Pentagon cites ISIS as excuse to keep torture photos secret

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Crescent International

Rabi' al-Awwal 07, 1436 2014-12-29

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

Hiding behind the excuse that ISIS might threaten Americans, the Pentagon refuses to release torture photos of detainees in Abu Ghraib prison. Those crimes were committed in 2003 when ISIS did not exist. In any case, ISIS is a creation of the US and its Arabian allies such as Saudi Arabia.

Washington DC,

2014-12-29, 16:46 EST

Since 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has called on the Pentagon to release approximately 2,100 prisoner abuse photos from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These are from the same documents from which the infamous Abu Gharib photos were released during the Iraq war.

In 2003, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request, which the Bush administration kept stalling. The liberties’ group continued its efforts under the Obama administration.

A law passed in 2009 allows the photos to be withheld for three years if the secretary of defense certifies that their release would harm Americans.

On December 23, 2014, the Pentagon declared that the photos would be kept secret because they could potentially be used by ISIS to gain new recruits and launch “lone wolf” attacks on US military personnel.

The photos “would facilitate the enemy’s ability to conduct information operations and could be used to increase anti-American sentiment,” the Pentagon said in a filing submitted to a federal court in Manhattan on December 19.

“The photographs are susceptible to use as propaganda to incite a public reaction and could be used as recruiting material to attract new members.”

The Abu Gharib photos, released in 2003, showed horrifying scenes of US military soldiers sexually abusing and torturing naked, terrified prisoners, posing in the photographs with smiles and sexually explicit gestures and poses.

The unreleased photographs are potentially even more explosive, depicting the rape of prisoners, including a woman and a minor boy.

The ACLU is making a strong case for transparency: its representatives claim that without transparency and true accounting of the events, Obama’s 2009 executive order forbidding the use of torture and abusive detention practices can be abrogated by another government.

Amrit Singh, lawyer for ACLU, said that the release of those memos was "an important step toward restoring government transparency."

But, Singh wrote, "withholding the prisoner abuse images would seriously undermine President Obama’s recent directives on government openness."

END

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