An Iraqi girl watches a U.S. soldier on a patrol in Baghdad’s Sadr City. U.S. troops have been patrolling the Shiite stronghold since March 4, 2007 under a deal that allows them to enter the area without resistance.
Adil al-Khazali, AP
First, the CIA….now our military targeted in Administration and ACLU cross-hairs…
In a letter from the Justice Department to a federal judge yesterday, the Obama administration announced that the Pentagon would turn over to the American Civil Liberties Union 44 photographs showing detainee abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush administration.
The photographs are part of a 2003 Freedom of Information Act request by the ACLU for all information relating to the treatment of detainees — the same battle that led, last week, to President Obama’s decision to release memos from the Bush Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel providing legal justifications for harsh interrogation methods that human rights groups call torture.
Courts had ruled against the Bush administration’s attempts to keep the photographs from public view. ACLU attorney Amrit Singh tells ABC News that “the fact that the Obama administration opted not to seek further review is a sign that it is committed to more transparency.”
Singh added that the photographs “only underscore the need for a criminal investigation and prosecution if warranted” of U.S. officials responsible for the harsh treatment of detainees.
But some experts say the move could have a chilling effect on the CIA even beyond President Obama’s decision last week to release the so-called “torture memos.”
Calling the ACLU push to release the photographs “prurient” and “reprehensible,” Dr. Mark M. Lowenthal, former Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production, tells ABC News that the Obama administration should have taken the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
“They should have fought it all the way; if they lost, they lost,” Lowenthal said. “There’s nothing to be gained from it. There’s no substantive reason why those photos have to be released.”
Lowenthal said the president’s moves in the last week have left many in the CIA dispirited, based on “the undercurrent I’ve been getting from colleagues still in the building, or colleagues who have left not that long ago.”
“We ask these people to do extremely dangerous things, things they’ve been ordered to do by legal authorities, with the understanding that they will get top cover if something goes wrong,” Lowenthal says. “They don’t believe they have that cover anymore.” Releasing the photographs “will make it much worse,” he said.
Of what purpose will this serve? We’ve all witnessed how volatile Islamist-loonies are for the smallest slights and even imagined slights. MSM reportage of the incidents of abu Ghraib, almost single-handedly destroyed our efforts to secure post-war Iraq. Instead of serving to enlighten, it only served to inflame and recruit takfiri terrorists to the global jihad movement. How will the release of these 44 photos, while we are still in a state of “overseas contingency operations”, help protect America? What is the point of releasing these photos now?
The photos, taken from Air Force and Army criminal investigations, apparently are not as shocking as the photographs from the Abu Ghraib investigation that became a lasting symbol of U.S. mistakes in Iraq. But some show military personnel intimidating or threatening detainees by pointing weapons at them. Military officers have been court-martialed for threatening detainees at gunpoint.
Does anyone besides myself, see a strong disconnect here?! Just whose side is the Administration on? “We support the CIA and we support the troops” by humiliating them and giving validation to anti-Americanism abroad as well as here at home?
You want to know the difference between “us and them”? Watch this. Then note:
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.