Folter und die Politik der Unklarheit

Jede neue Enthüllung über physischen Missbrauch, Misshandlungen und sexuelle Erniedrigungen irakischer Häftlinge durch amerikanische und britische Soldaten schockiert die internationale Öffentlichkeit. Regierungsvertreter kämpfen verzweifelt um Schadensbegrenzung. Der amerikanische Verteidigungsminister Donald Rumsfeld warnt, dass es noch mehr dokumentarische Beweise für Verfehlungen im Gefängnis Abu Ghoreib gibt, offenbar in der vorauseilenden Hoffnung, die Schandtaten dort zu stoppen.

Als ehemaliger Vernehmungsbeamter des amerikanischen Militärgeheimdienstes bin ich davon überzeugt, dass die Bilder aus Abu Ghoreib nur der Anfang sind. Die schamlose Gewalt ist ein allzu klares Symptom für Systemversagen.

Aber welches System versagte? War es ein Versagen in der Disziplin und Ausbildung - das Ergebnis der Entsendung unerfahrener und weltfremder Reservisten in eine Umgebung mit schlechten Bedingungen, der abrupten Verlängerung ihres Einsatzes und der Konfrontation mit einem wachsenden Zustrom von gefangenen Aufständischen ohne ausreichende Personalausstattung? Oder waren diese Misshandlungen nur die Folge vieler Befehle von Vorgesetzten, die Gefangenen für die Vernehmungen „gefügig" zu machen?

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