Friday, May 29

These are NOT the pictures you're looking for...

In the last day quite a bit of hubbub and hullaballo has surfaced over a Telegraph UK report that alleges the reason that Obama did not release the latest set of Abu Ghraib pictures is because they depicted the Rape of Children.

I myself have helped share links to this story, but last night I read something which contradicted and to some extent corrected that story from, oddly enough, Jason Leopold.

Jumping more than a bit ahead of the gun a dog's age ago, Leopold has once claimed that Karl Rove was about to be arrested on Fitzmas. He wasn't, but Jason may have learned a lesson or two about verifying sources.

All that is now just another liter of blood under the bridge...

In this case he is addressing detailed descriptions of the pictures requested by the ACLU via FOIA which Obama recently denied. (BTW, Obama's isn't the last word on that subject - it could still go to SCOTUS)

U.S. Army soldiers in Afghanistan took dozens of pictures of their colleagues pointing assault rifles and pistols at the heads and backs of hooded and bound detainees and another photograph showed two male soldiers and one female soldier pointing a broom to one detainee “as if I was sticking the end of a broom stick into [his] rectum,” according to the female soldier’s account as told to an Army criminal investigator.

I found the documents that describes many of the photographs that were set for release at the end of the month on the website of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU has been trying to gain access to the photographs for nearly six years. The ACLU obtained the files describing the pictures in 2005 as part of the organization’s wide-ranging Freedom of information Act lawsuit against the Bush administration seeking documents related to the treatment of “war on terror” prisoners in U.S. custody.

About 31 digital photographs contained on a compact disc discovered in June 2004 during an office clean-up at Bagram Airfield also depicted the corpse of “local national” who died from “apparent gunshot wounds” and uniformed U.S. soldiers from the Second Platoon of the 22nd Infantry Battalion stationed at Fire Base Tycze and Dae Rah Wod (DRW) kicking and punching prisoners whose heads were covered with “sand bags” and blindfolds and hands were “zipped-tied,” according to a U.S. Army criminal investigation. The documents related to that investigation can be found in these five separate files: [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5].

The female soldier with the broom handle is further addressed in the report as merely posing with the handle in a suggestive position, not actually attacking a detainee with it.

After reading this I tweeted with Jason to ask him about it.

Vyan1 @JasonLeopold These Docs don't seem to describe the same pics referenced in the UK Taguba interview #DNJ

JasonLeopold @Vyan1 that's because the telegraph report is wrong. The photos being withheld are specifically related to a lawsuit involving 43 photos.

JasonLeopold @Vyan1 there is no question that these photos exist but these were not the photos at the center of the lawsuit between Bushies and the ACLU.

You don't even have to trust me or Jason, the documents - linked above - speak for themselves.

Obama didn't suppress pictures of children being raped (Not that I personally would actually blame him if he did since if you truly want to see a Unrelenting Firestorm of resentment in the Arab would - THAT would do it!)

This may be why - and here I'm admittedly speculating the way the Telegraph did - both Gibb's and the Pentagon felt so free to simply attack the Telegraph's reporting and completely avoid addressing the issue of the Rape pictures themselves. (Then again, without the pictures and documents in hand speculation is inevitable...)

Simply put: IMO These are NOT the pictures we're looking for...

But this doesn't mean that the Telegraph UK is completely wrong, in all likelihood those horrid rape picture *do* exist as they've been backed up by other sources such as Sy Hersch, the Physicians for Human Rights Report and General Taguba.

Gen. Taguba: there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current (Bush) administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.


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