[Ppnews] New 'Prisoner Abuse' Photographs Emerge Despite US Bid to Block Publication

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 15 20:44:11 EDT 2009

New 'Prisoner Abuse' Photographs Emerge Despite US Bid to Block Publication

Graphic photographs of alleged prisoner abuse, 
thought to be among up to 2,000 images Barack 
Obama is trying to prevent from being released, emerged yesterday.

By Alex Spillius in Washington

May 15, 2009 "The Telegraph" -- 
shocking images of inmates in Iraq and 
Afghanistan were published just a day after the 
US president announced plans for a legal battle stop them ever being seen.


They risked provoking renewed hostility in the 
Middle East as Mr Obama attempts to build bridges with the Islamic world.

He is scheduled to make a major speech in Cairo 
on June 4 when he will launch his version of a 
plan to bring peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

One picture showed a prisoner hung up upside down 
showed a naked man smeared in excrement standing 
in a corridor with a guard standing menacingly in 
front of him. Another prisoner is handcuffed to 
the window frame of his cell with underpants pulled over his head.

Others yet to be released reportedly show 
military guards threatening to sexually assault a 
detainee with a broomstick and hooded prisoners 
on transport planes with Playboy magazines opened 
to pictures of nude women on their laps.

The images emerged from Australia yesterday where 
they were 
obtained by the channel SBS in 2006 in the wake 
of the Abu Ghraib scandal. They were not 
distributed around the world at the time but are 
now believed to be among those the president is trying to block.

Mr Obama previously committed to allowing 
thousands of images to be published but changed 
his mind after senior generals warned that their 
publication could place US troops serving in Iraq 
and Afghanistan in greater danger.

The president's change of heart brought bitter 
criticism from the left wingers and the American 
Civil Liberties Union, which had brought a 
freedom of information case against the US 
government applying to see the pictures.

Pledging to fight the case all the way to the 
Supreme Court, the ACLU accused him of betraying 
his principles of open government and "complicity 
in covering up" the "commission of torture by the Bush administration".

"It is true that these photos would be 
disturbing. The day we are no longer disturbed by 
such repugnant acts would be a sad one," said 
Anthony Romero, executive director.

"Only by looking squarely in the mirror, 
acknowledging the crimes of the past and 
achieving accountability can we move forward and 
ensure that these atrocities are not repeated."

The White House legal team was yesterday 
preparing for a June 9 deadline to present its 
case that it would be against the interests of 
national security to make the pictures public.

The controversy came as it was revealed that the 
administration is considering detaining terror 
suspects from Guantanamo Bay indefinitely and without trial on US soil.

Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator, said after 
meeting White House lawyers that terror suspects 
deemed too dangerous to release could be jailed 
permanently by a new national security court.

Other options include revising the Bush 
administration's military commissions for senior 
al-Qaeda suspects that have been criticised for 
relying too heavily on hearsay and uncontestable intelligence information.

When he took office on Jan 20 Mr Obama ordered 
that the prison at a US naval base on Cuba be closed within a year.
© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2009

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