Abu Ghraib Can Of Worms Reopened

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When the ACLU was calling for the government to release the Abu Ghraib photos last August, I said this:

Frankly, my reasoning for this is simple. Get it out of the way now, and you won’t have to deal with it down the line. This information will have to come out eventually, and there is really no sense in delaying the inevitable.

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When we torture people and evidence is recorded, people will eventually see exactly what we are doing and judge accordingly. This will hurt our image in the Middle East, but better now than later. To wait is to add more fuel to the fire of those who would have this information released, and if we know this is going to come out it makes little sense to try and stonewall.

Now comes news that an Australian television station has aired some previously unreleased photos and videos from the prison.

Previously unpublished images of abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad were screened on SBS television’s Dateline program. The footage shows still and video images of the wounds it says were inflicted on the Iraqis by their American captors. SBS alleges that the photos were taken at the same time as those of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners inside Abu Ghraib, which sparked international outrage after they were leaked in 2004.

While some of the photographs are similar to the images made public two years ago, the latest photographs apparently reveal further abuse including new incidents of killing, torture and sexual humiliation. The program reports that some prisoners at Abu Ghraib were killed when U.S. soldiers ran out of rubber bullets trying to quell a riot at the jail and resorted to using live rounds.

Listen, I’m not saying that these pictures won’t hurt us. They will. But let’s rip the bandaid off in one fell swoop. Because now we face a reality where every six months a few more pictures and a few more videos make their way into the public eye, and we’ll have to keep talking about it over and over and over and over and over again.

FYI – Here’s another one of my posts about Abu Ghraib.

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