In August 2002 US Justice Ministry submitted to the White House the memo justifying tortures of suspects of terrorism detained outside the US territory.
The Justice Ministry Legal Department came to the conclusion that the norm of the international law on banning tortures could be ignored when conducting interrogations. According to the memo, the people torturing prisoners cannot be called to account for them if they had to torture prisoners in the interests of the US security.
According to Washingtonpost.com, the memo of the Justice Ministry gives narrower definition of tortures that the US Army instructions do. Most of the prisoners interrogations are conducted by the Army servicemen who are forbidden to deprive suspects of food and sleep, make them be in unnatural postures long and imitate executing prisoners.
US Justice Ministry does not consider effects causing short-lasting or moderate pain as tortures. According to the memo, the torture “causes pain equivalent to damage of organs, worsens functioning of the parts of the body and even death”.
According to the US administration, the American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq follow the norms of the Geneva Conventions. Pentagon recognized only several cases of torturing prisoners in Abu-Ghraib prison in Baghdad where the photos of tortures had been taken.
In the midst of the scandal about the tortures in Abu-Ghraib prison, the press reported that the in 2003 the US Defense Ministry approved the regulations for interrogations which allow to deprive the prisoners of sleep, make them undress and expose them to bright light and loud music. US Defense Minister Donald Ramsfeld allegedly approved these regulations for interrogating prisoners.
Ordinary Americans perceive Iraqis as incapable humans who should be treated not according to the international legal norms and standards.
According to some experts, such attitude can be applied to some other ethnic groups as well, already inside the USA.
Americans believe that Iraqis should be tortured, revealed the public opinion survey conducted by АВС TV company and the Washington Post.
According to the survey, about half of the Americans believe that tortures are acceptable for “receiving information from the persons suspected of terrorism if this information can prevent terrorist attacks”. The majority of the respondents approved the torturing methods applied in Abu-Ghraib prison in Iraq. 66 percent of Americans believe that prisoners can be deprived of sleep, 54 percent – that thy can be “bombarded” with loud sound. There are many supporters of tougher methods of interrogation. 41 percent of proponents of tortures believe that the prisoner can be threatened with a gun, 38 percent – that the prisoner can be deprived of food and water, 29 percent accept beating the prisoner, 19 percent – threatening the prisoner’s relatives, 17 percent – using electric shocker, 16 percent – sexual humiliations of prisoners.
This demonstrates that the US Army in Iraq acts in accordance with the outlook of American society on the norms of conduct towards Iraqis, “incapable humans”.
However, such attitude to different cultures and societies undermines the foundation of the American society, say the experts surveyed by RBC-daily. The notion of “aliens” which should not be treated according human standards, can be applied in the multinational USA from Arabs-Moslems to other big ethnic groups, such as Latinos, Asian people. For example, many Americans unconsciously perceive Latinos as Columbian drug dealers, expert Alexander Sobyanin believes. This trend can result in nationalistic conflicts, violence, and division within American society.
According to the President of Neocon expert consulting company Mikhail Khazin, American society has changed, and this resulted in tolerant attitude to torturing Iraqis. “Any society lives by certain models. The last convenient model moving democratic society was based on human rights and democracy. However, under the conditions of real danger, it is replaced by more archaic model. In a certain sense, American society is moving backwards by abandoning the values of democracy and law”, said Mr. Khazin. According to the expert of PIR-Center Dmitry Evstafiev, “the USA never had real democracy. The average US voter who is represented by President Bush, has no interest in civil society. Freedom and democracy are just rituals, and the rituals are abandoned during revulsion of fortune”, – said Mr. Evstafiev in an RBC interview.
According to Dmitry Evstafiev, the USA is the country with totalitarian outlook and long history of genocide, the biggest genocide of wiping out Indians. Americans are capable of brutal actions. After Japan’s attacking Pearl Harbor, all Japanese living in the USA were deprived of their civil rights and placed in detainment camps”.
As a result of the current policy, different ethnic groups and confessions can confront each other in the USA, and their conflict will not be limited to demonstrations. The USA can face escalating violence inside the country as fighting ethnic groups all over the world use terrorist methods to conduct contemporary “small wars”.
Source: Russian and foreign media