NEW YORK – A federal court today ordered the Department of Defense to release photographs depicting the abuse of detainees by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the government's appeal of a 2006 order directing the Defense Department to release the photos. Today's decision comes as part of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking information on the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas.
"This is a resounding victory for the public's right to hold the government accountable," said ACLU staff attorney Amrit Singh, who argued before the court. "These photographs demonstrate that the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody abroad was not aberrational and not confined to Abu Ghraib, but the result of policies adopted by high-ranking officials. Their release is critical for bringing an end to the administration's torture policies and for deterring further prisoner abuse."
Those who followed the Conservative's government's shoddy handling of the detainee abuse file in Afghanistan will recognize that the revelation of these photos could put an abrupt end to earlier claims that detainee abuse was just "Taliban propaganda" which our defence and foreign affairs department, along with the PMO and every single Con MP, used as an excuse to write off real concerns about what our military may have been involved in when it turned over prisoners to the US military (until that was stopped) and then to the Afghan government. Remember the infamous filibuster of committee testimony and the other ridiculous lengths the Cons went to trying to hide the truth? If this court decision is allowed to stand unchallenged and these photos are released, expect yet another house of cards to come crashing down.