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In addition to a investigative report about another Frist scandal - discussion at Reality based mom's diary - links this AP story :

Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Photos

By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer
8 minutes ago

NEW YORK - Saying the United States "does not surrender to blackmail," a judge ruled Thursday that pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released over government claims that they could damage America's image.

< snip >

MORE . . .

The judge said: "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."


Story about Hersh from Jul 2004 :


< updated >

User coffeebeetle24 urges us all to rate both these stories up :

MSNBC story - rate it UP UP UP

Another AP story - rate it UP UP UP

< update # 2 >

Give credit where credit is due : The ACLU is the 'pit-bull' plaintiff in these lawsuits.

And : The Maven posted a comment with an excerpt of the judge's decision as well as provides a link to the full decision ( PDF file ).

Originally posted to RobertInWisconsin on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 09:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ruling on same day as Roberts confirmation? (4.00)
    Interesting coincidence! Wonder what else pops out today and tomorrow?

    "Sacred cows make the best hamburger." - Mark Twain.

    by antirove on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 09:58:45 AM PDT

    •  Something NEW re Frist, sez Raw Story (4.00)
      A Fitzgerald knockout of Rove and Scooter would be nice too
    •  Ya never know these days. (4.00)
      Ya gotta consider what we're dealing with here.

      I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway.

      by hoosierspud on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:00:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  War is more deadly to the white unsuburban ... (4.00)
      ... is another thing in the papers. This is what Eugene Kane said. Sorry if the link puts you through a soul - sucking registration.

      The observation Kane makes is that if you're an urban or rural white person, it appears more likely that this war will make you dead. I considered making a diary about this... Now you can instead, if you wish.

      •  because minority recruitment dropped sharply (none)
        as it became apparent that the war wasn't about weapons or real threats - that it's about racism and revenge against Arabs and Muslims.  

        Though people of color are disproportionately poor and ordinarily more reliant on the military for opportunities, lately they can not stomach Iraq and no longer enlist unless they're desperate.

        Uneducated low income whites have replaced them as the staple fodder.  The Charles Graners and Lynndie Englands, who learned how to treat prisoners un the US, are ideal.  At Halliburton Baghdad and in Afghanistan, white soldiers raise Confederate flags and refer to themselves as "The Redneck Army."  They've even made racial attacks on fellow soldiers.

        It also seems possible that Iraqis identify this as a racist war and prefer to target white soldiers.  This was true in Vietnam as well.

        •  Yes, that is the point (none)
          I'm sorry to say this, but, there is a certain demographic that pays a higher price, statistically, falling victim to BushCo. For once it happens not to be a racial minority.

          As far as who happens to get shot dead in Iraq, yes, Iraqis might not target racial minorities as much. Perhaps not for strictly racial reasons, but instead for reasons that are more subtle, having to do with personal conduct. That's pure speculation on my part, of course.

          •  I'm not sure you got my point. (none)
            I understand what you're saying.
            But it's a little like you saying that in WWII, a disproportionate number of casualties in the German army and the SS were Aryans, with very few Jewish, Jehovahs Witness, or German Negro soldiers suffering casualties.  

            With white Abu Ghraib and Bagram soldiers, skilled at abusing colored prisoners from their experience in the US, continuing their work overseas - and links to Halliburton's "Redneck Army" beating Hispanic co-workers until they had to be flown to hospitals in Germany - I'm not sure how you could miss my point.

            Very few Jews or Negros were charged with war crimes at Nuremberg either.  Was it "disproportionate" or appropriate?

    •  Will Roberts get to rule on it? (none)
      Does the Government get to appeal?
      Will the SCOTUS hear the case?

      This could be Robert's first big payback to President Bush.

      My Imagined majority opinion from Roberts:
      "Fear and blackmail should control all actions of the American people.  When someone does or thinks something that is unpopular, especially something criminal, we must hide it at all costs.  Liberty is nothing compared to the appearance of righteousness."

      Maybe he needs a new clerk....

      •  Sadly (none)
        Your snark was simply a more eloquent version of about 100 right-wing responses I just read. For the life of me, it's impossible to understand a mentality that not only accepts but supports the government hiding and lying when it screws up.

        And they kept saying Abu Ghraib was an isolated incident from some time ago. Guess none of 'em read the whistleblower reports in the paper last weekend?

        "The only good troll is a deleted troll."

        by MissAnneThrope on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:15:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bush just ordered a case of Jim Beam (4.00)
    Time for chimpy to fall into a drunken stupor
  •  Talk about the perfect (4.00)

    If I were in the GOP right now I'd be changing my name and looking for another line of work.  Then again, I still have a shame reflex.

    Well girls, it's 1950 all over again-don your aprons and prepare to be put in your place.

    by jandey on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:01:47 AM PDT

    •  I'm wondering the opposite... (4.00)
      a possible blame game play?  For all the shitstorms we've enduring, W/Rove/Dick/Rummy/Condi sure have learned how to steer the nation straight into it.  With things looking down for W, and more Iraq violence, as predicted, I'm betting the WH is already drawing up talking points that will lay the blame of the coming "shitvalanche" on "media irresponsibility" ala the "Newsweek scenario."  

      Then again, perhaps I'm getting a bit too paranoid.  

      •  Good News Bad News (none)
        The good news is that things have reached the "increasingly closer battle successes" stage. In Germany at the end of WW2 the media kept reporting glorious success for the Wehrmacht, but people noticed that each success was getting closer and closer to them.

        Reality is a nasty bitch and she rolls over us all eventually. We have reached that stage where the media is no longer relevant, the pieces of paper that tell the story are the receipts from the gas station, the quotes from the heating oil people and the indictments handed up in courts across the land.

        Add to that, the lies and spin that keep being spewed by the media are about people's direct experience, not something far away in place or time. Its no longer just your lying eyes they are trying to contradict, its your lying bank balance, your lying dead friend or relative, your lying broken leg they are trying to countermand.

        Thats the good news; the bad news is the same. And it doesn't stop just because you want it to.

  •  Damn (none)
    Assumedly, this includes the videos as well?

    'We have a single system...the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold.' Henry Adams

    by jorndorff on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:04:49 AM PDT

  •  Photos (none)
    What is the next step?  Who are these photos going to be released to?  Can the government appeal?  
    •  I'm sure they'll try to keep fighting it (4.00)
      Maybe to the Supreme Court ? (Now THAT would be interesting )

      Thank God for the ACLU on this one - they are the plaintiff.

      Are YOU a card-carrying member of the ACLU ? If not, why not ?

      Get thee to their web site and sign up now !

      •  Indeed . . . (4.00)
        I don't think anything short of a change of administration will get those photos released.
      •  Would they need an immediate (none)
        temporary restraining order to stop the release of the documentation?
      •  Signed up in '88 (4.00)
        As soon as G.H.W. Bush gave Dukakis shit for it, I signed up.
        •  "card-carrying member" (4.00)
          As soon as G.H.W. Bush gave Dukakis shit for it, I signed up.

          Me too.  I seem to remember hearing that the ACLU got a huge boost in membership after that stupid crack by Bush the Elder.

          Proud member of the reality-based minority

          by Bearpaw on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:46:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Robert, great job by you! (none)
        quickly pulling together some key links and info.  WTG!

        Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

        by SusanHu on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:45:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Piss Off Billy O; join the ACLU (none)
        Just heard Billy O say he can't stand the ACLU and that he'd never even have dinner with a friend if he found out that person was in the ACLU. Said he felt the same way about pedophiles !

        Oh, well, no Falafel for you, Billy!

        Send Bill an email to let him know you are a card carrying member of the ACLU!


        "Christians believe in the Prophets - peace be among them. Bush believes in the profits - and how to get a piece of them." -George Galloway

        by bostonjay on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:47:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just wrote ot him (none)
          Mr. O'Reilly, I've heard that you have recently disparaged the American Civil Liberties Union. You compared members of that organization to pedophiles.
          That organization defends OUR rights. They defend the rights of ALL Americans.  Americans who believe in the promises of the Constitution, and who believe in liberty are NOT akin to child molesters. Your hate filled comments do nothing to further the cause of liberty.

          If not for the ACLU, your brand of vitriol would have been banned form the airwaves decades ago.  You should be thankful to people like the members of the ACLU for defending your right to spew your hateful diatribes against good Americans.


          Must.... go.... shower......... vomit..... gouge out... eyes......  Fry up some falafel.....

        •  Wrong e-mail addy (none)
      •  ACLU paid Barr and Armey (none)
        Why not an ACLU member?  I dropped them when they decided to take my donations and give them to the Scum Barr and Scum Armey.

        ACLU, what were you thinking when you paid Armey and pit-bull Barr?  Will you next hire Tom DeLay when he's out of congress?

        •  Did they actually pay them??? (none)
          Not that I think having some Republicans against the PATRIOT act is a bad thing...
          •  Yes, Armey and Barr were paid by the ACLU (none)
            After they retired from congress they were paid as consultants to the ACLU.  I don't hate all REpugs, but I could not stomach my money going to these two, and I told the Maryland Rep. of the ACLU that I was finished with them after this reckless use of the money that I and others donated.

            I wanted my donation to be used to fight the Bushite scum, not reward fat-cat Repugs who happen to be against the PATRIOT act, although they probably voted for it just to support their Bush idol.

      •  "Thank God for the ACLU on this one" (none)
        That makes no sense considering the ACLU's stance on everything religious. But I will say, God help the ones responsible for this release if, and I pray this won't happen(and I'm not saying it will either), any Americans are killed or wounded with the slightest scratch on them if these pics enrage the muslim world. I really don't see the need to release these though, enough damage has been done in my opinion.
        •  Their stance on everything religious? Huh? (4.00)
          You mean protecting churches from interference by the government?

          And protecting our government from interference by churches?

          That "stance on everything religious"? The one in the Bill of Rights? How dare they have such a stance! You do know they have represented churches in many well known legal cases, right?

          And the ones responsible for any consequences of the images are the people who ordered and perpetrated the acts. You don't get to avoid responsibility just by keeping something out of sight.

          "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

          by Mad Dog Rackham on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:36:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Consider the source (none)
            Earlier, from RetreatHell

               we didn't kill or rape any (none / 0)

            prisoners. But if someone has, YES, they should be punished. And not one of our servicemen or women should be compared with Saddam's regime. We haven't done anything remotely comparable.

            by RetreatHell on Tue Sep 27th, 2005 at 20:59:02 EST

            Apparently, the cable company hasn't added an outlet to the bridge he's living under.

            "The only good troll is a deleted troll."

            by MissAnneThrope on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:32:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  i have a hard time (4.00)
    celebrating this. Our nation will be further embarrassed. Our troops will be put at even more risk.

    But truth is truth. And freedom means freedom to know the truth. As ugly as the truth may be. And as much as the truth may hurt us.

    Still, this is nothing to celebrate. It is not just Bush this reflects on. It is our entire nation.

    •  Wonder how Karen Hughes (4.00)
      will explain this. Is she still on tour over there ?

      Let's see how she turns this around into a win-win for both the US and for the Arab world.

    •  The Truth shall set us free. (4.00)
      If these war crimes occurred then we need to get the evidence out in the open. Keeping it tied up in court doesn't make it go away.

      Our country is already an embarrassment under this administration. Putting our fingers in our ears, blinders on our eyes and STFUing isn't going to improve the situation.

      •  That's right (4.00)
        and the pentagon's argument: that releasing documentation of atrocity endangers US interests is untenable although true.  If the judge had bought into this argument, it would result in a situation in which the more egregious and disgusting the abuse, the less likely that documentation of it would see the light of day so that the public can hold wrongdoers accountable.  That's not the kind of blank check that we should be writing the Bush administration, with its penchant for torture and flouting the law.
        •  Any administration (4.00)
          This isn't the sort of blank check we should be writing to any adminstration.
        •  think before you torture (4.00)
          The time to think about what the release of these pictures would do to the U.S. was back before the torture was perpetrated.  It's a sorry defense by our leaders in DC to say we can't release them because it will make us look bad.      

          Just because you're self-righteous doesn't mean you're not a hypocrite.

          by AMcG826 on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:16:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  where is the evidence of risk to our troops? (4.00)
      wadr, that line is hollow and devoid of proof. There is no evidence that US soldiers will be captured more and tortured more....or killed more....I am sometimes surprised at how the rightwing echo chamber can penetrate even dKos. Everyone in the Muslim world knows whats going on in Abu Ghraib. It is the west that doesn't know.

      What will reduce the risk to our troops (and to the prisoners and to Iraq) is to stop this madness in Iraq and elsewhere. It will never be stopped until the people of this country recognize it for the evil that it is.

      I celebrate the release of these images without reservation.  It is one small step toward the reversal of the lies that are dragging this nation into the mud.

      Be a Carville, not a Colmes

      by seesdifferent on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:21:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed... (4.00)
        This is not a reflection of this country...This is a reflection of the Crime Family that is currently holding the country hostage so that their backers can reap greater profits.

        As a first step, we must see the truth about how far these thugs have dragged down this country,  admit it to ourselves, and move to throw the bastards out, into jail, before a world tribunal...whatever it takes.

        "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

        by mayan on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:29:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  look (4.00)
          These are American soldiers doing this to the often innocent civilians of the country they invaded.

          Their superiors were complicit, if not outright condoning or ordering these actions.

          I am sorry, but don't think the rest of the world doesn't see this as a reflection on our nation as a whole. You and me, Kerry voters and Bush voters, New Yorkers and Texans, blacks and whites, fundamentalists and atheists alike.

          This reflects on all of us whether we like/deserve it or not.

          •  We're all wearing the orange jumpsuits now (4.00)

            Cheney died a natural death - on the phone with Halliburton.

            by annefrank on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:45:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Funny, I wore an orange jumpsuit yesterday (none)
              I recommend it highly (see my comment in the main thread below).  

              By the way - did you mean we should be wearing orange jumpsuits because of our guilt?  Or is it more in the spirit of Eugene Debs - "While one man is unfairly imprisoned, I am not free."  Either way works for me.

          •  And the world will judge (4.00)
            how we uncovered the horror to be a more profound statement on the promise that is America than the crimes of the guilty.

            If this is covered up--all the apples will go rotten. The Administration claims it was a few bad apples. I think it was a BUSHel.

            Regardless. The worst case scenario for our standing in the world, the safety of our troops, the security of our people, is that justice is not served.

            The Nazis did more damage to the German Nation than the Nuremberg trials. And I am using hyperbole.

          •  As a Non-American (4.00)
            Thanks for saying that.

            The only people who don't know this stuff are Americans. Everybody else, and especially the Arab world, knows it.

            Releasing the photos wont change anything outside America, but it had better start changing things inside America, and damned fast.

            Many of us furriners said before last November that the election was the last chance for America to repudiate this gang of criminals. It doesn't matetr about Diebold, it doesn't matter about clever voter suppression techniques, none of that matters.

            You either voted for this pack of thugs, or you didn't try hard enbough to defeat them or you didn't care enough to get out and vote in huge numbers in places that mattered or you didn't take to the streets to protest the stolen election.

            At some point every American failed to act to get rid of the crims.

            Everybody is getting tarred with it now. From here on the US is guilty until prven innocent for a large majority of the world.

            So your response will be ...?

      •  Exactly. (4.00)
        I would add that the only ones that are almost totally in the dark on this in the 'west' are US citizens. Thanks to RWCM complicity with this administration.
      •  The risk to the troops (none)
        is being commanded by people who would order torture as a military strategy.  

        Wake up smell the quagmire.  

        It's not the enlisted.

    •  Admitting you have a problem... (4.00)
      is the first step to the cure.

      We will continue abusing prisoners until we as a government and as a country admit that it wasn't a rogue group of bad apples that propagated this.

      We have to come clean before we can end this and move forward. It will take a long time to repair our image, but we won't even start the journey as long as there is a cover up.

    •  They will be awful (4.00)
      but it is important that they be released.  The rest of the world already knows; it's only we Americans who are ignorant of what is being done in our names.  I hope they really come out this time.  The administration has managed to block their release a few times already.

      I remember seeing several Senators, including Hillary, emerging from a private screening of this material.  They were visibly shaken and could hardly speak coherently.

      •  Remember, it took those photos (4.00)
        from Auschewitz after the liberation to convince millions that the holocaust was real - that the genocide, the "final solution" was real.

        I don't know how anyone could be "happy" about the release of these pictures.  But they've got to be released, and seen widely, and spoken out against.  We've got to stop allowing these thugs to only punish those who blow the whistle on crimes, not the criminals themselves.

        And by saying criminals, I'm not referring to the Lynddie Englands of the world.  Punishing them is necessary, but does nothing to change the system...they're so low on the totem pole they can't even squeal on the real culprits (they don't know who they are.)  I'm referring to the guys that set this whole culture of atrocities into motion; the guys who call the Geneva Convention "quaint."  

        We all know who the real criminal masterminds are.

        "The responsibility of government for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate." -Winston Churchill

        by hopesprings on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:33:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Our troops (3.83)
      are at Max Risk already.

      This is just more evidence of the degenerates in the Pentagon who need to be, uh, retired.

    •  We forced (4.00)
      the German and Japanese people to endure the shame that came with making the crimes of their leaders public. America must swallow its own medicine if it is to continue to lay any claim to moral character. And America will survive the medicine and maybe even be stronger for it.
    •  the only people who don't know the truth (4.00)
      already are americans. It's time our nation faced up the the truth the rest of the world already knows.

      Liberal, Christian, Feminazi, Mom.

      by TeresaInPa on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:39:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let Justice be done (4.00)
      though the heavens may fall.

      Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel. Homer J. Simpson, Republican Philosopher

      by Ezekiel 25 17 on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:05:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can't say I agree.... (none)
      Yes, it won't be pretty.  But it's the truth.  It's what happened.  Getting this story out there will help the healing process and help cleanse this nation.  Burying it will do the opposite.
    •  I have a feeling... (none)'s the only way people will believe it.  Still, even with the pictures out, some automatons will still support the policies of this Gov-mint and its Prez-nit.

      If we want to end these, our horrible practices, we have to show these pictures.  We have to make the public aware.  It's for this reason that I'll be happy to see the American people win this one.

      I believe the pictures must be released and all of us must take responsibility for what we see in them.  Yes, it will reflect badly on our nation--as well it should.

  •  Democracy (4.00)
    I will not be looking at the photographs but I applaud the ruling. While its uncomfortable for we who feel we live in democracies, its facing up to truths that will set us apart from those who torture people in the dark.

    The US army will not be prosecuting the soldiers involved in the porn for death photographs in the news recently and which will assuredly be seen around the world.  The only persons prosecuted for the Abu Ghraib abuses are the lowest level of the military and thus a renewed debate over culpability and leadership should take place.

    •  I will be uncomfortable too (4.00)
      But you know what ?

      We - ALL AMERICANS - must see these photos - they must be burned into our memories.

      Because this is what my country - your country - our country - approved at the highest level.

      It's sickening, but it's the truth. And the truth must come out. Other countries have learned that unfortunate lesson - one in particular in the mid-20th century.

      Now - very unfortunately - it's our turn. And we have Bushco to 'thank' for it.

      •  Yes (4.00)
        I will look at them.

        "When you starve the beast, you starve the people. And the bathtub was a reference to New Orleans." -- bink

        by bink on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:31:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can't look. (none)
          But I will trust what you (Kossacks collectively) say about them and how horrific they are.   Second-hand from a source I trust (Sy Hersch works, too) is sufficient witness for me.  

          But I believe the photos will adversely affect my mental, emotional, spiritual health and well-being, because of the horror that was done in my name to other human beings on this planet, and with my tax $$'s.    So I deeply commend those of you who will foray into this battle for us and report back.

          But I agree, the photos must be released, God help us when they are...

          These brutal photos, on top of the total sham of the "Protector-in-Chief" facade that was totally ripped off a month ago today by Katrina to reveal the shivering, staggering slack-string-puppet of a leader we truly have, with his "spreading 'Freedom and Democracy' throughout the world' scam, are gonna be the final nail in the coffin of any possible credibility our once proud nation held in the world community.

          I've never been so ashamed to be an American as I am today.  And so sad today, now that Roberts has been confirmed...

      •  This abuse was done in our name. (4.00)
        We must see it.
      •  One More Thing (4.00)
        the photos to be released are not all of them.

        So whatever you see, however appalling they are, just remember.

        • There are even worse photos that have not been ordered to be released.
        • There are even worse things that happened in America's name that have not been photographed
        • The atrocities are still going on.
  •  Wait, the reason they didn't want them released... (none)
    was fear of blackmail?

    By who? the victims?


    •  I haven't read the decision, (4.00)
      but the Pentagon argued vehemently that releasing the pictures would endanger the lives of Americans worldwide.  In fact, on August 31st when the judge heard the final arguments in this lawsuit, the judge said that he took that argument very seriously.

      Perhaps the "blackmail" language is referring to a kind of political blackmail in which the lives of US troops abroad are used to politically insulate wrongdoers at home.  Sort of, "yeah, we fucked up, but if you give the media permission to show just how much we fucked up, you'll be killing the troops."  But I haven't read the decision so this is just my guess.

      I'm glad the judge didn't go for it.

      •  Here's the Decision (4.00)
        The Opinion and Order (50-page PDF file) can be found here.  The order, however, includes a stay of 20 days to permit an appeal.

        For readers here, the most relevant portions of the opinion would appear to be the passages on pages 40 through 50, which include the following:

        With the exception of the small number of Darby photographs that I ordered to be withheld, where the risk of exposure is too great and the informational value is minimal, the balancing analysis weighs in favor of disclosure in the present case. There is a substantial public interest in these pictures, evidenced by the active public debate engendered by the versions previously leaked to the press, or otherwise obtained by the media.  (page 40)
            --  --  --
        The government contends that publication of the Darby photographs pursuant to court order is likely to incite violence against our troops and Iraqi and Afghan personnel and civilians, and that redactions will not avert the danger. The government argues that the terrorists will use the re-publication of the photographs as a pretext for further acts of terrorism. . . .  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.  (pages 43-44)
            --  --  --
        The interest at stake arises from pictures of flagrantly improper conduct by American soldiers--forcing prisoners under their charge to pose in a manner that compromised their humanity and dignity. As I stated at the time of the original argument, and as I reiterated previously in this decision, the pictures are the best evidence of what happened, better than words, which might fail to describe, or summaries, which might err in their attempt to generalize and abbreviate. Publication of the photographs is central to the purposes of FOIA because they initiate debate, not only about the improper and unlawful conduct of American soldiers, "rogue" soldiers, as they have been characterized, but also about other important questions as well--for example, the command structure that failed to exercise discipline over the troops, and the persons in that command structure whose failures in exercising supervision may make them culpable along with the soldiers who were court-martialed for perpetrating the wrongs; the poor training that did not create patterns of proper behavior and that failed to teach or distinguish between conduct that was proper and improper; the regulations and orders that governed the conduct of military forces engaged in guarding prisoners; the treatment of prisoners in other areas and places of detention; and other related questions.

        Suppression of information is the surest way to cause its significance to grow and persist. Clarity and openness are the best antidotes, either to dispel criticism if not merited or, if merited, to correct such errors as may be found. The fight to extend freedom has never been easy, and we are once again challenged, in Iraq and Afghanistan, by terrorists who engage in violence to intimidate our will and to force us to retreat. Our struggle to prevail must be without sacrificing the transparency and accountability of government and military officials. These are the values FOIA was intended to advance, and they are at the very heart of the values for which we fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is a risk that the enemy will seize upon the publicity of the photographs and seek to use such publicity as a pretext for enlistments and violent acts. But the education and debate that such publicity will foster will strengthen our purpose and, by enabling such deficiencies as may be perceived to be debated and corrected, show our strength as a vibrant and functioning democracy to be emulated.  (pages 48-49)

        Yet another example of the importance of a truly independent judiciary.
      •  US torture endangers Americans worldwide (none)
        Rumsfeld and Gonzales' decision to violate the Geneva conventionis what endangers Americans world wide.  

        They think that it's the photos, but it's not. It's the actions that the photos depict. They are responsible for those actions and they must be held held to that.

        I hope both of them rot in hell... but first spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

        Could the next Democratic president have them extradited to The Hague?

        Let's hope so... but I guess we'd probably have to ask Chief Justice Roberts' permission first.  F---!

    •  It's simple (4.00)
      An extortionist threatens harm to get what he wants. A blackmailer threatens to expose your own guilt to get what he wants. If I warn you not to expose me because that will also expose you, then I have asked you to enter into a conspiracy to obstruct and I am effectively a blackmailer. Pretty smart judge. He's talking about the DoD.

      The dubya stands for freedom.

      by paraphrase on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:45:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no, he's talking about the terrorists (none)
        the DOD's argument is that we can't risk the information getting out because of the negative repercussions.

        the judge rejected the argument, saying that not putting the truth out there because of what someone else will do is the same as submitting to a blackmailer.

        in other words he's calling the DOD a bunch of pansies.

        we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
        — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

        by zeke L on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:50:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I posted this back in (none)
      August but never really got a response:

      I've been thinking about the unreleased Abu Ghraib images and here's what I wonder... How many people will be killed by the violence that will be generated in reaction to them?

      Not that there shouldn't be consequences for the people who were directly responsible for Abu Ghraib and that includes the chain of command right up to the CIC.

      But what of the American expatriates all over the world who will get caught in the cross-fire because they are accessible and W is not?

      What of the people in other countries who will react in anger and be physically suppressed by their governments when they threaten our embassies?  How many more will die?

      How do we nail the chain of command without the photos... if we release photos, how do we protect the vulnerable?

      What responsibility do those pushing for full exposure of the photos and videos have toward those who will be killed and injured as a direct result of the release of those photos?

      Just wondering... and unhappy with the alternatives I've thought of thus far.

      [added today]
      If you think it won't happen, just think about what occurred when it was officially confirmed that the Koran had been mistreated in Gitmo... how many Pakistanis died as a direct result of that confirmation?  

      16 in Afghanistan, over 2 dozen in Pakistan

      This site lists/links to a whole series of creditable news reports on that sorry episode.

      •  Maybe we should do the same with the Holocaust... (none) know, pretend it didn't happen to protect German expats...

        C'mon.  These things will continue to happen until they are exposed to the brutal light of day so that governments will not dare to let them happen again.

        I also think the Gitmo-Koran-Pakistani riot link is not nearly as solid as many in the media led us to believe.  

  •  there is nothing in my soul (4.00)
    that wants to see these photos.  but we must be confronted with the truth.  The American public has to come to grips with the level of the depravity that has been carried out in our name.  And the the Bush Administration has threated to fucking VETO a bill that seeks to prevent what these photos show???!!!!  i am truly so far beyond the pale in rage and indignation that i am numb.  
    •  I've already wept (4.00)
      looking at the photos so far.

      I don't want to see the rest.

      But I'll look.

      We need to look.  We need to see the gangrene, to believe it.  To know how bad it is... so that when Dr. Dean (or whoever) comes and tells us how it's going to hurt to cut it off, and how long it's going to take to recover... and how hard the work of recovery will be...

      We'll still say "Yes.  Yes, please.  Thank god, yes.  Now."

      "Too many policemen, no liberty; Too many soldiers, no peace; Too many lawyers, no justice." Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

      by ogre on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:49:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Every time I read about those photos (4.00)
    I keep thinking, God, how bad could they be?  And then I think, Who would be sick enough to whip out the camera?
      If a child was being raped, someone in charge had several options.  Ignore or intervene but photograph?  As a mother, I am sick somebody would chose to do such a thing.  It doesn't sound like "documenting".
      Where did the sense of right and wrong go? What was the climate that allowed this to occur?
      And it's so sad. It's our country that did this. Ours.  As a citizen, I'm uncomfortable with the association, as if blood relatives did these atrocious acts.

    You can teach creationism in our school if we can teach calculus in your church.

    by offred on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:09:20 AM PDT

    •  Right (none)
      They're demented mementos. It's not as though a whistleblower took them to expose these practices, they were crafted to note their ability to thoroughly abuse power.

      'We have a single system...the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold.' Henry Adams

      by jorndorff on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:13:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are not demented mementos (4.00)
        They are worse.

        Videos of children and men being tortured were used to compell testimony by the parents or relatives of those being tortured and raped.  They were tools of humiliation, blackmail of the families of those tortured if you will.

        Release them and let Rummy, Bush, Abu Gonzales suffer the consequences.  We, Americans, will suffer the consequences as well, because "we" elected them.

        •  True (none)
          not all of them were mementos. There were other motivations, coercion included.

          'We have a single system...the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold.' Henry Adams

          by jorndorff on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:13:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  according to sy hersh (4.00)
        they aren't mementoes, but rather a deliberate part of the interrogation, for their use as blackmail. apparently most of the torture wasn't to get information as much to so humiliate the prisoners that they would be willing to turn informant once released. if they didn't inform, the americans would threaten to release copies of the pictures to their friends and family, shaming them. the whole thing was a response to their complete lack of information about who was shooting back.

        read chain of command. we are incredibly fucked, if half of the stuff hersh reports are true.

        crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

        by wu ming on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:47:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry, but (4.00)
    HOW MANY TIMES have judges ordered the release of these photos already?

    I hope things will be different this time around, but one does unfortunately have reason to be skeptical.

    •  Yes... (none)
      ...and release to whom? Will the press actually print them? They certainly won't be shown on television. This is a great (but appealable) victory, but I don't see these pictures getting distributed to the people who need to see them: Bush voters.

      "What luck for rulers that men do not think." - Adolf Hitler

      by Bensdad on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:38:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Release Them To (none)
        Probably the ACLU, which is the entity that asked for them.

        This aggression will not stand, man.

        by kaleidescope on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:59:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  trust me (none)
        if these get out and maybe even if the government tries to stop it, eventually these will hit the some point in time, there will be at least one person who will grow a conscience and they will be distributed, probably anonymously at first through email, and then they will explode onto the world stage, the way so many other stories from this last 5 years have come to light...

        "But we have to stay angry and keep objecting. It's like staying awake in the freezing cold. If we sleep, we're dead." - Mary Julia (dKos poster)

        by I Want My American Pride Back on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:34:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  awful week for the republicans (4.00)
    and may the meltdown continue.

    and while one part of me is deliriously wolfing down my virtual pint of haagen dazs schadenfreude (a sweet and creamy treat, best served ice cold), i do share the view expressed upthread about there being nothing at all celebratory about the release of the additional wave of abu ghirab pics.

    it's pure ugly, if there's truth to the widely-leaked characterization about what's there; and i'm bitterly resentful about the national guilt and shame by association that unavoidably will cast the u.s. in even more grim light.

    Standing tough under stars and stripes we can tell this dream's in sight -d.fagen

    by homo neurotic on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:14:58 AM PDT

  •  I don't want these photos to come out... (4.00) much as I know they need to.

    It's going to be like taking a trip to the morgue to identify the body of a loved one, and that loved one is the American soul.

    May she rest in peace.

    You can lead a conservative to logic, but you can't make them think!

    by mrCurmudgeon on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:19:51 AM PDT

    •  they have to (none)
      the only way to ensure this won't happen again is for Americans to confront what happened.

      "I'm a vampire baby, suckin' blood from the earth..."

      by mightymouse on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:04:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm cynical (none)
        the only way to ensure this won't happen again is for Americans to confront what happened.

        Judging from past behavior, if any of these images are shown, most people -- or at least most people with microphones -- in the US will be far more outraged about the images being shown than about what the images actually show.

        Proud member of the reality-based minority

        by Bearpaw on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:55:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I take your point.. (none)
          ...because yes the people with the mics seem to affect public opinion way more than they should but when it comes to this, if these pics are really as bad as they say, I think we can count on these images being seered into the memories of even the most hard core right winger in 06 and 08 and even when their favorite doped up blowhard starts ranting about the release, which will just make him weaker in their eyes.  Its like Katrina, the media could allow the spin of so many other things because they happen outside of public view, but I don't think any of us will ever forget witnessing a complete clusterfuck while people were dying and children were mentally scarred for a very long time.  I think, if these pics are that bad and they do come out, we are going to be pleasantly surprised by how much our nutjob friends and neighbors calm their rhetoric and turn the country back over to the real grown ups come 06,08...

          Pictures really are worth a thousand words...

          "But we have to stay angry and keep objecting. It's like staying awake in the freezing cold. If we sleep, we're dead." - Mary Julia (dKos poster)

          by I Want My American Pride Back on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:41:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  America's image... (4.00)
    The government is afraid of what it will do to our image? What the fuck do they suppose the world thinks about us trading pics of Iraqis with their heads blown half-off... for internet porn.
  •  Karen Hughes (4.00)
    How's she gonna spin this one?  I say she stays on the road in the Mid east for a good long time so she can hear what is going on.

    My God, will this finally move the American People to impeach this whole crew?  

    sign the petition at

    by DrKate on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:26:44 AM PDT

  •  Have you seen the death for porn photos? (4.00)
    Check out America Blog

    Some of our soldiers have been trading pictures of themselves smiling and joking over mutiliated dead bodies in Iraq and Afghanistan for pornography on a website that presumably can be seen by many.

    How is this different from what Lyndie England and the other "bad apples" did? And the Pentagon, last time I checked, wasn't doing a thing.

    Those pictures are already out there. And the Middle Eastern World and just about everyone else but us, has seen plenty. The Pentagon is blocking them because they don't want to lose more of the American public's support, not because of fear of inflaming the Arab world. It would be tough to get them to hate us more than they already do.

    So stop lamenting the loss of our good name if these get out. It's only be coming clean and cleaning house that we'll ever get a chance of not being spit on when we travel.

    •  Posing for photos with the fallen enemy (none)
      It's time for the military to respond with a zero-tolerance policy toward this practice. Compact digital cameras have clearly made this all too easy.

      Has something influenced today's soldiers to have less respect for the fallen? Or, would this practice have been prevalent in past wars if such convenient technology were available?

      •  remember the outcry (4.00)
        when the  contractors were killed, burned, mutilated and hanged from the bridge in Falluja?

        America was outraged.

        Why, oh why, can't people see that Iraq's would be just as outraged. And just as incensed? And just as bent on avenging those deaths?

        I read it on one of the blogs; my apologies for not recalling who to credit.

        Democrats make me ashamed to be American.
        Republicans make me ashamed to be human.

        Thinking about the support for this war, the senseless death, this administration, etc. the sense of desolation is overwhelming.

        •  I do remember the DOD response (none)
          The unsuccessful calls for Fallujah to give up those who killed the American contractors were followed by a military operation that devastated the city and displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.
      •  Remember Vietnam? (4.00)
        War is such an insidious sickness.  What is this doing to our young soldiers that they feel compelled to do such a thing?  Is anyone in the Pentagon even considering their present and future mental health.  On second thought, what a stupid question on my part.  Of course they are not.  Once again...remember Vietnam?
        •  I Believe (none)
          I believe that some of the worst acts are alleged to have been done by employees of private contracting agencies that were working at the prison.  Some of these were Iraqi nationals working for companies like CACI and the like.

          "When you starve the beast, you starve the people. And the bathtub was a reference to New Orleans." -- bink

          by bink on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:14:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Pics (4.00)
    As bad as the pictures are likely to be, there is a very mean spirited feeling inside me that makes it almost seem right to stand outside of the American Taliban churches on Sunday with poster size versions. Just like they do at abortion clinics....Their faith in action.

    Now I will return to my senses...

    ...Whirlpools whirl, and dragnets drag...

    by dss on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:45:56 AM PDT

    •  "THIS IS WHAT YOU VOTED FOR" (n/t) (4.00)

      If Bush were President when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he would have invaded Mexico.-- Cervantes

      by jem6x on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:05:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ya think ? (4.00)
        The problem is that an awful lot of those folks going to those churches are of the "nuke the ragheads" persuasion. Polls say that a majority is now against the war and in favour of withdrawal. What the polls don't say is how many now converted to the anti-war position want out because the ungrateful ("subhuman") Iraqis don't deserve the US's help in rebuilding their country.

        Sadly, especially given the snuff pics for porn pics scandal, I'm not sure that a fair number don't welcome the degrading of Iraqis.

    •  The so-called culture of life (4.00)
      ...only seems to apply to the unborn and the braindead.
    •  it is right (none)
      it's simply confronting people with the injustice we are (collectively) engaged in.

      read the old testament prophets and you'll see that there's nothing irreligious about it at all.  even jesus would get out there and lay the smackdown on the hypocrites of his day.

      we've long since past the stage where being polite is an appropriate response.  in fact, the crooks are actively counting on you to stay passive and not make too many waves so that this can continue.

      we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
      — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

      by zeke L on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:57:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prisoner abuse still happening (4.00)
    82nd Airborne, Captain Fishback had to go public to get action taken.  

    It hasn't ended.

  •  Scared and Sad... (4.00)
    I just read the Hersch article. If what he says is true (and I believe it to be), then I need to move. Being a father of a young daughter and reading what has been recorded makes me want to cry.

    The horror...the horror...

    We will have to change "May God Bless America" to "May God Have Mercy on America"

    •  I can't even say it outloud (none)
      I cry everytime I even think of it being true, if the words even come into my mind I can not get them out without my voice cracking from holding back tears. I hope its not true but I know deep down it probably is. A sad day to be an american.

      Can we compare them to Nazis yet?

  •  It is about support.. (4.00)
    And it's about to completely dissolve.  On the heels of the disturbing photos from the Gulf disaster showing what nature and negligence can do to humanity...these photos showing the gory, sick and twisted horror inflicted by humans on other humans will take it to the point of no return.  It will silence the ones who complain that we who oppose the administration and its actions are giving aid and comfort to the enemy. To quote (the overquoted) Pogo.."We have met the enemy and they is us"!
      I don't want to see them, but I want them seen. I want them acknowledged and I want to see our leaders take responsibility for what they have caused.

    A lot of people are waiting for MLK or Mahatma Gandhi to come back...they are gone. We are it. It's up to us, it's up to you..edelman

    by ZaphodsSister on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:49:11 AM PDT

  •  Sy Hersh Story (4.00)
    The Hersh story made me gasp in disgust at the description of what some of those photos/videos contain.

    I can't imagine actually looking at the photos and watching the videos. Just the thought of what he describes makes me feel sick to my stomach.

    The New Deal is dead. We're getting the Raw Deal, instead.

    by Ghidra99 on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:00:47 AM PDT

    •  We'll alll need to take a deep breath. (none)
      It's going to be emotionally grueling.  This is neccesary, but it's going to be a very sad day.

      If Bush were President when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he would have invaded Mexico.-- Cervantes

      by jem6x on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:07:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its a day that won't come soon (4.00)
        they will appeal this up the line as far as they can for as long as they can - create any delay they can think of - it may take years.
        •  these pics will NEVER BE RELEASED (4.00)
          dont worry everyone.  there's NO WAY these ever are made public.  this'll be appealed ad naseum until they judge-shop this to a court that agrees.  

          in the absence of such said court, they'll declare them a national security liability, or some such shit.  or they've "been lost and destroyed".

          i repeat--THESE WILL NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY.  if this admin can hide the abuse at Gitmo, the number of Iraqi dead, etc., they'll be able to keep hiding these pics.

  •  Doesn't Hersch have copies (none)
    of the materials?  I seem to remember hearing that somewhere.  And if he does, Can he comply with the order, you know, by proxy as it were?
  •  About time (4.00)
    I'm sick of these fuckers committing crimes and then expecting the courts to actually help them in the cover-up. I've been hoping that it was really only a matter of time before the courts made the right decision.

    If these photos are bad for the US cause in Iraq then Bush should have thought of that before he authorized this disgraceful violation of human rights, international law and common sense.

    If these photos mean that we can't possibly win in Iraq then the only slack Bush should get is a temporary stay of the order that is just long enough for him to get the troops home. And that's for the sake of the troops, not Bush. Bush can rot.

  •  Pragmatically speaking (none)
    who will actually view these photos, assuming that the government is finally forced to release them? MSM outlets won't touch the material with a ten-foot pole, so your average Joe and Jane will probably not see it. Sure, it'll be available on the Internet, but the only people who will see the photos there are those individuals who decide to look at them, which will probably be liberals like us who already despise this administration. For those of you that think the photographs and video will instantly cause a wave of revulsion among the average American populace and an utter repudiation of Bushco, I say that denial is a powerful, powerful mechanism.

    Meanwhile in the Arab world, this stuff will be played 24/7. I know that our reputation there is already in the toilet, but having such truly depraved imagery playing on TV and in the newspapers there is going to take Arab disgust and outrage to whole new levels.

    So, on an intellectual level, I realize the right for this stuff to be available in a free and open society, but, to be completely honest, on an emotional level, I don't know if I want these pictures released.

    •  the MSM hates being scooped by the blogosphere (none)
      they will show the photos.

      Liberal, Christian, Feminazi, Mom.

      by TeresaInPa on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:30:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They already know in the Muslim world (4.00)
      much more thoroughly than here what US has been doing to civilians and detainees in Iraq, plus there are literally  thousands of Abu Ghraib survivors that have been telling their eye-witness stories, with pictures and illustrations,  all over the non-US media censored world. US troops/and personnel are being attacked on sight virtually everywhere in the Muslim world right now. How much worse can it get?

      How many Abu Ghraib former Detainees have you ever seen  interviewed on Fox? MSNBS? CNN? NPR? CSPAN? ABC? CBS?

      This "Muslim backlash if released" thing is pure claptrap. It is a canard to hide the terrible truth from being revealed  to the American people . And one that the US corporate media, and most of our politicians, even Dems sadly, are thoroughly complicit with by their cooperation in keeping silent about.

      •  There's no doubt that the atrocities of the Iraq (none)
        war have been much more thoroughly covered and discussed in the Arab media. But an eyewitness report, even an illustration, is one thing. A visual image--and more intensely, video--of a child being raped affects people at a whole other psychological level. (Think if we hadn't seen video of what happened in NOLA. Would the country have responded in quite the same way?) And things are bad now in Iraq, yes, but they have a lot of room to get worse.

        I agree that the primary reason for keeping these photos and video hidden is because Bushco fears bad PR with the average American voter. But I highly, highly doubt that this stuff will ever be widely disseminated, even if the Supreme Court eventually rules that it should be released (that's where it will probably end up being decided). Unless the MSM makes a huge deal and front-pages this stuff, most Americans will turn quietly away and use some kind of psychological defense mechanism to deal with it, i.e. "That couldn't have really happened," or "They deserved what was coming to them," or "I know it's bad, but we need to keep America safe. Better their child than mine."

        •  I understand your point but (none)
          remember, it has not just been witness accounts and artists renditions of atrocities circulating in the Muslim regions. There have been significant amounts of crystal clear, full color, very graphic and horrible video of aftermath of civilian bombings, dead/dying/raped women and children (and men) and the full gamut of atrocities inevitably committed during wars and occupations.

          Sure the visuals are important, and that is why the opponents to US war in Iraq have been putting them out there all throughout the occupation.

          In one way that might seem counterintuitive, public release of the Abu Ghraib US child rape/torture photos might even help international feelings toward Americans, and the US image abroad,  because it would show the rest of the world, kind of like Watergate did,  that our country is not yet so corrupt and broken that it can hide its wrongdoing from the American people and get away with it for good, and the country's systems will eventually right themselves to punish the REAL Evildoers.

      •  Exactly (4.00)
        remember the Iraqi woman in Abu Ghraib who wrote to her husband, "the things that are happening here are too awful to talk about, they bring shame on us all, I beg you, if you can, kills us now"

        A few weeks later there was an unexplained mortar attack on the prison.

        They know

  •  Wait... (none)
    You mean convicting Lyndie England didn't wrap Abu Ghraib in a nice bow?

    You know... the rogue soldiers and all...

    Lieberman/Bayh `08: Because America needs a nap!

    by Bob Johnson on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:20:16 AM PDT

  •  For the sake of this country (none)
    these pictures have to be revealed to the American public.  At this point, I don't know what else will break through the smiling self-satisfied smugness of so many Americans.  It may be an event similar to when Allied forces made the local German population file past the piles of dead bodies in a concentration camp.  It will be horrible and humilating for all of us, but perhaps we will emerge with the American soul.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by blueinnc on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:27:55 AM PDT

  •  Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant (4.00)
    Call me crazy, but I think we've sort of hit the law of diminishing returns in terms of how negatively the world views the United States of America.

    But I want every single American to see these photos, no matter how horrible they might be. I want these images seared into the heads of Americans forever as a reminder of what these sick, sadistic, amoral, arrogant, lying, incompetent Republican bastards have done in our name.

    The United States of America engages in torture.

    Read that. Now read it again. And again. Stare at those words and think about the damage that has been done to this country since January 20, 2001. And don't ever let anyone tell you again that elections don't matter.

    I want those photos to come out. I want outrage, anger and shame. And I want every single American to look deep into his/her heart and ask a simple question: "Is this what I want my country to be?"

    It's time to stop taking the high road. It's time to stop being nice. It's time to take our country back and demand moral and honest leadership that reflects our ideals and once again makes us the envy of the world instead of a pathetic joke.

    I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn -- Ron Burgundy

    by IndyScott on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:28:01 AM PDT

    •  Agree with everything you say except (none)
      you think you can ever get back here: "once again makes us the envy of the world"?

      Maybe we'll respect you again, but envy you? WTF? It's this kind of BS exceptionalism that underlies American's failing foreign policy.

      If these photos teach Americans anything, it should be that America is basically a human enterprise, with all the potential for goodness and evil that entails. Some humility might be a more appropriate response.

      You must be the change you wish to see in the world- Mahatma Gandhi

      by limaike on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 09:14:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When will the book come out? (none)
    I'll hold off for the coffee table version. Can't wait.

    Children being raped! You've got to hand to Georgie Boy, he sure knows how to get a party going!  Didn't he say something about  invading Iraq to shut down the rape rooms? Doesn't look like it happen. Just a new landlord. What do you suppose the Cheney connected corporations charge to run that operation? Maybe they get paid in little boys and little girls!

  •  And in another defeat for Bushco war on (4.00)
    civil liberties a Judge in New York has refused to dismiss a lawsuit broght by muslim immigrants detained in a Brooklyn federal detention center following 9/11.  The government argued in the suit that "special factors" created by the 9/11 attacks outweighed the detainees right to bring an action alleging constitutional violations.

    From the NY Times (the last sentence is great):

    Judge Gleeson cited a scathing 2003 report by the Justice Department's inspector general that found widespread abuse of detainees at the Brooklyn center.

    The report said that Mr. Ashcroft's policy was to hold detainees on any legal pretext until the F.B.I. cleared them, even though such clearances took months and many had been picked up by chance, not because they were legitimate terrorism suspects.

    "The post-Sept. 11 context provides support for the plaintiffs' assertions that defendants were involved in creating and/or implementing the detention policy under which plaintiffs were confined without due process," the judge wrote.

    In effect, the judge gave the plaintiffs an opportunity to try to establish the personal involvement of Mr. Ashcroft and other high-ranking defendants through discovery, rather than simply accepting the defense's argument of immunity at this early stage of the litigation.

    The "qualified immunity" that shields government officials "will not allow the attorney general to carry out his national security functions wholly free from concern for his personal liability," Judge Gleeson wrote, quoting a Supreme Court decision that involved then-Attorney General John N. Mitchell's unauthorized wiretap of a radical group. "He may on occasion have to pause to consider whether a proposed course of action can be squared with the Constitution and laws of the United States."

  •  Who will they scape goat this time? (none)
    More bad apples?  Oranges, Grapefruit, pomagranits, kiwi, peaches, nectarines?

    Nah.  Homosexuals.  That is who they always scape goat.  And sadly, that will be very satisfying to many kossacks and the denizens of many other homophobic sites like it..

    Fighting them here, so we don't have to fight over there.

    by NorCalJim on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:42:32 AM PDT

    •  Republicans have been scapegoating and (none)
      making political hay trashing gays for a long time. No difference now. And people like *Dreier, Mehlman, Rove, and yes, George too, will be right up there in the front row blaming a few "bad fruits" and anyone else but themselves if the child torture/rape photos ever do get out. Count on it
  •  Why aren't they leaked? (none)
    Since even Sy Hersh has seen these photos/videos, it would seem that enough people have access to them to make a leak possible.  I'm surprised these photos aren't on the internet by now.  

    "The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." -Thomas Jefferson, 1809.

    by Subterranean on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:46:24 AM PDT

  •  It wasn't just Abu Ghraib, it was systemic. (4.00)
    Rumsfeld must be prosecuted. Clearly this is not limited to Abu Ghraib, this is systemic, and that means it was condoned from the top down. The Pentagon CANNOT INVESTIGATE ITSELF. Democrats MUST DEMAND an independent prosecutor for these flagrant and aggregious violations of U.S. law. THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS ARE UNITED STATES LAW.

    If the Republicans stay in power much longer, An Army of One isn't going to be just a slogan.

    Edwards/Clark 2008

    by MeanBoneII on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:01:05 PM PDT

  •  One of the reasons that protest is not having (4.00)
    The same effects as it did during Vietnam is that the war is NOT on the television and the attrocities are NOt on TV either.

    Nor are the protests for that matter

    Thet war hawks control the information flow, and those who do not seek do not find out what is going on. The spoon fed do not get an upset tummy if they are being fed bland pap.

    In fact news of protest can be used as a means of of favoring the war hawks wars, if they xdecide HOW to tell the news about the protests in their own way.

    Some of our politicans saw that coming and so have adapted their strategies to attept to be effecitive without protest OR media covereage.

    They resort to the ONLY way lest to deal with war.

    THere are ONLy two positions left.

    Either nationalism, the patriot crap that Hitler and other fascists rose out or.

    Or internationalism. The attempt to make all things that occur outside of a nations borders the realm of internatinal law and international law alone.

    The extension of federalism and states right  to the international level.

  •  Damn (4.00)
    Can the conscience of this country take a "Mirror, Mirror, on the wall..." moment like this? I fucking wonder.

    Anything by Loudon Wainwright III

    by Earl on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:15:34 PM PDT

    •  In Barth's "Giles Goat-Boy" (4.00)
      there's an extroverted young entrepreneurial character who keep talking about how he once saw an obnoxious guy behaving badly towards a woman at an amusement park and got so mad he threw a rock at the guy. At some point you realize that "the obnoxious guy" was himself, viewed in a funhouse mirror; he threw a rock at himself and shattered the mirror to avoid having to come to terms with self-recognition. Then, the entrepreneur himself realizes that "the obnoxious guy" must have been himself; he loses all his confidence, becomes despondent, introverted, dull, listless, irritating, no fun to be around, hostile and resentful. Ultimately the protagonist falsely persuades the entrepreneur that "the obnoxious guy" wasn't him after all, that it must've been someone else, just to allow the entrepreneur to recapture his former innocent enthusiasm - which he does; everybody's happier with the entrepreneur believing a lie about himself that keeps him happy and outgoing.

      Cliff's Notes: The entrepreneur is America. The rock-in-the-mirror episode was Vietnam. The lie which allowed him to recapture his false sense of innocence was Reagan. The same process repeats itself with Iraq in general and Abu Ghraib in particular.

      "When I came to this town, my eyes were big blue stars. Now they're big green dollar signs." - Jean Arthur, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

      by brooksfoe on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:41:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The FReakers are wetting their panties again (none)
    The "Depends" folks must be doing a helluva business in the red states.
  •  I agree (none)
    And that might be a very good reason behind the block.  Photos of abuse and torture commited by contracted individuals would change a LOT of peoples opinions about the war.

    Don't come back to Vendome!!!!

    by TheMagicJew on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:46:59 PM PDT

  •  Live boy and dead girl (none)
    We joke about Bush or his cronies getting caught with that combo.  Well, that combo is going to be on tape in this stuff.  They aren't literally caught with the deadly combo but their policies are and it will mean the end of their policies.  These photos will not see the light of day under the Bush administration even if the Supremes vote 9-0 to release them.  But we can stick to the point that they are hiding the truth because it's so atrocious and that the ACLU fights for freedom in America.
    •  Pictures and the ACLU (4.00)
      The ACLU is the front runner in the fight to get these pictures of torture out so people can see how GWB is ruining our country.  It is very important that as many people (kosacks) as possible join and fund the ACLU.  They are not there for free.  I send almost all my contributions to the ACLU even though I would love to contribute more to the Democratic Party and to Democratic Candidates.  The ACLU is the most reliable and dedicated fighter for liberty and progressive principles than I have ever found in the United States.

      SAVE THE WORLD!!!!!!

      •  I've always been (none)
        a two-cheers-for-the-ACLU kind of guy, because for every three cases they defend which I find totally righteous, then they turn around and defend Rush Limbaugh or some Neo-Nazis.

        However, they're one of the most necessary organizations in the country, and I've been sending them money for the past five years.

        Everyone: just do it. :-)

    •  For us this issue is much like Roe v Wade (none)
      is for the other side - much more useful when it is unfulfilled.  As long as the admin keeps contorting to withhold these photos, we can keep beating them over the head with it.

      At some point these images will become public, and I hope it will not be too late then to prosecute those in charge.

      Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason. - John Harrington

      by EeDan on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 08:48:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Speaking of Abu Ghraib (4.00)
    AP reports the former warden at Abu Ghraib testified Wednesday that the commander in charge of Guantanamo Bay prison visited Abu Ghraib in 2003 and recommended the use of military dogs during interrogations.

    "We understood that he was sent over by the secretary of defense," Maj. David Dinenna testified.

    Dinenna said teams of trainers were also sent to Abu Ghraib "to take these interrogation techniques, other techniques they learned at Guantanamo Bay, and try to incorporate them in Iraq."

    Is there some reason Rumsfeld is treated so differently than FEMA's Michael Brown?  They're both total incompetents, and Rumsfeld is responsible for MANY more deaths.

  •  If It Gets to the Supreme Ct (none)
    it'll face --well, I can't see any hope in an American Supreme Court in my lifetime.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:14:11 PM PDT

  •  Our nation does not surrender to blackmail... (none)
    U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein nailed the heart of this issue...

    Our nation does not surrender to blackmail... even if it comes as implied threats of doom by our own Defense Department.

    The Defense Department claimed releasing the pictures would damage America's image and encourage terrorists. The weakness of this argument for releasing photos which will help root out the "pro-torture" moral decay of the civilian leaders of the Defense Department was perfectly explained by the Judge in the case.

    "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," the judge wrote.

    Donald Rumsfeld and the Commander in Chief are perfectly happy to surrender to the fear that Americans will see that this Administration encourages and enables war criminals if these pictures are released. But America does not have to be afraid. If bad things are revealed, bad things can be fixed. If bad things remain hidden, bad things can continue indefinitely

  •  Photos (none)
    I'm just wondering if this stuff comes out, people will see Abu Ghraib for what it is: a concentration camp.
  •  Blowback (none)
    Now some people (mostly republicans) may think this is a bad thing in that when the whole world finds out how brutal and corrupt our government is in respect to what we allow our troops to do to prisoners that it will have a negative effect on our troops because they may have to suffer the same treatment.  I wish no ill will for our troops; I just wish the people who authorized this kind of behavior (and that includes Bush and Gonzales) would be the recipients of the blowback rather than 17 and 18 year olds who were only following orders.  
  •  More Dead Soldiers (none)
    O'Reilly tonight got pretty animated about this situation, saying basically more soldiers will die because of these photos getting released.  He also said that it's an old story and there's nothing new here so it's just piling on.  He claims we've already had enough debate about this, so why do we need any more.

    FDR wouldn't have let things like this out during WW2.  "He protected his guys."

    Also, said the judge lives in a theoretical world, is a liberal, him and his wife give to left wing organizations, and is a Clinton appointee.

    Bill got the memo tonight.

    The angrier Army guy said he thought the judge should be "drawn and quartered" and that the ruling was "criminal."

    In the second half of this segment he got into it with one of the former heads of the ACLU.  I think the ACLU guy got his point across, but Bill did a pretty good job of interrupting him before he made any arguments longer than a sound bite.

    If you think about it instead of knee jerk react, as someone said above, if the "terrorists" see that we'll actually punish people in our country that do bad things, they might have more respect for us.  They already want to kill us, I don't think a few pictures are going to make a difference.  No doubt, more soldiers will die, but that's not the pictures' fault.

    Someone asked above why no one had leaked the photos yet.. I would speculate that they don't want someone lynching their ass for "causing the death of American soldiers."

  •  I wear an orange jumpsuit. Do something. (none)
    Adult orange jumpsuits are widely available now in your local Halloween store.  They make a powerful statement even before you say why you're wearing one.

    Mine came with handcuffs and, fortunately, keys.  I tried it on over my clothes at lunchtime and wore it back to work.  Laughter got more awkward when I mentioned changing the "GOTBUSTED PENITENTIARY" stencil to "GUANTANAMO".

    Note to activists: most any stunt that's effective in an organized "protest demonstration" can be even more effective in your daily life.

    I highly recommend getting an orange jumpsuit now.  (Be careful waiting for a discount on October 31 - stores and inventories disappear suddenly.)

    Bottom line: if we act helpless and do nothing, we're accessories - and if we don't make our voices heard, that's exactly how we'll all be treated when the photos appear.  So we don't have loads of time.

    This topic - what we as individuals should be doing about this - deserves way more discussion and more diaries.  Thanks RiW, recommenders and commenters - let's keep it up!

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