9/30/2005

Yahoo / AP blame the camera, say "Abu Ghraib Ruling May Further Tarnish U.S."

It isn't the deed that tarnished US, it was the cameras... Another "Perception is reality" bullshit from the subservient press -- law

NEW YORK - Photographs showing U.S. soldiers tormenting Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison tarnished America's reputation when they were released last year, with some critics of the U.S.-led occupation citing the scandal as vindication.

On Thursday, a federal judge ordered the release of dozens more pictures of abuse from the infamous Baghdad prison — potentially opening the military up to more embarrassment from a scandal that already has stirred outrage around the world.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein rejected government arguments that the images would provoke terrorists and incite violence against U.S. troops in
Iraq.

He said 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.

The 74 photographs covered by ruling were taken by a soldier; three videotapes also were ordered released. A military policeman who saw the photos turned them over to the Army. Some may be duplicates of photos already seen by the public.

An appeal of Hellerstein's ruling was expected, which could delay release of the pictures for months.

Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, said releasing the photos would hinder his work against terrorism.

"When we continue to pick at the wound and show the pictures over and over again it just creates the image — a false image — like this is the sort of stuff that is happening anew, and it's not," Abizaid said.

The
American Civil Liberties Union sought release of the photographs and videotapes as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.

"It's a historic ruling, said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. "While no one wants to see what's on the photos or videos, they will play an essential role in holding our government leaders accountable for the torture that's happened on their watch."

Abu Ghraib Ruling May Further Tarnish U.S. - Yahoo! News

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