Judge Orders Release Of Abu Ghraib Photos

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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.