Terrorism

Supreme Court Extends Obama Administration's Prisoner-Abuse Secrecy

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Bad news for transparency junkies, care of The New York Times:

Thumbs up, Barack!

The Supreme Court on Monday vacated a lower court ruling that would have required the government to release photographs showing the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. […]

The decision was three sentences long and unsigned, and it followed the enactment of a law in October allowing the secretary of defense to block the pictures' release. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, for further consideration in light of the new law. […]

The Second Circuit ordered the photos released last year, and the Justice Department initially recommended against an appeal to the Supreme Court.

But President Obama overruled his lawyers, saying his national security advisers had persuaded him that releasing the photos would inflame anti-American sentiment abroad and endanger American troops.

Back before Barack Obama was little more than a political gleam in ________________'s eye (commenters will gladly fill in the blank), I wrote about "why we'll never see the second round of Abu Ghraib photos."

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  1. Back before Barack Obama was little more than a political gleam in Bill Ayers’ eye

    There.

    1. Bill gleam — a little dab’ll do ya!

      “A little nostalgia for the old folks.”

  2. You NutraSweet’d your last link, Matt.

    Back before Barack Obama was little more than a political gleam in ________________’s eye

    joe’s?

    I’m still waiting for any significant Obama supporters who post regularly on this blog to own up about how much of a failure Obama is to everything he promised those who supported him.

    Just one.

    1. But see, the progressives have been disappointed with him for so long, whereas the liberals are completely happy with him. That those two groups form a perfectly round Venn diagram is just your inability to grasp nuance.

      1. I can only grasp, well, one thing. And it’s not nuance.

        1. I don’t know. I heard you were able to grasp one very truncated, barely perceptible “idea”.

          1. “Very truncated”?!? What are you implying?!?

            1. Nothing. This one chick who sat in on one of your lectures said “you didn’t go on at length.”

              1. She said your “lecture” ended abruptly.

                1. Was “her” name Timmy? That lying sack of shit…

      2. As much as the right offends me, the left is friggin’ nuts. Reality-based community indeed.

  3. That is a real person in that photo not just some political prop. If Jihadist kidnapped Welsh and took such a picture of him, even with his head in a hood, would Reason run the photo everytime the subject of Islamic kidnapping came up?

    Lindy England and company committed a no shit real crime. And they went to jail for it. And the guy in the hood is an actual person who was the victim of that crime. He may be some jihadist scumbag. Or he may be some cab driver who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    So why run the photo? It is just torture porn and exploitive as hell.

    1. Your expression of completely fake concern for the victims of torture is duly noted.

    2. In answer to your hypothetical, I would certainly hope so.

      1. Really? Matt. You wouldn’t have a problem with that? You wouldn’t find that exploitive as hell? What would be the point?

        1. John, are you opposed to showing pictures of the dead victims at Waco, like the gas-poisoned children that they showed in Waco: The Rules of Engagement?

          1. Yes. I am. We know what happened at Waco. We ought to have some respect for the dead. I don’t see how showing the kids does anything but exploit the victims. And I was and am absolutely appalled by what happened there.

            1. So Waco: TRoE shouldn’t have been made? I mean, it plays back the recordings from the calls made to the negotiator, including frightened people soon to die. It shows pictures of dead people. By your logic, it’s therefore exploitative and we shouldn’t have been shown it.

        2. Uh, someone would be pointing at his dong and giving the thumbs up. Who doesn’t want national coverage of that?

          But really, you show the photo to shame anyone out of thinking this is a good idea in the future. The same reason you release all of the photos. I have to pay for this government. That means they did this shit in my name. “Inflaming tensions” was a bullshit excuse from Bush and it’s a bullshit excuse from Obama. It has nothing to do with “inflaming tensions.” It has to do with the government fucking up big time and refusing to admit it.

          1. Then release photos of actual goverment sponsored torture. This wasn’t that. This was a bunch of people committed crimes who were sent to prison for it.

            I know in Reason world, Dick Cheney was giving personal insturctions to England and company. But, that is not what happened. This particular photo is an entirely different set of circumstance that what happened to say KSM. If you want to release photos of the CIA waterboarding KSM to show the horrors that the poor dear had to suffer, have fun.

            1. We get it, John. You’re a fan of torture. Which you foolishly think will only ever been done to the sort of people you think it should be done to. This is “right people in charge” sort of thinking at it’s most ludicrous.

              You don’t want to give a shit about torture, have fun with that. But this script that a few rogue solders took hundreds of these photos without anyone over them having any clue it was happening is the same horseshit we hear about a few bad apples on the police force.

              You’re so desperate for Iraq to be a righteous war, you’ll say anything to cover up your own cognitive dissonance.

              1. SF,

                YOu are full of shit. I know the people who defended England and her BF. The government tried every way in the world to get them to rat out their superiors. They offered them serious plea deals. But, they never rattted anyone out. Because there wasn’t anyone to rat out. They really were a bunch of sadist on the night shift. The leadership was guilty of gross negligence. But they were not acting under orders.

                Yes, people were tortured. The real torture happened at Bagram where a cab driver was beaten to death. And those guys basically were let off by a military jury. It was outragous.

                I don’t support torture. But you have no fucking idea what you are talking about. You know nothing about Abu Garib or Bagrham or anything beyond the cartoon that lives in your brain.

                1. Just a few bad apples. Just a few bad apples. Just keep repeating it and it might just come true.

                  You’re no better than joe. Years spent on this board and you still have your head up the GOP’s ass.

                  1. Whatever you do SF, don’t respond to facts. And don’t read my posts. Don’t read where I say that there really were instances where the government tortured people and superiors knew about it just not Abu Garib. No, don’t read that. Because doing that migh cause you to have to think and be something beyond an ignorant fuck on this subject.

                2. So please explain again to us why, even if there was no higher knowledge of the abuse, is it wrong to show the pictures? You yourself admit that their superiors were guilty of at least gross negligence.

                  1. “So please explain again to us why, even if there was no higher knowledge of the abuse, is it wrong to show the pictures? You yourself admit that their superiors were guilty of at least gross negligence.”

                    You miss my point. My point was that if the argument is that we should show the pictures because we want to show the horrors of official torture, then show pictures of the actual official torture that happened. Don’t show pictures of the sadist on the night shift.

                    I don’t think any of it should be shown. But if you want to show them to show the outrage of official torture, show the right pictures.

                    1. So if a California prison was found to have some sadists torturing prisoners on the night shift, we shouldn’t be shown what they were doing? And the prison management wouldn’t be responsible? What if the warden was a Democrat? Would he be responsible then?

                    2. If prison guards in California were torturing their prisoners, you think it would be okay to take the videos of them doing it and post them all over the internet? And more than that, take the photos and re-use them every time the subject of prison guards came up? I think that would be pretty fucking gross and exploitive. I would want them to use the videos to convict the people who did it and then burn the videos once they were no longer needed to convict the people involved.

                      As far as the leadership of the prison? Yes they would be responsible, but not in the same way that the actual perpertraitors were. The one star general in charge of the Abu Garhib should have court martialed. Should she have gotten five years like England? No. She was negligent which is not the same as doing the actual act.

                    3. And more than that, take the photos and re-use them every time the subject of prison guards came up?

                      Uh…YES. To point out what can and did happen.

                      Why do you want to bury this stuff so much, John? If it was footage of Hillary drugging Vince Foster with chloroform, beating him with a sledgehammer and phone book, and then shooting him in the head and positioning his body, you’d want it on a 24/7 loop. So cut the shit.

              2. Come on, SF. England and company were just following orders from above? Cheney really directed them?

                Being unable to differentiate between the policies of Gitmo with the actions of individuals in Abu Gharib is the “cognitive dissonance”.

                1. Where did I say orders? Where did I mention Cheney? John spins his fantasies on his own, thank you very much.

                  “A few bad apples” just doesn’t cut it with me. I know whoever let this go on will never be prosecuted. That’s not really the point, however much John wants to make it.

                  It was John po-faced concern for the victim in the photo that started this. He doesn’t give a shit about the victims of torture. He just wants, yet fucking again, to defend Iraq as righteous at all fucking costs. Just as he defends all excesses of the GWOT or whatever they are calling it nowadays.

                  Look as his snide little bon mots about KSM above. He’s fine with torture as long as it’s someone he thinks should be tortured. It’s fucking sickening. And unpragmatic to give anyone a power that can been used on you if you fall out of favor with the government.

                  1. If you can accuse me of loving torture, I can assuse you of loving KSM. Neither charge is fair. But if you don’t like being misrepresented, don’t do it to other people.

                    Further, I do care about the victims of torture. And I don’t support torture. And unlike you I have actually done things that ensured that people under my watch were not tortured. I have no explaining to do to you or anyone else about whether I support torture or care about the victims. So shut the fuck up with that shit. It is not true and you know it.

                    Admit the facts. England and company committed a crime. They were convicted and sent to prison for it. That guy in that picture is being victimized. Raeson is taking pictures of that guy being humiliated and using them to make snarky points. That is just fucking gross and exploitinve.

                    You may think it is fun to laugh at that shit and use it to score cheap points. But I don’t.

                    1. England and company committed a crime.

                      True.

                      They were convicted and sent to prison for it.

                      True.

                      That guy in that picture is being victimized.

                      True.

                      Raeson is taking pictures of that guy being humiliated and using them to make snarky points.

                      True, but that’s not why you object to them doing it.

                      That is just fucking gross and exploitinve.

                      Far less gross than what you are doing. They are doing it to object to keeping evidence of torture secret done by our government or its employees at any level, whether official or your fanciful bad apples.

                      You want the evidence kept secret for partisan purposes, but you couch it as concern for the victims of that torture.

                      That’s what I’m calling bullshit and will continue to call bullshit.

                      I’m done talking about it. I’m not going to change your mind about a self-justification.

                    2. “Far less gross than what you are doing. They are doing it to object to keeping evidence of torture secret done by our government or its employees at any level, whether official or your fanciful bad apples.”

                      Where did I ever say “keep the photos secret”? There is a difference between releasing the photos of what happened and then recycling the photos every time someone wants to make a snarky point.

          2. “That means they did this shit in my name.”

            Hubris much?

            1. It stops taking my money, and I’ll stop bitching.

          3. But really, you show the photo to shame anyone out of thinking this is a good idea in the future. The same reason you release all of the photos. I have to pay for this government. That means they did this shit in my name. “Inflaming tensions” was a bullshit excuse from Bush and it’s a bullshit excuse from Obama. It has nothing to do with “inflaming tensions.” It has to do with the government fucking up big time and refusing to admit it.

            You think the photos should be released?

            Would you support the release of a video of a man raping a fifteen-year-old girl?

            Or the autopsy photos of someone who had been stabbed over fifty times?

            There is precedent for refusing to release crime scene photos to the general public.

        3. I am a firm believer that we should confront all horror head-on, whether it’s people jumping out of the World Trade Center, or Nick Nolte’s mugshot. The “point” in your hypothetical would be to illustrate the horror of jihadi terrorism.

          1. “I am a firm believer that we should confront all horror head-on”

            So will we be seeing videos of Suderman’s wedding night?

          2. As little as I enjoy this (don’t automatically throw me in the same pen as John): The repetitive use of that particular photo is getting somewhat tiresome. It’s the equivalent to my 5 year old grandson’s obsession with the word “doody”.

        4. John, do you also feel that photos of holocaust victims are merely exploitative and not cautionary?

          1. John, do you also feel that photos of holocaust victims are merely exploitative and not cautionary?

            What about the video that Greg Haidl made of him and two friends raping a teenage girl?

            Should that be released to the public?

        5. If it was being exploited to remind other of the evil that was done to you in order to prevent it from happening, most people would be ok with it. I don’t see the ADL complaining about showing fucktons of Nazi victims to illustrate the horrors of the holocaust.

          Indeed, the people who would most like to hide these images are the ones who should remember.

    3. And the guy in the hood is an actual person who was the victim of that crime. He may be some jihadist scumbag. Or he may be some cab driver who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

      Ell.

      Oh.

      Fucking.

      Ell.

      You’re really laying on the hypocrisy thick this morning, John. I seem to recall you singing a different tune during the Bush admin when people questioned whether every single resident of Gitmo was an enemy combatant.

      1. Bullshit. Go back and read the threads. I had long arguments with the infamous Joe Boyle about that. And it was one time we actually agreed. I have always said that they should have done Article 5 tribunals on the ground to determine who and what these people were. I was very critical of Bush and the way he handled the people at GUITMO

        This is why I don’t post on the torture threads anymore. The people on here are so fucking stupid and pig headed it does no good to write anything down. It doesn’t matter what you write or what I actually think. All that matters to you dumb asses is the cartoons that live in your head.

  4. That is a real person in that photo not just some political prop. If Jihadist kidnapped Welsh and took such a picture of him, even with his head in a hood, would Reason run the photo everytime the subject of Islamic kidnapping came up?

    Welsh would become the new Lobster Girl.

    1. Funny. But I doubt it.

      1. Its not like they’d be forcibly removing Gillespie’s jacket and taking pictures. Even Jihadists have limits.

        1. You’re assuming there is anything other than the jacket. Like Doctor Fate, the jacket is all that remains.

          1. There’s the hair. Don’t forget the hair, because it won’t forget you.

            1. If you stare into the Hair Gel long enough, the Hair Gel stares back at you.

              1. Aqua Net…it’s forever in there.

                1. I would put Stossel’s mustache up against Gillespie’s hair any day of the week.

                  There, I said it.

    2. Isn’t it Welch?

      1. WELSHIEEEEE!!!

        1. I hope it wasn’t a comment on his commitment to living up to terms of bets.

          1. I want my two dollars, Welch!

  5. the government relied on an exemption to the freedom of information law that applies to “information compiled for law enforcement purposes” that “could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.”

    Any individual? That includes information obtained from informants and witnesses in organized crime cases, or just terrorism cases? That seems like an extremely broad exemption to me.

    1. That is because it is. They never turn over anything related to law enforcement investigations. It applies to terrorists, mobsters, cops, you name it.

      1. But it’s going to have to come out at trial anyway due to full disclosure, right?

    2. If it saves the life of just one child …

      * smiles slyly *

  6. Threadjack: In rather unsurprising news, Seattle cop shooter suspect killed by police officer.

    1. It’s mentioned and discussed in the Morning Links above, BP.

      1. That’s what I get for not refreshing the main page before posting. Crap.

        Oh, and Obama’s trashing one of his campaign promises? That can’t be.

  7. If Jihadist kidnapped Welsh and took such a picture of him, even with his head in a hood, would Reason run the photo everytime the subject of Islamic kidnapping came up?

    Can’t speak for Welch, but I can’t get anybody even to look at pictures of me buck-naked in an executioner’s hood, let alone post them on a website. I’ve tried every school in town.

    The idea that you have to withhold non-security-related information out of fear of offending people’s consciences is un-American. It’s also insulting to Arabs. At this point there’s nobody in the House of Peace who is not aware that the Americans subjected prisoners to perverted forms of abuse and (probably) torture. They know that people were stripped, exposed to vicious dogs, hooked up to wires while wearing hoods, and so on. What could possibly be left that would enflame their passions any more? And if there is something worse, that’s all the more reason to bring it to light, because we are the United States of America, and our country was founded on the principle of open information and justice.

    Since we’ve already kidnapped Welch and subjected him to sexual humiliation (and he was not unresponsive), let’s try another analogy, one drawn from actual life on planet Earth: The pictures of Emmett Till’s horribly mutilated body were shocking, likely to prompt retaliation, and concerned a victim who even if he’d still been alive would have been too young to give consent. Was it wrong to let the country see that evidence? The majority of white Southerners were law-abiding people who just wanted to live in peace. Why wasn’t their security taken into consideration?

    1. Let us say I’m captured by U.S. Forces and my wiener is photographed because they think the idea will offend me so much that I will talk. Let’s say I actually am mortally embarrassed by the notion (which I am until your credit card clears) but the whole event is uncovered – er, exposed – um, reported and there’s a trial.

      So because it happened to be the Americans, with their ultimate belief in “open information”, who assaulted my sensibilities, I am forced to have my somewhat awesome genitals plastered all over the internet (for free) to satisfy American justice? How is that not me being assaulted by the U.S. a second time?

      Okay, I admit the above scenario was written up somewhat messily, but I’m going to post it anyway, dammit.

    2. You miss the point Tim. It is not about inflaming the passions of the Arab street. It is about that guy in that photo.

      You could claim all you want that you wouldn’t care if it were you. And maybe you wouldn’t. Who am I to say how you get your kicks. But, I think there is a good chance that it would bother the guy in the picture for you to be using the photos of him being tortured as a vehicle for your snark.

      1. John, who is the guy in the photo? What’s his name?

        1. I don’t know. But someone does. That guy knows it is him. If they had a picture of someone raping a five year old, would you be okay with using it to show the “horrors of child rape” even if the name had been lost to the mists of time?

          1. WTF, John?

            (fuck you spam filter)

              1. Sorry, just a test, Art. I don’t seem to have the problem posting short posts like some other people.

                The squirrels move in mysterious ways.

                1. For awhile I didn’t on Microsoft IE, but since I switched to Firefox, that spam filter gets me a lot.

          2. John, I’m trying to help you. I’m trying to get you to avoid falling any further into an argument so transparently phony and half-baked any adult should be embarrassed to make it.

            You don’t know who the guy is. I don’t know who the guy is. Unless he has come forward himself, nobody can tell by looking at the photo who he is. Reprinting the photo here does him no damage. Not one iota of damage. Not one quintilla of damage. Even if it caused him half a micron of damage, that damage would be so far subsidiary to his primary claim of having been mishandled by the U.S. Army that it would be unworthy of mention. Yet you’re ready to sexually abuse Matt Welch and hand around pictures of five-year-olds getting raped just to establish a false parallel?

            Sorry that there is so much precedent for making information public while protecting the identities of innocent parties. (And as you noted, this guy may not be innocent.) In any event, your argument isn’t rooted in any logic or principle but in the basest possible appeal to emotion. And I am unmoved. Maybe that’s snarky of me.

            1. “You don’t know who the guy is. I don’t know who the guy is. Unless he has come forward himself, nobody can tell by looking at the photo who he is. Reprinting the photo here does him no damage.”

              So you think that it is okay to print any picture of anyone, no matter how humiliating or how shallow the purpose as long as we don’t know who the person is?

              I am sorry but that doesn’t make any sense. There is no way you would apply such a standard in any other circumstance. Let me ask you again, if we had a picture of someone being sexually assaulted in an Ameircan prison, you would not be bothered by using that picture and putting some snarky alt.tex on it as long as you and most other people didn’t know who the guy was? Bullshit. You would never do that.

              Your argument is completely transparent.

              1. Your argument is completely transparent.

                Uh, I’m rubber you’re glue? Sew buttons on your father’s underwear? Guess what, chicken butt?

                I’m not sure what the response is to that zinger.

                1. Then don’t Tim. And whatever you do, don’t respond to the hypothetical about the pictures of someone in the US prison. If it is okay to use this picture, why wouldn’t it be okay to use such a picture of a prisoner in the US prison? Yet, I don’t see any of those pictures getting posted and I am sure some of them exist somewhere.

                2. And to all and sundry: I love John. John has been commenting here for many years, and his comments are always pretty consistent and worth reading. Say what you will of his spelling (or his argument in this case); John is an OG among commenters.

                  1. Tim,

                    Thank you. And you are right, that guy is not individually harmed by this photo. But, if it is your position that what happened at Abu Garib was horrible. Then I think that the photos of what happened there ought to be treated with some respect. It bothers me. It really does. But maybe that is just me.

                3. Come on Tim. You are a staffer. You are supposed to be better than that. I expected you to at least respond to my arguement.

                  1. Offered simply as constructive criticism to Tim:

                    I’m not sure what the response is to that zinger.

                    A: Your argument is completely transparent.

                    B: So says the windowpane.

            2. Today on Reason: LIVE STREAMING BRUTAL RAPE (because you need to know the horrors).

              How can you not love the internets.

    3. “The pictures of Emmett Till’s horribly mutilated body were shocking, likely to prompt retaliation”

      No they weren’t. I may be wrong, but I have never read of a single retaliatory act stemming from their release.

      1. Also it was his mother who insisted on a funeral with an open casket – because she wanted people to see evidence the brutality of his killing. The pictures of Till’s body were published because his mother wanted them published.

        Unless the prisoner in that picture consented to it being widely published, the situation is not the same.

  8. Back before Barack Obama was little more than a political gleam in Oprah’s eye

    1. Back before Barack Obama was little more than a political gleam in a Kenyan Village’s eyes.

      Disclaimer: I am not a birther.

  9. The photos will never be released because it will incrase the number of domestic terrorists, which are otherwise known as American citizens who realized that our USA military isn’t snakes and snails and puppy dog’s tails. Okay, well they are the first two, even they can’t be entirely perfect.

    1. I think you just hit the real reason right on the head. Remember Obama is still running this place and they are covering their own asses. They incited more terrorism and hate having troops marching down the streets every day and if they were serious about not inciting terrorism they wouldn’t have just sent another 30-35k. They don’t want them released for fully political reasons because it’s proof of their incompetence and what happens when you give government the power to make secrete prisons. The photos make it that much easier to be anti-government and this contradicts Obama’s goal of more power/control over people’s lives so he has to keep the image that more government power doesn’t mean more douche-bags that spread douche-baggery to everything they touch. They won’t give up any power willingly and will fight it every step of the way.

  10. It’s “snips and snails” or were you taking a license?

  11. I believe John’s mostly right about this:

    They really were a bunch of sadist on the night shift. The leadership was guilty of gross negligence. But they were not acting under orders.

    But wrong about this:

    My point was that if the argument is that we should show the pictures because we want to show the horrors of official torture, then show pictures of the actual official torture that happened. Don’t show pictures of the sadist on the night shift.

    But I’m guessing no one’s changing their minds on this shit.

    1. The thing is Art. I have never supported torture on these boards. I have also never denied that the CIA and Army intel did some nasty shit that they should have been held accountable for.

      All I have ever said was that

      1. I didn’t care that the waterboarded KSM,

      2. That England and company is not an example of the officially sanctioned torture.

      3. That it is wrong and exploitive to use pictures of people being victimized and humiliated for the purpose of making snarky jokes.

      When the day comes that they have pictures like this that help my side, I should be the first person to object to publicizing them. I don’t think they should have showed the film of Danial Pearle being beheaded. What was the point beyond traumatizing his family? We all know the people who kidnapped him were sick crazy fucks. We don’t need to see the video to prove it.

      1. Well, now that I see the alt-text, I agree with you about the “snarky humor” thing.
        How did Pearl’s family feel about that footage being released (I don’t recall)?

        1. I don’t remember. But there was the case were the “peace activist” was kidnapped in Iraq and they cut his head off. And there the fucking media went and showed it to the guy’s poor father. It was appalling.

          I guess Reason, being journalists and devoid of all moral shame, thought it was great.

          1. Did they strap him to a chair and tape his eyelids open?

            Those who don’t want to see the images can simply NOT LOOK AT THE IMAGES. This is not a hard concept, however much you wish to make it so.

      2. WTF?!?

        It’s ok to waterboard someone, but “wrong and exploitative” to print pictures of some guy who we can’t even tell who it is?

      3. I think I understand John’s point of view. Whatever personally offends John should be banned, but if he personally can’t muster outrage over someone being tortured, then it’s okay.

  12. The leadership was guilty of gross negligence. But they were not acting under orders.

    The problem with that, is the negligence is too gross to be credible. A military facility is run in a military manner, there are inspections, performance reviews, and always always documentation. There needs to be a log entry for everything. And what about the prisoners? They kept quite all day about what went on at night? This makes it impossible for me to believe the night shift was some rogue group of people acting on their own initiative. There’s just no way they could have done what they did without the assent of the command.

    1. “The problem with that, is the negligence is too gross to be credible”

      I would agree with you there if I hadn’t seen such gross negligence in other areas. I find it absolutely believable that they had some ding bat NG General who got her job through political connections running the place and all leadership and accountability broke down. That doesn’t surprise me at all. The military is a mixed bag. There are some fabulous units and people. But like any large organization, there are some fabulously bad ones.

      1. Karpinski claims she was told by a Major General, who formerly ran the prison at Gitmo, that detainees were to be treated like dogs. He, of course, denies it.

  13. It’s official, Obama’s supporters in the progressive community aren’t gonna be happy. He promised an end to these abuses; absolutely appalling.

  14. News trumps Privacy; the fact that Politics abuses News does not alter this relationship.

    1. On the bright side, we might see the rise of the antiwar left again. It’s about time they snapped outta their trance and take to the streets.

      1. The Powers That Be fear only giant puppets.

        1. “The Powers that Be” are the people who couldn’t keep Watergate a secret. “The Powers that Be” are the ones who started a moronic war.

          “The Powers that Be” aren’t that powerful; they really are that stupid.

    2. until it’s your nutsack in the glare

  15. The repetitive use of that particular photo IS getting somewhat tiresome. It’s the equivalent to my 5 year old grandson’s obsession with the word “doody”.

    For future reference, I would suggest a still from the movie “Chained Heat”.

  16. As Welch points out right off the bat, torture didn’t just happen at Abu Ghraib. Yes, those are the photos he referenced, but it’s Iraq and Afghanistan (and God knows where else)… To base an entire argument on the fact that Lindy England, et al. were just a bunch of sociopathic whackjobs left unsupervised is to take a blinkered view and deny that this is a systemic problem.

  17. Greg Haidl made a videotape of him and two friends raping a teenage girl.

    Should that be released to the public, uploaded to YouTube ?

    1. See, that IS a case of a “bad apple”… Not people who are supposed to be acting on behalf of the U.S. government and for the good of the people of this country.

      Your argument begs the greater question of how the government is going to be accountable to its people. We can hold the sick fucks who made a rape video accountable in court- same with England and friends- but how does the federal government ever have accountability if its citizens don’t know what’s being done under their flag?

      When there are multiple videos of on-duty U.S. soldiers raping teenagers, ask your question again.

      1. Your argument begs the greater question of how the government is going to be accountable to its people. We can hold the sick fucks who made a rape video accountable in court- same with England and friends- but how does the federal government ever have accountability if its citizens don’t know what’s being done under their flag?

        so if a similar video were made by people who happened to be in the Army, it should be posted all over the Internet and shown on prime time television?

        1. I didn’t say one video, I said multiple videos of crimes committed while serving in an official capacity- And my point had nothing to do with what is essentially voyeurism, which is what you seem to be arguing.

          I think we can all agree this stuff is abhorrent and needs to be handled with care so as not to cheapen the suffering and degradation it has caused. That’s different than saying it’s abhorrent so we’re going to keep a lid on it.

          You, again, completely ignored the question of government being held accountable by the citizenry– which, IMO, can only be done if the citizenry knows what its government is doing.

          1. You, again, completely ignored the question of government being held accountable by the citizenry– which, IMO, can only be done if the citizenry knows what its government is doing.

            How can we keep the Orange County D.A.’s office accountable if we do not see the evidence they used against Greg Haidl?

  18. As Welch points out right off the bat, torture didn’t just happen at Abu Ghraib.

    My memory is fading on this. Sure, lots of prisoners were humiliated at AG. Aside from humiliation, what was the torture, though? Any waterboarding? Beatings? Electric shocks? I honestly don’t recall.

    1. Some of the alleged torture at Gitmo was stuff like leaving prisoners naked in the cold, sleep deprivation… I know there are other vague reports from other places, and the disturbing allegation that the U.S. outsourced prisoners to other countries where torture is standard practice. But honestly I can’t give you a citation.

      Out of curiosity- At what point does humiliation cross the line and become torture?

      1. I don’t think either is better than the other.

    2. Not surprised that a known Bushbot has short term memory about the Abu Ghraib scandal, but the torture included being bitten by dogs while tied up, forced to have sex with dogs and with each other, being raped both by military personnel and with nightsticks.

      A little google goes a long way, for those not hiding from the truth for partisan reasons.

      1. Oh and for the google-impaired, here are some links (not coded to avoid the spam filter)

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..-rape.html

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…..2/iraq.usa

  19. A breach of ethics was perpetrated during a war. (Real headline there!) Real, unnecessary, odious, inexcusable arm was done, to the victims and to the US cause. From that, it does not follow that more harm should be done to the US cause by releasing more photos — whether in the name of “transparency” or not. Obama is acting like a grown up (somewhat surprisingly).

    Of course, like Murray Rothbard in his left-wing libertarian days, some libertarians hate their country and its government and its military more than than they hate its enemies (those who would beat, rape or kill them without pause — and without a trial let alone a conviction afterwards). The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    1. So if some other nation tried to cover its tracks after such breaches of ethics, you wouldn’t have a problem with that?

      To imply that everyone here is holding out anarcho-libertarian hatred for the U.S. is absurd. Perhaps, just perhaps, people who care about their country and about greater justice have an ethical problem with turning a blind eye to ethical problems in the name of THE CAUSE… Whatever the hell that cause is at this point.

    2. What about those of who hate both?

    3. From that, it does not follow that more harm should be done to the US cause by releasing more photos

      It also does not follow that the photos should NOT be released. So err on the side of liberty, release the goddamn photos!

      1. So err on the side of liberty, release the goddamn photos!

        Just as soon as we release Greg Haidl’s videotape.

        1. That’s disingenuous, at best. You’re conflating two different situations by playing on the fact that they’re both horrific. Greg Haidl is not the U.S. government or one of its agents in a war- He can be held accountable in criminal court, and releasing such a video widely (that is, beyond the judge, jury, et al.) would not serve the interests of his victim…
          Exposing the horrors of Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Afghanistan, does serve the interests of the (anonymous) victims because the American people will, one can only hope, insist that such horrors not be repeated.

          1. That’s disingenuous, at best. You’re conflating two different situations by playing on the fact that they’re both horrific. Greg Haidl is not the U.S. government or one of its agents in a war- He can be held accountable in criminal court, and releasing such a video widely (that is, beyond the judge, jury, et al.) would not serve the interests of his victim…

            So Greg Haidl’s video can be hidden because he is a civilian, but if a similar video of a similar act was made by PFC Joe Sixpack, it should be posted on YouTube for all to see?

            Exposing the horrors of Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, Afghanistan, does serve the interests of the (anonymous) victims because the American people will, one can only hope, insist that such horrors not be repeated.

            Why not expose the horrors of Greg Haidl?

  20. Pictures of Abu Ghraib aren’t endangering American troops. SENDING 34,000 TO AFGHANISTAN IS ENDANGERING AMERICAN TROOPS.

  21. I don’t recall JFK’s family giving permission for the Zapruder film to be publicized.

    I don’t recall Rodney King’s giving permission for the video of police beating him 7/8 to death to be broadcast on every news channel.

    I don’t recall Tank Man giving permission for video of him almost being run over by PRC tanks to be broadcast everywhere.

    et cetera….

    1. So using the still in the Zapruder film of Kennedy’s head exploding with a snarky alttext is in good taste?

      1. In good taste? No.

        Worth doing? Probably depends on what you think of this.

      2. Unless I misunderstand your position, you’re not merely questioning the taste of publishing the pictures, but the legality. So, please share your opinion on the legality of releasing the pictures and video I mention above.

  22. There most assuredly WAS torture at Abu Ghraib. Raping of prisoners, hanging victims by their wrists and a guy who died from the torture.

    1. I hope it hurt real fucking bad

  23. I’m glad some govt vestige organ somewhere is actually trying to defend the national security of the country by keeping more of these stupid pictures under wraps.

    This country gets dumber every year. It’s like so many people have no clue that there are Islamists out there who are devoted to destroying all Non-Sharia Law and those things that stand in their way (like us)

  24. Obama is Bush’s Mini-Me

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