New torture photos from Abu Ghraib are ‘old news’

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Thursday, February 16th, 2006
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under It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!.

BBC – In pictures: New Abu Ghraib images

Boing Boing – New Abu Ghraib torture photos from Aus. TV report: torrents: (NSFW: contains taxpayer-funded nudity, sexual acts, and explicit violence)

CNN – U.S. slams ‘prisoner abuse’ leak: The United States has criticized the release of grisly images by an Australian television network, which shows apparent detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. American officials have said the pictures should not have been released, with Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman telling The Associated Press their airing “could only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world.”

1. Yes. It is the photos of the action, not the actions themselves that can only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world. After all, these photos and videos were designed for a select and restricted audience….

Bloggerheads – Abu Ghraib: Why You Should Care: Why do these photos exist? Before the Nazis started gassing Jews and other ‘undesirables’, they shot them. In large numbers. But bullets were expensive and manpower cost money. The Nazis also found that this practice had a distinctly negative effect on the troops doing the shooting. That’s why they got high-tech and used selected prisoners to do most of the dirty work. Fast forward to the 21st century. Abu Ghraib and other US-run prisons in Iraq. Thanks to the wonders of technology, soldiers operating under the direction of the CIA (and British intelligence operatives) could torture a few detainees and show the results to many as a softener.

2. Did you catch that important bit? And. British. Intelligence. Operatives. We were there. Gaining intelligence via torture. Again.

3. Boy, that Lynddie England gets around, doesn’t she? A clever girl, too. She and her chums managed to get all of this done without senior officers being any the wiser. That this happened under an administration that has (with media support, no less) defended the use of torture, campaigned for powers to use more torture, and then boldly stated that they “don’t do torture” should worry you not a jot.

4. There’s worse – far worse – to come… – (15 July 2004) – Hersh: Children sodomized at Abu Ghraib, on tape: “Debating about it, ummm … Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.”

5. This is how we’re fighting the war on terror, folks. Share the message with a friend today.

6. And finally…. a word on glorification. Because it is wrong to justify, promote or even tolerate morally repugnant acts of terror.

UPDATE – ACLU – New Abu Ghraib Photos Confirm Need for Independent Counsel: “We continue to see undeniable evidence that abuse and torture has been widespread and systematic, yet high level government officials have not been held accountable for creating the policies that led to these atrocities,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “We need to look up the chain of military command, because when the rule of law is not followed all of our personal freedoms are threatened. President Bush should appoint an independent counsel to uncover the full truth about the extent of the abuse and who is ultimately responsible.”

UPDATE – Boing Boing – releases still more Abu Ghraib torture photos

About Tim Ireland

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