Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror - A Case Against Donald Rumsfeld?

23 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2014

See all articles by Alette Smeulers

Alette Smeulers

Univeristy of Groningen

Sander van Niekerk

University of Maastricht

Date Written: January 30, 2008


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.

Keywords: International crimes; torture; Abu Ghraib; war in Iraq; ICC

Suggested Citation

Smeulers, Alette and van Niekerk, Sander, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror - A Case Against Donald Rumsfeld? (January 30, 2008). Crime, Law and Social Change, Vol. 51, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2388266

Alette Smeulers (Contact Author)

Univeristy of Groningen ( email )

9700 AS Groningen

Sander Van Niekerk

University of Maastricht ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, Limburg 6200MD

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