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Republican "People of the Lie" must disgorge the Abu Ghraib child rape photos, videos, Judge rules

[See UPDATE below the fold.]

As the Bush administration in the person of Dick "Dick" Cheney yet again uses its standard technique of conveying, through nods and winks, that torture is A Good Thing, and winger operatives helpfully explain the technique to any "young professionals" who want to follow along at home, the horror--Well, let's just go ahead and use the right word, even if it sounds Shrill--evil done at Abu Ghraib will live on after us for a long, long time. Greg Mitchell:

[US District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein] ruled today that graphic pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released over government claims that they could damage America's image. Last year a Republican senator conceded that they contained scenes of "rape and murder" and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said they included acts that were "blatantly sadistic."

(And to think George Felix Allen (R-Severed Deer's Head) is slamming Jim Webb about a Fuck-ing book.)

Gee, I don't remember any Abu Ghraib prosecutions or convictions for rape and murder. And you'd think, with videotaped evidence, convictions would be pretty easy to get. Readers, am I having a senior moment, or did the rapists and murderers skate?

The ACLU has sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes taken at the prison as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture.

87, eh? I guess those must be the highlights or the Greatest Hits. Because there are thousands:

The photos were among thousands turned over by the key "whistleblower" in the scandal, Specialist Joseph M. Darby. Just a few that were released to the press sparked the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal last year, and the video images are said to be even more shocking.

Videos, eh? Those must be the unreleased tapes of screaming boys being raped that Seymour Hersh heard. Heh, indeedy:

In the same period, reporter Seymour Hersh, who helped uncover the scandal, said in a speech before an ACLU convention: "Some of the worse that happened that you don't know about, ok? Videos, there are women there. Some of you may have read they were passing letters, communications out to their men ... . The women were passing messages saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened.'

"Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out."

Some "sex ring", right Senator Shays?

These are not just little ol' war crimes. This isn't about Republican pedophiles who are Bush family friends. This isn't a your typical Republican authoritarian sex scandal. This isn't gay hookers with White House passes throwing Bush softballs at pressers. We're talking rape and murder, captured on video.

Conviction should be a slam dunk, eh? And the crimes, and the nature of the crimes, would be clear to every American. [Except, of course, for the truly delusional in The Base, who just won't be able to undrink the Kool-Aid.

As Atrios keeps saying, "These are bad people."

But I'd say: These are evil people. They are evil as theologians understand the term. Truly, they are POTL--People Of The Lie.

So, in terror, these evil people will be desperate to hold onto power.

And they will not change. Back before Abu Ghraib, the playbook was exactly the same. Bush deliberately blurred the line--"nods and winks"--between what the Geneva conventions said was torture and what was not. (The military has always been clear on this, by the way. It's pointy-toothed professors like John Yoo who've whored their scholarship out on this issue.) Then that message was reinforced through Rush Limbaugh, whose noxious emissions are beamed throughout the military over Armed Forces radio. And now Cheney is running the same play: Instead of the Geneva Conventions, the MCA; instead of Limbaugh, another winger talk show host.

They will not change.

Look for the next few days to get as ugly as they need to be.

NOTE To my shame, I missed this story when it came out on Monday. All I can say is that I've been head-down over the keyboard with a project.

UPDATE Modified oopsies--What I get for being head down over the keyboard. First, the part that's painful for me: I didn't check the After Downing Street story, dated Mon, 2006-10-23 20:54, carefully enough.

Everything about Greg Mitchell's story is accurate, but the story isn't anywhere near breaking--it's a hardy perennial. The decision dates from 2005, and the last action in the case was April 2006, when DOD said they were suppressing two videos, which promptly disappeared into a black hole. "Details regarding the specific content of these additional images are unknown.".

Now, the part that isn't painful to me. Who the fuck cares that the story isn't breaking?

Everything about the story as true as it ever was, there's been no accountability or redress, and the perps are still in charge and still doing their evil, and our famously free press still isn't covering it.

For those who think the story is fake, WikiPedia, here's the big honkin' PDF file of the opinion. Quoting the judge:

The interest at stake arises from pictures of flagrantly improper conduct by American soldiers—forcing prisoners under their charge to pose in a manner that compromised their humanity and dignity. As I stated at the time of the original argument, and as I reiterated previously in this decision, the pictures are the best evidence of what happened, better than words, which might fail to describe, or summaries, which might err in their attempt to generalize and abbreviate. Publication of the photographs is central to the purposes of FOIA because they initiate debate, not only about the improper and unlawful conduct of American soldiers, “rogue” soldiers, as they have been characterized, but also about other important questions as well—for example, the command structure that failed to exercise discipline over the troops, and the persons in that command structure whose failures in exercising supervision may make them culpable along with the soldiers who were court-martialed for perpetrating the wrongs; the poor training that did not create patterns of proper behavior and that failed to teach or distinguish between conduct that was proper and improper; the regulations and orders that governed the conduct of military forces engaged in guarding prisoners; the treatment of prisoners in other areas and places of detention; and other related questions.

What then happened, again from Wikipedia:

In April 2006, the Department of Defense informed the court that it was withholding an additional 29 photos and two videos relating to detainee treatment. The ACLU reports that "details regarding the specific content of these additional images are unknown.

And the fact that the DOD is withholding two tapes isn't news? I don't think so. Sure, the content's "unknown." I guess we'd all be shocked that it's so innocuous...

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