Federal judge rules US must release Abu Ghraib photographs

In a triumph for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a district court judge has ordered the release of over 2,000 images capturing the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.  The ACLU filed suit in 2005 following the 2004 emergence of a small quantity of pictures which portrayed U.S. jailers mistreating captives during the War on Terror at Abu Ghraib prison.

In 2005, Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled the photographs release; however, during the appeal, Congress passed a law affording the Pentagon the right to reserve disclosure of the images and cited the security of individuals involved.  In August of 2014, Hellerstein, again, ordered the release of the pictures and ruled the government had yet to present compelling evidence to support the claim an individual’s security would be compromised.  Friday’s ruling affirmed Hellerstein’s decision last August.  With Friday’s judgement, the culmination of a decade-long legal battle, the ACLU stated: [the images] “are manifestly important to an ongoing national debate about governmental accountability for the abuse of prisoners.”

It is difficult to deduce what is more unsettling:  The ACLU’s lawsuit, Hellerstein’s ruling or the government’s inability to formulate legal grounds to prevent the disclosure of the photographs.

This legal case is a propaganda windfall for our opponents.  There will be universal clamor among our professed foes:   These photographs will penetrate every emotional soft spot, incense our adversaries and nurture countless avengers.  If these images are furnished for public consumption, it will provide unlimited incentive for our adversaries to deepen their hatred, further their terror attacks and extend their marauding arms to conscript an entire new generation of ruffians to emulate their nefarious deeds.

For such an atmosphere to unfold, it is necessary there to be an inducement, groups to whose interest it is to generate, organize and foster resentment and to lead popular discontent.  All which is needed to create an ill-willed climate is one impulse. This court case is the precise impulse required, a dangerous legal precedent and a dangerous manipulation of the legal system to destructive ends.  The exploitation of these images will place unarmed civilians, our troops and, in particular, our diplomatic corps in harm’s way.

The ACLU’s cognition for this legal folly is “accountability;’ however, in the ACLU’s short-sighted wisdom, they fail to adjudge the repercussions, preferring to ignore and downplay all possible outcomes.

In the tangled mind of our enemies, terrorism is a goal, not a violent act; the release of these images will feed every prejudice of our enemies.

The Defense Department has sixty days to mount a valiant legal effort to defeat this ruling.  We should expect them to do their level best.

 

[The Telegraph] [RT America]