Photo by Dennis Cook, AP
Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, here at a 2004 hearing on Capitol Hill, has told a British newspaper that photos of Iraqi prisoner abuse depict apparent "every indecency," including apparent rape. He said he supports President Barack Obama's decision not to release the photos.
Major General Taguba tells the Telegraph:
"I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one," he said. "The sequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them, and British troops who are trying to build security in Afghanistan."
He added: "The mere depiction of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it."
Trust me General Taguba, I do, take you at your word!
In her article she posted July 7, 2008 and which appears today in the Huffington Post, Naomi Wolf writes in her article entitled:
Sex Crimes in the White House
"The sexualization of torture from the top basically turned Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay into an organized sex-crime ring in which the trafficked sex slaves were US-held prisoners. Looking at the classic S and M nature of some of this torture, it is hard not to speculate that someone setting policy was aroused by all of this. And Phillipe Sands' impeccably documented Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values, now proves that sex crime was authorized and, at least one source reports, eroticized: Diane Beaver, the Staff Judge Advocate at Guantanamo who signed off on many torture techniques, told Sands about brainstorming sessions that included the use of "sexual tension," which was "culturally taboo, disrespectful, humiliating and potentially unexpected."
She alludes in her Alternet article that the original documents already made public reveal the startling facts that the official Bush policy of sexual torture came directly from the top of the food chain:
President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were present in meetings where sexual humiliation was discussed as policy. The [John Warner]Defense Authorization Act of 2007 was written specifically to allow certain kinds of sexual abuse, such as forced nakedness, which is illegal and understood by domestic and international law to be a form of sexual assault. Rumsfeld is in print and on the record consulting with subordinates about the policy and practice of sexual humiliation, in a collection of documents obtained by the ACLU by a Freedom of Information Act filing compiled in Jameel Jaffer's important book The Torture Administration.
In another interesting twist, the Obama administration, as reported in the New York Times June 5, 2009, the U.S. May Permit 9/11 Guilty Pleas in Capital Cases:
"The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.
The provision could permit military prosecutors to avoid airing the details of brutal interrogation techniques. It could also allow the five detainees who have been charged with the Sept. 11 attacks to achieve their stated goal of pleading guilty to gain what they have called martyrdom."
Or, could this legislative manuever be all part of a grander plan to permanently put to bed any further damning revelations about the Bush sexual abuse torture program, once and for all? Dead men tell no tales. "No man = no problem"! I suspect, this goes much, much deeper than a simple case of national security, damage control or claiming to protect the troops in the field. It smacks of outright collusion and a full-blown conspiracy to obstruct the justice that Bush and his regime so desperately deserves in the worst way. Is aiding and abetting Bush's cover-up and escaping the long arm of justice for his war crimes tantamount to an impeachable offense?
Now enters the new bill "The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act", sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham and, you guessed it, Joe Lieberman! First, the telecoms get retroactive immunity, now I can hear the other shoe about to fall: Bush is about to get a virtual pass on his sexual abuse torture program, as well. Now, if this is "the change we can believe in" Obama promised during his campaign, then perhaps we all missed something in the translation.
Former constitutional law and civil rights litigator, Glenn Greenwald, sheds some new light on what he perceives as the Obama adminstration's true intentions to shield the Bush regime from prosecution, writing a damning indictment in a Salon post June 1, 2009, about Obama's support for the new Graham-Lieberman secrecy law here:
"The White House is actively supporting a new bill jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman -- called The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 -- that literally has no purpose other than to allow the government to suppress any "photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States." As long as the Defense Secretary certifies--with no review possible--that disclosure would "endanger" American citizens or our troops, then the photographs can be suppressed even if FOIA requires disclosure. The certification lasts 3 years and can be renewed indefinitely. The Senate passed the bill as an amendment last week."
Greenwald writes in further evisceration and condemnation of Obama's apparent intent to lay the groundwork for the Bush regime to escape, at least from America's justice system, if not the rest of the world's. Thanks to Spain (and others) who apparently managed to find probable cause enough to warrant considering pursuing charges against Yoo and Bybee and the rest of Bush's "torture memo" enablers, without any of our state secrets or exculpatory photographs, Bush may yet see his day in court.
Yoo and fellow Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) lawyer Jay Bybee, consistently argued that the Bush administration had the right to override the Constitution as long as it claimed to be fighting a "war on terror." Since when does anything the president does, unless you're Richard Nixon, trump the Constitution? It doesn't, unless one's name is Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Negroponte, Bolton--or any number of other known neocons living in Bush's warped and distorted megalomaniacal sociopathic world.
Greenwald nails it here:
"Just imagine if any other country did this. Imagine if a foreign government were accused of systematically torturing and otherwise brutally abusing detainees in its custody for years, and there was ample photographic evidence proving the extent and brutality of the abuse. Further imagine that the country's judiciary--applying decades-old transparency laws--ruled that the government was legally required to make that evidence public. But in response, that country's President demanded that those transparency laws be retroactively changed for no reason other than to explicitly empower him to keep the photographic evidence suppressed, and a compliant Congress then immediately passed a new law empowering the President to suppress that evidence. What kind of a country passes a law that has no purpose other than to empower its leader to suppress evidence of the torture it inflicted on people? Read the language of the bill; it doesn't even hide the fact that its only objective is to empower the President to conceal evidence of war crimes."
Here's the language of the new bill. Read it and weep:
S.Amdt.1157 Pass To provide that certain photographic records relating to the treatment of any individual engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside the United States shall not be subject to disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act).
Why is our newly-elected Democratic President & Democratic-led new majority(sic)Congress seemingly falling all over themselves to protect the likes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney?