An upcoming senate report, later this week, will most likely reveal the true extent of the torture inflicted on detainees in the name of America. The Bush - Cheney Administration claimed the so-called war on terror required extreme measures in order to protect Americans. However, this torture yielded little, if any, additional information from the prisoners. You see if you torture folks, they will tell you what they believe you want to hear; anything to make the torture stop. Previously, after 9/11 we were led to believe torture stopped additional attacks on America. Of course, we now know this was not true. In fact, we blindly created propaganda for our enemies, a sort of recruiting tool. Sympathizers flocked to fight for what they, Muslims, believed to be a war against Islam. But also, the 'preemptive war doctrine' used by the Bush Administration was not only stupid, it was a clear violation of international law.
Is the abuse of prisoners of war legal? First, assault is a crime in the U.S., and there are several charges related to assault or bodily injury, so even in the American Justice system it would be wrong. What about under international law is torture illegal? The practice of torture is a clear violation of the Geneva Convention, which outlines violations of wartime related infractions. Because even in war there are boundaries, for example, bombing a hospital or school is considered a 'crime against humanity' and this falls under a war crime; in violation of international law. Also, you cannot bomb churches or other cultural symbolic areas if you do that defines 'cultural genocide.'
What about starting the preemptive war against Iraq in the first place, was that a violation of international law? Yes, it was a violation of international law, defined as an 'act of aggression' which is the most serious of war crimes because all other war crimes birth out of such an illegal aggression.
"The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which followed World War II, called the waging of aggressive war "essentially an evil thing...to initiate a war of aggression...is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." Article 39 of the United Nations Charter.(5)."
There are two times a country may go to war. First, if attacked a country may defend itself. Second, if authorized by the United Nations a country is legally authorized fight another country. Otherwise, any war started, is a violation of international law, therefore illegal. So, torturing detainees was illegal and starting the Iraq war without provocation or authorization from the United Nations was indeed, a serious war crime. As a matter of fact, the Bush Administration was convicted of these said crimes in Absentia. The war crimes tribunal in Malaysian held a week-long trial, and at the conclusion the verdict was unanimous, guilty. Now, the only question is will they, the Bush officials responsible for these crimes, be arrested and sent to face an international court. When Bush and Cheney have traveled outside the U.S., several attempts have been made to arrest Mr. George Bush and Dick Cheney. To this day, out of fear of arrest and prosecution in an international court, Bush's lawyers advice him not to travel outside of the United States.
"America lost whatever standing it had in the world after Bush launched a pre-emptive regime-changing war against Iraq, but it will never get that standing back as long as the admitted war criminals Bush, Cheney, and company are protected from facing justice for their war crimes.(4)."
1). Cenk Uyguar. (6 September 2012). Torture Widespread Based On New U.S. Waterboarding Evidence. The Young Turks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eqH6EA1bts
2). Cheney: (20 August 2011). Not Ok To Waterboard American Citizens. The Young Turks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnKAadCqMCM
3).Rachel Maddow. (1 September 2010). Iraq War: Bush's Criminal Lies Have Perverted, Distorted and Tarnished America's image Beyong Repair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8jmWFMHjkE
4).Rmuse. (6 August 2014). Declassified Senate Report Will Confirm Bush and Cheney’s War Crimes. Politicussa. http://www.politicususa.com/2014/08/06/declassified-senate-report-confirm-bush-cheneys-war-crimes.html
5). Cryer (et al), Robert (2010). An introduction to international criminal law and procedure (2nd ed. ed.). Cambridge [UK]: Cambridge University Press. p. 312. ISBN 978-0-521-13581-8.