[JURIST] The US has failed to adequately prevent and prosecute war crimes and other abuses during its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions [official website] Philip Alston [oficial profile, DOC] said in a report [text, PDF] released Thursday. The report found, "Some aspects of the rule of law have been taken seriously during U.S. operations." Alston also warned, however, that:
there have been chronic and deplorable accountability failures with respect to policies, practices and conduct that resulted in alleged unlawful killings including possible war crimes in the United States international operations. The Government has failed to effectively investigate and punish lower-ranking soldiers for such deaths, and has not held senior officers responsible under the doctrine of command responsibility. Worse, it has effectively created a zone of impunity for private contractors and civilian intelligence agents by failing to investigate and prosecute them.The report recommended forming a "commission of inquiry" to look into the causes and extent of these deaths. It further recommends hiring an independent special prosecutor.
Last week a jury in a federal court sentenced [JURIST report] former US soldier Steven Green [JURIST news archive] to life in prison for the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the murder of her family. A 2006 Washington Post report found [text] that homicide charges were rarely brought against US military members in Iraq and Afghanistan.