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calendar   Friday - September 30, 2005

More Abu Ghraib Nonsense

Key quote below: “While no one wants to see what’s on the photos or videos, they will play an essential role in holding our government leaders accountable for the torture that’s happened on their watch”. As usual, the ACLU is more intent on destroying American government than they are on keeping terrorists from killing us all. All they need to do is keep on filing these lawsuits and finding sympathetic judges to go along with their agenda. Sure, release the pictures. Give the ragheads another reason to stay fired up and angry at us. Who cares as long as the ACLU can make the administration look bad for what a few mindless soldiers may or may not have done? That is the ACLU agenda. Go visit Jay at StopTheACLU.com for more information on this dangerous organization’s latest activities ....

Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Photos
NEW YORK (AP)

Photographs showing U.S. soldiers tormenting Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison tarnished America’s reputation when they were released last year, with some critics of the U.S.-led occupation citing the scandal as vindication. On Thursday, a federal judge ordered the release of dozens more pictures of abuse from the infamous Baghdad prison—potentially opening the military up to more embarrassment from a scandal that already has stirred outrage around the world. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein rejected government arguments that the images would provoke terrorists and incite violence against U.S. troops in Iraq.

He said terrorists “do not need pretexts for their barbarism” and that suppressing the pictures would amount to submitting to blackmail. “Our nation does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command. Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed,” he said. The 74 photographs covered by ruling were taken by a soldier; three videotapes also were ordered released. A military policeman who saw the photos turned them over to the Army. Some may be duplicates of photos already seen by the public.

An appeal of Hellerstein’s ruling was expected, which could delay release of the pictures for months. Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, said releasing the photos would hinder his work against terrorism. “When we continue to pick at the wound and show the pictures over and over again it just creates the image—a false image—like this is the sort of stuff that is happening anew, and it’s not,” Abizaid said. The American Civil Liberties Union sought release of the photographs and videotapes as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.

“It’s a historic ruling, said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. “While no one wants to see what’s on the photos or videos, they will play an essential role in holding our government leaders accountable for the torture that’s happened on their watch.” Bridget F. Kelly, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, said her office was reviewing the ruling and considering its options. Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had argued in court papers that releasing the photographs would aid al-Qaida recruitment, weaken the Afghan and Iraqi governments and incite riots against American troops.

But the judge said his task is not to “defer to our worst fears, but to interpret and apply the law, in this case, the Freedom of Information Act, which advances values important to our society, transparency and accountability in government.” The ACLU had sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes altogether. The judge viewed the pictures and videotapes and ordered some of them edited. Romero said those images apparently contained so many redactions that they would have been unintelligible. The judge said the pictures were important because they were the best evidence of what happened at the prison.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/30/2005 at 12:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-LawyersMilitary •  
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