Obama Administration Fights To Withhold Over 2,000 Photos Of Alleged U.S. Torture and Abuse

abu-ghraibPresident Obama once pledged that his government would be the most transparent in history — a claim that is often mocked by civil libertarians and other critics who accuse him of almost Nixonian secrecy policies and inclinations. That troubling record is playing out again before U.S District Court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Administration continues to fight to withhold over 2,000 images of torture and abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan simply because it would make the United States look bad. Ironically, there is a transparent element to this case. Few Administration have been so transparently obvious in their use of classification rule to simply bar the disclosure of information that would be embarrassing to officials or the government. Usually, the Justice Department attempts to spin a tale of some other national security rationale for non-disclosure. Here, however, there is nothing even plausible to come up with. The Obama Administration simply wants to deep six the photos because people would be really angry if they saw what the government did, including photos that are believed to be far worse than those Abu Ghraib (like the one above).

Hellerstein gave the Justice Department until December 12th to come a rational explanation why each individual photograph has been withheld from the public. In 2009, Obama insisted that disclosing the photos would “further inflame anti-American opinion.” However, that rationale could be used for wholesale cover ups and information controls by the government. The government never wants bad information to come out and would prefer to say that it is protecting the public from any backlash. This includes criticism of Obama’s pledge, soon after being elected, not to allow the prosecution of officials responsible for the torture program. Whatever the backlash, it is far more dangerous to allow the government to pick and choose what “bad news” or bad images will reach the public. The photographs are also important for historians and academics in fully documenting this period of history.

Such censorship is more likely to be an effort to manage domestic public opinion than it is extreme foreign elements. If Obama can do this on detainees, the next president can use the same power in countless other areas. Obama supporters have been willfully blind to the precedent that they are creating in such positions.

The Obama Administration has set the record for censoring information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The penchant for secrecy in this Administration is creating a new level of government control over information that will likely be replicated by the next Administration. No administration wants to release negative information unless it has to do so. That latter prospect is now in the hands of Judge Hellerstein.

Source: IBT

60 thoughts on “Obama Administration Fights To Withhold Over 2,000 Photos Of Alleged U.S. Torture and Abuse”

  1. Well lets hope that Obama doesn’t follow Bush’s lead and imprison OUR TROOPS for HIS policies!!

    They BOTH should be in prison….!!

  2. The Bush Administration violated Reagan’s treaty banning torture and cruel & unusual punishment. If there are any bad consequences – these guys created it, not the Press.

  3. The MSM that were pom pom cheerleaders in getting this felonious prez elected are even more negligent in holding him accountable. Don’t worry JT, if a Republican prez doesn’t cross their t’s or dot their i’s it will be 24/7 coverage.

  4. RB,

    “Alexander Hamiltion in speaking of “Judges as Guardians of the Constitution” essentially said “constitutionality” always should supersede legal precent or tradition.”

    What James Madison said was that he tied up all the loose ends by CLARIFYING NOT MODIFYING the Constitution with ten definitive and concluding amendments called the Bill of Rights. He expected that, like the Ten Commandments, the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights would stand in perpetuity, with possible, minimal clarification not modification amendment.

    That he, Madison, considered further amendment destructive to the very Constitution itself.

    They never cease to amaze me, the “patriotic” Americans who can’t comprehend that the Preamble was written to be read and heeded – it was placed where it could not be missed, directly in front of the history-changing Constitution of the United States of America. They never cease to amaze that the Constitution was to be read and heeded without modification, and rarely CLARIFICATION, BY AMENDMENT.

    The “patriots” just can’t comprehend “shall make no law” and “shall not be infringed” or that freedom of any and all thought existed before government was established – that thought was not dictated by Karl Marx.

    James Madison and Alexander Hamilton would see clearly that the enslaving principles of the Communist Manifesto, not freedom and the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights, have been imposed in their free United States of America. That the artificial, compulsory dominion of the minority, somehow commands the natural and rational rule of the majority.

    Hamilton and Madison would not be pleased at all.

  5. I have to agree with Obama on this one–putting all this awful cruelty out there is like publishing violence porn. No reason why we can’t fess up, punish the guilty–including those who would hide atop the chain of command–and get on with it.

  6. A lot of banter here.
    It has even pulled out the anti-semites and truthers into the JT pool of opinions.

    That all notwithstanding, it is self-serving to come up with any conclusion other than full disclosure of the atrocities that the US military did.
    Like some here said, let the chips fall as they may, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  7. I was in America when Bush junior was President and I never heard the 24/7 yak which you describe.

  8. I get a kick out of the following: when Bush was President, 24/7 all you heard from Democrats and MSM is how evil and awful and traitorous (even from that scum bag “Senator” Obomber) was Bush and his admin (all true, Bush belongs in prison or worse, but that’s not the point). The point is that when Obomber does the same and infinitely worse, not a peep from the same people, it’s all full steam ahead, including confidential Presidential Kill Lists of Americans like the two Obomber killed without trial or any charges, Anwar Al-Awlaki and his 16 year old son by the same name. How Satanic is President Obomber, who said “oops” after wrongly killing the child. Even G. Bush never did this (that we know of).

    And this too: When Democrats obstruct, it’s just democracy. When Republicans obstruct, per MSM and Dems the Repubs are dead beat do-nothings. (PS: Please immediately ban both parties from national office.)

  9. RSA: About twenty-five of my ex-co-workers worked in the 9-11 Twin Towers rubble for a couple weeks, and some now suffer major illness from rescue/recovery operations.

    Paul C. Schultie: I generally agree the term science is wrong for that field; more like non-science Per certified “Therapists” at their recent annual assembly, there is no “scientific” evidence that therapy does anything positive. The alleged “science” of therapy measures its efficacy by simply polling patients (“Do you ‘feel’ better?). Also, there are dozens (I think over 50, likely more than 100) different accepted approaches to therapy, some directly contradicting each other. The entire therapist/patient relationship is a strange and weird one, in which the patient pays money for the therapist to act like a caring friend, listening and nodding his/her head, etc. The relationship is one-sided, the exact opposite of normal life, wherein persons practice a give and take friendship. In fact, the therapist is generally barred from revealing his personal life to the patient.

    Lastly, a recent scientific research paper revealed a direct cause and effect relationship between meditation and depression. Upon request I’ll see if I can dig up the reference.

  10. I believe all 3 towers collapsed due to controlled demolition.
    1.) “The leading scientist of Scholars For 9/11 Truth, Dr Steven Jones, has proven that controlled demolition devices were placed within the WTC Twin Towers – and this is what brought the buildings down not the airplanes.”
    2.) “Shortly before the building collapsed, several NYPD officers and Con-Edison workers told me that Larry Silverstein, the property developer of One World Financial Center was on the phone with his insurance carrier to see if they would authorize the controlled demolition of the building � since its foundation was already unstable and expected to fall.”
    3.) “According to Fox News journalist Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, Silverstein tried on the afternoon of 9/11 to get approval to demolish WTC 7.”
    The evidence shows Larry Silverstein knew WTC 7 was rigged for controlled demolition. I believe he knew all 3 towers were rigged for controlled demolition.

  11. Paul writes, “Joseph Jones – your first mistake is thinking psychology or psychiatry are actually science.”

    What is your definition of science?

    Certainly psychology is a social science and psychologists study the mind throughout their undergraduate and post-graduate education. Categorizing mental disorders is as much a science as categorizing the animal or plant kingdoms.

    And psychiatrists, physicians by training, who are clearly natural scientists (those whose objective is to find the natural order of things) and who combine psychology with their medical regimen, are scientists.

    Did you ever study science, Paul?

    1. stevegroen – it is an art, not a science. Homosexuals are perverts. Homosexuals are normal. Which is it? They have said both. They have more methods of treatment than traditional Chinese medicine.

  12. I don’t see the subject of these photos as “what the government did;” I see it as what the individual soldiers did. I remember that most of the soldiers who were prosecuted were reservists from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard who had been activated and sent to Iraq. They seem to have been uniquely poorly trained and poorly supervised. Many were sentenced to long prison terms, although the punishment, of course, fell on the low ranking soldiers and NCOs rather than the brass. I worked with a fellow for a number of years who was also a reservist in the PA ANG. I remember him as fat, slovenly and as having been suspended twice, from a federal civilian job, for disclosing sensitive matters to other employees. At the time, I found it hard to believe that this guy was in the military, but his supervisor assured me that it was true, and that he had been a reservist for almost 20 years. So when the Abu Ghraib story broke, it did not surprise me that most of those involved were from the PA National Guard. Nobody wants a draft, and I can’t imagine today’s babied, overly sensitive young adults surviving the “micro-aggressions” of their drill sergeants in boot camp, haha, but given our nation’s seemingly never-ending military entanglements, we may need to consider a means of assuring a better educated military that represents a cross section of American class and culture. If we are only willing to send our poorest, least educated kids from the coal mining towns of western PA, and then imprison them for 10 – 15 years when something goes wrong, perhaps we should evaluate whether the military involvement is really something that our nation, as a whole, has a sufficient interest in pursuing.

    1. TinEar – if they bring back the draft I want it to be for both men and women and I want the boot camp run by R. Lee Emry from Full Metal Jacket.

  13. Hildegard and Patriot, I think the video evidence supports much more persuasively a controlled demolition of all three buildings than it does a massive structural failure, implosion, and gravity fall because of massive amounts of jet fuel. As for WTC-7, at least, when is seeing not believing?

  14. Issac writes, “Sometimes, if not all the time, we need to know ‘what we did.’” +1

    I’m no longer an Obama supporter although I voted for him twice on the Lesser of Two Evils theory. (Never again will that theory drive my vote.)

    That said, I fear there is more to this story on the issue of why Obama is not disclosing the photos. I appears to be intended to protect the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld crimes and himself (from his own huge errors in judgment which are likely used as leverage against him) while tempering the anger of the international community.

    When we talk about terrorism, however, it takes little effort to recognize the Middle Eastern countries have not invaded the US, only a few militants justifying their existence through radical religion and using the US as a scapegoat for all of their troubles. Essentially, though, all they want is the US out of the Middle East, and I don’t blame them. The US does not belong there.

    Disclose the photos, and let the chips fall where they may.

  15. Patriot; I heard an interesting bit on my local so-called progressive liberal/democrat/socialist radio station. There is a radio show hosted by someone who sounds British and I have to laugh sometimes at his ignorance, but he did say something that stuck with me and I interpreted it as…basically…..if something is accepted as truth (even if it’s a lie as we know 911 is) the general consensus among journalists is to act as if it’s true. Because if it’s been so widely accepted, it almost doesn’t matter if it’s not true. I disagree completely, but are you getting his point?

    I find it hard to believe that Donald Trump doesn’t know the truth behind 911. After all one of his biggest supporters and confidantes is Roger Stone. Here’s a link to articles he wrote. If you decide to check them out, let me know what you think as I don’t have time to get into it right now. In general I don’t respond to comments because they too often end up in worthless arguments, but will yours.


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