It was by no means news to the world that the US practices torture on its prisoners. Even before the Guantanamo Bay revelations the world knew that the flag of “freedom” and “justice” that the US is exporting around the world is empty. Despite this knowledge, it was still difficult to listen to list of practices including waterboarding, rectal feeding, sleep deprivation of up to a week, stress positions, and brutal beatings.
The Obama administration, when taking office, knew about the methods of torture used by the US forces. However, his administration only banned practices such as waterboarding and stopped at prosecuting those involved in the practice, people such as Dick Cheney who openly revealed his support for “enhanced interrogation”, and that he would “do it again in a minute” if he was given the chance. The Obama administration will not and cannot prosecute or investigate war crimes because opening that area for investigation will likely implicate both the Democrats and the Republicans alike.
The civilized world recognizes the actions of the US military for what they are: war crimes. The revelations of the crimes committed by the US army were read in the US congress and via media transmitted across the world. But what is the role of the American people, and the international community in the aftermath of these revelations?
The citizens of the US, living with poverty level wages, unemployment and lack of social services are currently with their backs against the wall, struggling in a long and bitter class struggle against one of the most domineering imperialist states. Further, just as the US army continues to murder and plunder abroad, the US police forces are the torturers and the executioners domestically. With the countless new revelations of unarmed men and women being beaten and shot by the US police force, perhaps this was one of the reasons the American people did not raise an eyebrow about the US army’s torture practices.
American people also know today that the US army did not tread into the sand of the Middle East to bring them the American dream. This is even clearer to the workers of the countless arms factories based in the US that sends military supplies to every corner of the world. The US army, a conglomerate of corporations, aside from its role of easing the financial markets at home through opening new markets abroad, feeds its own profit needs as well: companies such as Bombardier and HP are two examples of hundreds of US corporations produce arms for the US army.
Human rights and freedoms are the baseline of what are and what are not crimes against humanity. We must broaden the definition of crimes against humanity and make it part of the social narrative. We must make child poverty, low wages, lack of social services, and employment part of the definition of crimes against humanity. We must make the lack of access to modern healthcare and the lack of access to free education a crime. We must make the prosecution based on race and ethnicity a crime against humanity. These are some of the domestic crimes that US government is committing to control and subdue the working-class at home while torturing and murdering others abroad to open new markets.