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SHOULD ALL THE TORTURE PHOTOS BE RELEASED?

PLANETEATER 2009/05/14 00:32:59
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Obama Trades Our Principles For Cheneyism
By Steve Hynd

A lot of people as writing about Obama's decision to flip-flop on the release of hundreds of photos of abused and tortured prisoners at the hands of the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. So far, most blog posts on the subject listed at Memeorandum are by wingnuts cock-a-whoop at such an obvious example of the White House doing a backflip into their court. But my friend David Neiwert at Crooks And Liars gets it exactly right in exposing not only Obama's bad decision but their support for it.

[Obama will] now be using up [his] political capital to defend Dick Cheney and his merry band of torturers. Now, that's a lovely prospect, isn't it? I'm sure Cheney will repay him generously for the effort.

It would be nice, though, if someone took the time to point out once again that the very fears about Arab reaction to these photos, and the consequences for our soldiers in the field -- not to mention the radicalizing effect it has, effectively creating future terrorists -- are exactly the main reason why torture doesn't, can't, and never will keep us safe. And why Cheney and Co. utterly failed to actually keep Americans safe, not just during their tenure, but for the foreseeable future.

I have to wonder, along with Neel at Unqualified Offerings, if the any of these supressed, incriminating photos were of new Afghanistan commander Stanley McChrystal's old command at Camp Nama in Iraq, where he condoned and co-operated in abuse and torture from 2003 to 2006. In a law-abiding alternate-dimension Obama administration - i.e. the one we thought we were getting - that would be reason enough to nix McChrystal's appointment, no matter how brilliant a commander he might be. Promoting criminals rather than throwing them in jail is itself an act of criminal complicity, surely. But instead I'm nearly certain the subject won't even come up at his confirmation hearings.

People, you've been sold a pup by the American Tony Blair, as I feared from the very first. We were told to Hope (tm), but instead we've got a neo-interventionist Imperial presidency just as nasty as Bush's, but with a smiley-face mask. As Andrew Sullivan writes:

From extending and deepening the war in Afghanistan, to suppressing evidence of rampant and widespread abuse and torture of prisoners under Bush, to thuggishly threatening the British with intelligence cut-off if they reveal the brutal torture inflicted on Binyam Mohamed, Obama now has new cheer-leaders: Bill Kristol, Michael Goldfarb and Max Boot.

And you know what the worst of it is? I honestly believe that any of the other primary choices offered by the two major parties would have been even worse as occupants of the Oval Office. We don't just need better Dems, we need better alternative parties and a better electoral system which lets those parties stand on an equal footing with the Big Two who co-operate in obstructing third party efforts at every turn.
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  • NatAlex23 2009/08/30 04:30:30
    Yes
    NatAlex23
    +1
    But if you can get Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, Tenet and everyone else responsible for telling the CIA ops. to torture in the first place without releasing the photos, then... oh, wait 'We The People' STILL have a right to know what's been going on.
  • 519378 2009/05/31 18:15:20
    Yes
    519378
    +1
    http://www.salon.com/news/abu...

    "The Abu Ghraib files
    279 photographs and 19 videos from the Army's internal investigation record

    The first two videos in this series depict a group of naked, hooded detainees who have apparently been forced to masturbate for the camera. The third and fourth videos in the series show three soldiers surrounding a detainee, apparently striking him

    "I saw Grainer [sic] punching one of the prisoners right in his face very hard when he refused to take off his underwear," the detainee claimed on Jan. 18, 2004. "I heard them begging for help."
    According to the CID, a medical log that night reported the following: "15-year old Iraqi male treated for hemorrhage of his anus. Patient was raped in his hard cell."

    These photos were taken using cameras owned by Cpl. Charles A. Graner Jr., Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick II and Spc. Sabrina Harman. They depict a long night of physical and sexual abuse of seven detainees accused of inciting a riot inside the prison.
    They were verbally abused, stripped, slapped, punched, jumped on, forced into a human pyramid, forced to simulate masturbation, and forced to simulate oral sex, several Army reports concluded. The Army's investigation identified Frederick, Graner, Harman, Sgt. Javal S. Davis, Spc. Megan Ambuhl, Sivits and En..."'"
    '""
    "'""
    http://www.salon.com/news/abu...

    "The Abu Ghraib files
    279 photographs and 19 videos from the Army's internal investigation record

    The first two videos in this series depict a group of naked, hooded detainees who have apparently been forced to masturbate for the camera. The third and fourth videos in the series show three soldiers surrounding a detainee, apparently striking him

    "I saw Grainer [sic] punching one of the prisoners right in his face very hard when he refused to take off his underwear," the detainee claimed on Jan. 18, 2004. "I heard them begging for help."
    According to the CID, a medical log that night reported the following: "15-year old Iraqi male treated for hemorrhage of his anus. Patient was raped in his hard cell."

    These photos were taken using cameras owned by Cpl. Charles A. Graner Jr., Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick II and Spc. Sabrina Harman. They depict a long night of physical and sexual abuse of seven detainees accused of inciting a riot inside the prison.
    They were verbally abused, stripped, slapped, punched, jumped on, forced into a human pyramid, forced to simulate masturbation, and forced to simulate oral sex, several Army reports concluded. The Army's investigation identified Frederick, Graner, Harman, Sgt. Javal S. Davis, Spc. Megan Ambuhl, Sivits and England as involved in the abuse. "CPL Graner knocked at least one detainee unconscious and SSG Frederick punched one so hard in the chest that he couldn't breath and a medic was summoned," a report by Maj. Gen. George R. Fay found.
    Another detainee also described the forced masturbation in a Jan. 18, 2004, interview with Army investigators. According to the criminal file, this detainee's ripped pant leg can be seen on the far left of a photo in which Graner sits atop a pile of detainees, his arm cocked in preparation for a punch. "How did you feel when the guards were treating you this way?" an investigator asked the detainee.
    The detainee replied: "I was trying to kill myself but I didn't have any way of doing it." "
    (more)
  • Sumo- Living for the new year! 2009/05/14 22:51:13
    No
    Sumo- Living for the new year!
    I think it will do more harm than good. They should do more to get the folks behind bars that legalized it.(torture)
  • MARCY 2009/05/14 06:21:02 (edited)
    No
    MARCY
    What it's done its done,does anybody have any better idea how interrogate terrorists?everybody criticizes but nobody gives a god damn solution,that is only dividing the country,if we don't torture people will complain,if we do people will complain anyway WTF?.
  • NatAlex23 MARCY 2009/08/31 13:48:56 (edited)
    NatAlex23
    +1
    Here's an idea. Why don't we interogate terrorists the same way we've been interogating people for the past 50 years before we legalized enhanced interrogation a.k.a. torture?
  • MARCY NatAlex23 2009/08/31 17:12:02
    MARCY
    We've been torturing people for the past 50 years?....mmm news to me.
  • NatAlex23 MARCY 2009/09/01 00:17:34
    NatAlex23
    No. I meant before we tortured people. The aka was reffering to the enhanced interrogation.
  • Black&Beautiful 2009/05/14 03:19:37 (edited)
    No
    Black&Beautiful
    +1
    I'm mixed on this issue. I've been pondering over this all afternoon since listening to both arguments across the political aisles. In my opinion, I believe no country is above the law which includes America. On the other hand, in perilous times for the familes and the soldiers fighting wars and on their quests abroad are put under extreme danger if this type of information is not presented in a way that it maybe is used to garner support to kill innocents who are just living their lives and doing their jobs. I am really conflicted on this issue.
  • flaca BN-0 2009/05/14 02:00:48
    No
    flaca BN-0
    The most important thing to consider is the new waves of outrage from other countries. We're trying to rebuild relationships around the world and this can only hinder it.
  • PLANETE... flaca BN-0 2009/05/14 02:05:23
    PLANETEATER
    How?
  • flaca BN-0 PLANETE... 2009/05/14 02:15:54
    flaca BN-0
    well first off they claimed that Abu Ghraib was just a bunch of over zealous soldiers and they were punished and jailed. If it turns out it was more widespread than that, it will encourage even more iraqis to be against us.
  • PLANETE... flaca BN-0 2009/05/14 02:25:45
    PLANETEATER
    Iraqis are dumb, huh? I guess they wouldn't realize that was under the Bush administration? Wouldn't this decision further re-enforce the feelings that America is a hypocrite and that Obama is no better than Bush?
  • flaca BN-0 PLANETE... 2009/05/14 02:31:46
    flaca BN-0
    do you think they are just dying to see the pictures over in Iraq? What good will it do now. They may show them to a bipartisan panel, but not release them to everyone else. There aren't going to be any prosecutions anyway.
  • PLANETE... flaca BN-0 2009/05/14 02:43:32
    PLANETEATER
    It would show them that this administration is forthright and serious about mending fences by being forthright and truthful and making sure that this won't happen again. It's called building trust.

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