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