Judge Orders Release Of Abu Ghraib Photos

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Good Decisions, The War On Terrorism

Remember people, these photos are going to come out sooner or later. I say sooner is better because it’ll get the inevitable out of the way.

From the Wash Post.

NEW YORK, Sept. 29 — A federal judge ordered the release Thursday of dozens more pictures of prisoners being abused at Abu Ghraib, rejecting government arguments that the images would provoke terrorists and incite violence against U.S. troops in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said that terrorists “do not need pretexts for their barbarism” and that suppressing the pictures would amount to submitting to blackmail.

“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,” he said.

Now, last time I wrote about this we had a very “spirited” debate, and some of you asked “why” they had to come out. Well, because this is what happens when you torture people and somebody documents it. And if you’re going to keep condoning torure, you also need to accept the reality that people will want to expose it.

Remember, the Bush administration has decried the tactics used in Abu Ghraib, but has recently fought to make sure that those tactics are still available to them if needed. They can’t have it both ways and still be credible.

However, if you do want it both ways, understand that people will want to expose the contradictory nature of that position and demand you stop. Because people, under the current administration’s philosophy on torture Abu Ghraib could happen again. ALL options are on the table. And whether or not they’ll be used is beside the point. Personally, I’d at least appreciate them say, “Okay, no raping of prisoners, especially anal raping of male teenagers.” That would be a nice first step.

Perhaps a better solution would be to put limits on our interrogation tactics FIRST and then release the photos. That would send a clear message to the world that we will never let this happen again and that this was the exception and not the rule.


This entry was posted on Friday, September 30th, 2005 and is filed under Good Decisions, The War On Terrorism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Judge Orders Release Of Abu Ghraib Photos”

  1. This&That Says:

    Begin rant:

    I wish that the media would provide just a bit of balance with the pic’s that are going to come out. Like a shot of the famous hooded man standing with wires with the corpse of a real victim say from one of the terror bombings. Or from Saddam’s files.

    We know that the pics will be used from everything to bashing Bush to helping terrorists recruit around the world. All done in the name of telling the ‘objective’ truth. Or perhaps to ‘frame the story’ of how evil the US is. Or whatever. But the MSM will put those pic’s in every single media format they can because it is another story where they can claim how evil the US is and thus really not that different from the terrorists.

    So why not show at the same time the various pictures and documentation of the torture & murders of the terrorists? Why not show some of those dead killed by the terrorists with clear torture marks? Show the talabian executing women in Afganistan. The various torture chambers uncovered after the terrorists flee an iraqi town? Perhaps compare the numbers of dead and wounded via the terror bombs & shootings vs. the number of dead caused by US torture. How many investigations and people (over 200) are on trial for US torture and what does this mean in comparison to the heroic praise heaped upon those ‘freedom fighters’ by their own leaders and fellow travlers? How many times has the US killed a man, his family, his extended family, and his friends ’cause he did something wrong?

    How many cases in Iraq and elsewhere do not have any problem with them? How many accused are simply released (read Yon for capture and release effects) but go on to commit terror again?

    True the terrroists will still simply use the ones that support their own goals but couldn’t the US media at least pretend to be balanced?

    The post says that these pictures need to come out because that is what happens when torture is documented. Why doesn’t the MSM present the evils of the terrorists? Is that not documented enough with pic’s, eyewitness accounts, records, and defiled corpses?

    Type in torture and terrorist in Google and you get 4 million plus hits. I looked over the first 10 pages or so and found nothing on terrorists engaged in torture, rather it was all about the bad old US (or England). What a suprise.

    First the MSM said they were supposed to be objective distant reporters of objective facts. Now post-Katrina they are supposed to get angry, not worry about confirming facts as rumors told a story, etc. Would it be too much to ask for them to ‘get angry’ at a terrorist once in a while?

    Yes, the US screwed up here. Those responsible should be punished. But why should we simply hand over yet another propaganda victory to the terrorists? Why wound ourselves with public display of these pictures over and over for eternity?

    End rant.

    Thanks for letting me rant.

    This&That

  2. John Says:

    Look, the question isn’t whether or not terrorists are bad people. Everyone knows they are. The questions is whether we are. Everyone thinks their right, even the terrorists.

    Now the questions these pictures could answer is who was in the room while this was going on? What else was done in Our name? Did the government try to mislead the public with pictures previously released? I want answers to these questions, and you should to. If you trust the government, good for you, but I didn’t trust it when Clinton was in office, I especially don’t trust Bush. The only way to find the truth is to see the pictures they don’t want us to see and judge for ourself.

    Terrorists will attack regardless of the pictures release. If people are really concerned about keeping terrorists for gaining fuel for their cause why not try to mandate that the United States of America does not, not in any fashion, condition, means, or circumstance, allow torture of any kind. I thought we were above that. The germans thought concentration camps were the solution to their problem… Let’s not go down where that road leads.

  3. Icepick Says:

    John, the Germans thought concentration camps were the solution to their problems.

    We thought firebombing German cities, killing German prisoners, and letting the Soviets rape, torture, pillage, and scourge about one third of Germany for 45 years was the solution to German concentration camps. Yep, we always took the high road back before that bastard Bush was President.

    Justin, don’t tell us in righteous tones about how torture gets exposed. For god’s sake, the only MSM that I saw give any real attention to Saddam’s horror shows was Fox News, and even they gave the story shorter shrift than whoever was the Missing White Chick of the Week. How much attention has been given to the mass graves? And how many beheading by Arab terrorists have the networks shown on the nightly news? The news organizations will report that without showing the gruesome video and pictures, why not this?

    (As an aside, I watched video of one of the beheadings. Somehow it seemed that I should, as it felt like I was getting snowed by the main news organs. I only watched one of them, and only once. Quite the horror show. But it was instructive. The MSM in the USA made it sound like people were getting their heads loped off like in Highlander, or from a guillotine. Not so. The vicitms get their heads sawed off, and it takes a while, and is quite painful. Of course, I didn’t see that on the nightly news. I had to find some obscure website. But, you know, torture gets exposed.)

    The only time the majority of the media in this country gives a dead rat’s backside about torture is if they can pin it on the USA. What a crock….

  4. The English Guy Says:

    Judith’s First Day of Freedom

    So do you wonder what Judith did today?
    She’s just got out of jail and testified before the federal grand jury on Friday (she didn’t bring up Karl Rove’s letter to her) and now she has a day all to herself, a pretty Saturday, not su…

  5. Justin Gardner Says:

    Justin, don’t tell us in righteous tones about how torture gets exposed. For god’s sake, the only MSM that I saw give any real attention to Saddam’s horror shows was Fox News, and even they gave the story shorter shrift than whoever was the Missing White Chick of the Week.

    To be specific, my thoughts are a lament and not an expose. I sincerely wish that more of Sadam’s atrocities had been expose pre-war. That certainly would have swayed my point of view, as it has post-war. Currently, I wrestle with whether Saddam should have been taken out given the atrocities he put the Iraqi population through.

    But it’s obviously more complicated than that. Are we the world’s policeman? It seems to be the answer is yes. So as the world’s policemen, should we commit (and sanction) the same brand of atrocities that Saddam committed against his own people? Because that’s what we’re talking about. When our government says that they don’t want to put limits on what we can do to prisoners, chaos can enuse. And as we’ve seen at Abu Ghraib, these tenets can be perverted in the name of liberty and justice.

    Hardly a partisan view…

    The vicitms get their heads sawed off, and it takes a while, and is quite painful. Of course, I didn’t see that on the nightly news. I had to find some obscure website. But, you know, torture gets exposed.

    What do you suggest? That we meet that same horrific torture with the same tactics? Please explain this point, becuase I simply don’t understand how being like them could benefit our message of liberty and justice in the long run.

    Personally, I don’t think you appreciate that the media is trying to be impartial, especially since you think that the media holds a very specific point of view. And as such, when you look at the news, you see non-reporting of stories that should be exposed, like beheadings. Sorry, but that doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. The media’s job is to report the news wihtout bias. I know you think they’re decidedly liberal, but they simply report the facts and let us in the blogopshere sort it out. It’s not their responsibility to make hay over ANY argument, especially when it comes to showing us the death of ONE american.

    Thanks for the time to discuss.

  6. The English Guy » Judith’s First Day of Freedom Says:

    [...] She might compare her stay in a federal jail to the Abu Ghraib prisoners. [...]

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