The SanityPrompt

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Friday, August 12, 2005

File Under: This is so reassuring

How bad can it get?

Officials See Risk in the Release of Images of Iraq Prisoner Abuse - New York Times

Senior Pentagon officials have opposed the release of photographs and videotapes of the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, arguing that they would incite public opinion in the Muslim world and put the lives of American soldiers and officials at risk, according to documents unsealed in federal court in New York.


The A.C.L.U.'s papers drew attention to the Pentagon's filings, which had been unsealed last week.

"The situation on the ground in Iraq is dynamic and dangerous," General Myers said, with 70 insurgent attacks daily. He also said there was evidence that the Taliban, though still weak, was gaining ground because of popular discontent in Afghanistan.

And from Salon:

We have no doubt that the photographs are shocking. As Editor & Publisher noted the other day, Donald Rumsfeld said last year that some unreleased photos from Abu Ghraib depict conduct that "can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane." Seymour Hersh has said that the unreleased images include videotape of Iraqi boys being sodomized. But while the Freedom of Information Act, under which the ACLU is seeking release of the photos, is subject to certain enumerated exceptions, we're pretty sure that "what we've done is so awful that people would riot if they knew" isn't one of them. If the Bush administration is so worried about how Muslims will react to further evidence of torture at Abu Ghraib, maybe it should spend less time fretting about photos that haven't been released and more time focused on wrongs that haven't been righted. Punishing, not promoting, some of the commanders and lawyers involved would be a good way to start.

From Editor & Publisher:

A Republican Senator suggested the same day they contained scenes of “rape and murder.” No wonder Rumsfeld commented then, "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse."


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