America's Accountability to its Constitution and the Events at Abu Ghraib

Good Essays
Our constitution is built upon the ideas of freedom and decency. After all, it was written after hundreds of years worth of tyranny both at home in England (at the time), and abroad. People were standing against oppression leveled against them from thousands of miles away (for example, the Boston Tea Party), and they were called traitors to the Crown. Today, if someone speaks out against the US and its oppression, or chooses to fight back, we call him an insurgent or a terrorist. It’s quite a twist. Our country was built upon the values laid out in the constitution, and any individual working in the name of the US is absolutely bound by these truths. There is nothing which permits a violation of this; no reason can be which excuses such behavior in violation of these fundamentals. What occurred at Abu Ghraib in the form of mental and physical abuse has no excuse, and as General Taguba suggests, there is no stress of combat—at home or abroad (Hersh)—which may ever excuse a violation that strikes at the bedrock to our county.

It has become public knowledge that what went on at Abu Ghraib was not an isolated incident, and had occurred in areas such as Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But despite evidence, such as Taguba’s report as outlined in the Hersh interview, some have tried to rationalize what went on in Abu Ghraib, and call it something other than torture. For example, there has been debate about whether to call it torture or pressure. The UN convention against torture (ratified by the US) precludes the use of anything which brings about severe pain or suffering, mental or physical. So the question, rationalization or justification, is whether or not what occurred at Abu Ghraib was “severe” (Northam). While I agree that...

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... world, Abu Ghraib just happens to be the first time they were really caught. Our military has lost the element of pride and decency.

Works Cited
Gourevitch, Philip and Errol Morris. Exposure. 24 March 2008. 7 December 2009 .

Hersh, Seymour M. The General’s Report. 25 June 2007. 06 December 2009 .

—. Torture at Abu Ghraib. 19 May 2004. 7 December 2009 .

Northam, Jackie. Defining Torture after Abu Ghraib. 15 March 2005. 6 December 2009 .

Unauthored. Abu Ghraib Abuse Photos. 17 February 2006. 6 December 2009 .
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