Big Government's Rotten Fruit
- It is not all that hard. If the Islamist prisoners are POWs then we don't torture them, and we hold them until the war is over. If they are common criminals then we don't torture them, and we put them on trial.
- With this ruling you will see many liberals and conservatives speak out to suppress photographic evidence of misconduct in the name of "national security". Circling the wagons to defend government is always the knee-jerk response for all sides. Standing up for truth or common decency . . . that is an optional extra.
NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. must release photographs showing abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan, a federal judge has ruled in a long-running clash over letting the world see potentially disturbing images of how the military treated prisoners.
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein's ruling Friday gives the government, which has fought the case for over a decade, two months to decide whether to appeal before the photos could be released.
The American Civil Liberties Union has been seeking to make the photos, including images from the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, public in the name of holding government accountable.
"The photos are crucial to the public record," said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. "They're the best evidence of what took place in the military's detention centers."
The Defense Department is studying the ruling and will make any further responses in court, spokesman Lt. Col. Myles Caggins III said.
The fight over the photographs reaches back to the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it invokes the images of abuse at Abu Ghraib that sparked international outrage after they emerged in 2004 and 2006. Early in the 2004 lawsuit, the ACLU pointed to the Abu Ghraib photos as priority examples of records the organization was seeking on the treatment of detainees.
It's unclear how many more photographs may exist. The government has said it has 29 relevant pictures from at least seven different sites in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it's believed to have perhaps hundreds or thousands more, Hellerstein said in a ruling in August. He said some photos he had seen "are relatively innocuous while others need more serious consideration," and he has ruled that any images that would be released would be redacted to protect the identities of people in them.
The ACLU said it was inappropriate to give the government that kind of censorial power.
"To allow the government to suppress any image that might provoke someone, somewhere, to violence would be to give the government sweeping power to suppress evidence of its own agents' misconduct," Jaffer said.Read More . . . .
|Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse|