Does the timing of Rove's filth and Bushie's cheerleading speech have anything to do with the sickening stuff we'll see on Thursday?
(To those who have seen them, the pictures and video involved here are even more grotesque than the first batch. Lovely.)
JUNE 19, 2005, SUNDAY
Pentagon to release new abuse photos
Washington -- The Pentagon is preparing to release another batch of photos showing prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, a step that is likely to renew criticism of U.S. handling of detainees there.
As many as 144 photos and still images from four videotapes could be made public in coming weeks, as soon as the Pentagon finishes editing them to conceal the identify of the victims.
The digital photos are from the same batch amassed by Army Spc. Joseph Darby, who was based at Abu Ghraib. Darby turned the photos over to military investigators last year.
A federal judge in New York on June 2 ordered the government to prepare to release the rest of the Darby photos in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act. In pressing for release of the pictures, the ACLU contends that prisoner abuse was more widespread than the Bush administration has acknowledged.
"We think that the public has a right to this information," said Amrit Singh, staff counsel at the ACLU.
As part of its lawsuit, which also seeks documents pertaining to the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the ACLU wants to "create a system of accountability for the abuses that happened in the name of the American people and to hold accountable high-ranking officials," Singh said. The government has already released some 36,000 pages of documentation in response to the lawsuit, but the images would be the first to be made public.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said repeatedly that only a handful of low-level Army troops were involved in the abuse. The abuses "took place on one shift in Abu Ghraib -- not the shift before, not the shift after, but on one shift," Rumsfeld reiterated this month, adding: "As a result, dozens of people have been prosecuted and are being punished, as they should be."
To date, eight soldiers have pleaded guilty or been convicted at court-martial in the scandal. Despite the findings of several military reviews pointing out flaws in the operation of military prisons, no military or civilian personnel at the highest levels of the military chain of command have charges brought against them.
In issuing his order, U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein of New York City gave the government until June 30 to get the photos ready by removing information in the pictures that might identify the victims.
The judge said the photographs "are the best evidence the public can have of what occurred" at Abu Ghraib.
David Kelley, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, has asked Hellerstein for an extension -- until July 22 -- to get all the images, both video and pictures, ready for release. He said the Army's Criminal Investigation Crime Lab was currently processing the videos frame by frame.