Abu Ghraib and the War against Terror - a case against Donald Rumsfeld

A.L. Smeulers, S. Niekerk

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The pictures of the inhuman and abusive treatment of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison shocked the world. The authors of this contribution will take a criminological approach to the crimes committed and will show-by using an analytical framework used by organizational criminologists-that the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib was an inevitable outcome of the War on Terror as launched by the U.S. administration in a reaction to the terrorist attack launched against it. The abuse at Abu Ghraib which violated U.S. as well as international human rights law was not caused by a few rotten apples as policymakers tried to make us believe, but was a clear example of a state crime. A state crime for which U.S. leaders within the Bush administration such as the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, might be held criminally responsible if they would be prosecuted by the ICC. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-349
Number of pages23
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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