Amnesty International)

According to the US government, if you aren’t a US citizen you have no right to fair trial, no right to proper legal representation and if information is tortured out of you, that’ll be viewed as perfectly legitimate evidence. Those of us who aren’t Americans aren’t really human since our human rights are mercy to the whim of the ever-expanding American empire. We just don’t count. Especially if we happen to have brown skin.

Torture, kidnapping, murder, illegal imprisonment…

All routine matters of US policy.