DOUBLE STANDARDS: Renowned Tortures in US Army get Accolades as Gen Elwelu is Shamelessly Sanctioned

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I am intrigued by the recent sanctions imposed by the United States of America (USA) on Uganda’s former Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, for alleged human rights violations.

I may not have the competence to cast judgment on Lt Gen Elwelu, but the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has the competence, in 2020 dismissed a petition to bring charges against the tough-speaking, born-again military officer, saying his actions did not amount to crimes against humanity or violations of human rights.

This leaves me to wonder where the US, a country that runs the world’s largest torture chamber, the Guantanamo Bay detention center, gets the moral authority to impose sanctions on anyone over human rights violations, let alone someone cleared by the ICC.

Well, I didn’t want to divulge into the US’ history of gross human rights violations, which include the enslavement of Africans and the indiscriminate bombing of two Japanese towns with nuclear bombs that saw the murder and maiming of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, but I did a simple search of the whereabouts of American personnel who were accused of torture, rape, and prejudicial killings of hundreds of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison following the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Given the country’s human rights violation record, I wasn’t surprised to find out that all the senior officers who oversaw the torture, rape, and prejudicial killings of prisoners were exonerated, given accolades, and appointed to serve the US government in more superior positions except for Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the then commanding officer at the prison, who, in her own words, said she was scapegoated when she was demoted to colonel.

Karpinski’s immediate operational supervisor, who gave green light to the torture and murder of prisoners, Major General Walter Wojdakowski, was exonerated of all charges and was subsequently appointed Chief of the US Army Infantry School at Fort Benning.

Donald Henry Rumsfeld did not face any charges and maintained his secretary of defence position until 2006, despite being the one who authorized the use of torture at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Michael Chertoff, who, as head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, advised the CIA to conduct coercive interrogation sessions, was selected by President Bush to fill the cabinet-level vacancy at Secretary of Homeland Security.

Jay Bybee, the author of the Justice Department memo defining torture as activity producing pain equivalent to the pain experienced during death and organ failure, was nominated by President Bush to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he began service in 2003. He is now a senior judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Many other senior officers were given accolades and retired ceremoniously. It is only a few gullibly sergeants and other low-ranking officers who committed acts of torture, rape, and murder while following orders from their senior US army commanders that did some time in prison, but no one exceeded five years.

All these torturous murders are now roaming free in the US, and some died freely in the comfort of their families, but the same country is shamelessly imposing sanctions on Lt Gen Elwelu over human rights abuse!

Additionally, the sanctions come while the world is witnessing a genocide in Gaza, the grossest form of human rights violation, which is being carried out by Israel but fully funded by the US.

When you sanction an individual African soldier over allegations of human rights violations and you give accolades and promotions to your torturous murderers as well as fund a genocide, there is nothing that can be more telling of your deceit and double standards.

 

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