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Congress Seeks To Censor Photos Of Detainee Abuse

by @ 3:10 pm on October 10, 2009. Filed under Barack Obama, George W Bush, Politics, War On Terror


Its beginning to look like Congress may act to prevent the public from seeing evidence of abuse and torture committed during the Bush Administration:

WASHINGTON – Congress is set to allow the Pentagon to keep new pictures of foreign detainees abused by their U.S. captors from the public, a move intended to end a legal fight over the photographs’ release that has reached the Supreme Court.

Federal courts have so far rejected the government’s arguments against the release of 21 color photographs showing prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq being abused by Americans.

The Obama administration believes giving the imminent grant of authority over the release of such pictures to the defense secretary would short-circuit a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The White House is asking the justices to put off consideration of the case until after a vote on the measure in the House and Senate, as early as next week. The provision is part of a larger homeland security spending bill and would allow the defense secretary to withhold photographs relating to detainees by certifying their release would endanger soldiers or other government workers.


President Barack Obama initially indicated he would not fight the release of the photographs. He reversed course in May and authorized an appeal to the high court.

The president said he was persuaded that disclosure could further incite violence in Afghanistan and Iraq and endanger U.S. troops there.

The photographs at issue were taken by service members in Iraq and Afghanistan and were part of criminal investigations of alleged abuse. Some pictures show “soldiers pointing pistols or rifles at the heads of hooded and handcuffed detainees,” Solicitor General Elena Kagan said in the appeal to the high court.

In one, “a soldier holds a broom as if ‘sticking its end into the rectum of a restrained detainee,'” Kagan said, quoting from an investigation report prepared by the Pentagon. Two investigations led to criminal charges and convictions, she said.

Kagan said the military has identified more than two dozen additional pictures that could be affected by the court’s ruling.

It doesn’t seem to me like there’s any good argument from preventing the public from seeing what was done in it’s name.

3 Responses to “Congress Seeks To Censor Photos Of Detainee Abuse”

  1. zone says:

    Details of sexual abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib were released around April 2008. The video showing the beheading of prisoner Nick Berg was released about one month later.
    The two events seemed related.

    US citizen’s thinking torture of a prisoner is worth while, probably have little chance of being at the mercy of our enemy as a “hostage”.

    So no, we should never torture, and if we did, never talk.

  2. Scott says:

    Being an American citizen who has felt first hand what it’s police force can do to myself. I don’t doubt they are capable of inhumane treatment of those from other countries. I was tie strapped then kicked and hit for a while before the 9 state cops in black except for their eyes and mouths, cut the straps a dared me to get up. No doubt so they could shoot me in front of my 2and 4 year old children. Why you ask? because a guy who was facing a third felony conviction(20 years for career criminal)took advantage of me while I was on doctor prescribed pain pills(Oxycontin,Vicoden,Nurotin, and Cymbalta)Yea thats how our systems works. They let criminals make criminals and then let them off so they can stay criminals while a husband and father who is ill goes to prison. NICE! but hey thats America

  3. design says:

    >Out of curiosity, what would releasing the photos accomplish? It would show the world the extent of the torture regime instituted by bush and cheney and hopefully spur enough outrage to try and convict them. >We already know that torture occured. -We already know how the torture occured -We already know where the torture occured -We already know who was tortured -We have already stopped You forgot one thing. The guilty have not been punished. We know a crime was committed. The criminals get away. this is more evidence of that crime and hopefully enough to put away the criminals.

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