“The Pictures”

Simulposted at Daily Kos

In response to the ACLU lawsuit, SecDef Gates was set to release 2000 photos. Not the  “About 31 digital photographs contained on a compact disc discovered in June 2004.” That the ACLU sued for the release of.

So when Obama blocked the pictures that the ACLU had sued for….

He also effectively blocked the release of nearly 2000 others that Gates was set to release.

Presumably, in those 2000 were the photos that the Telegraph was talking about, and that Taguba confirmed exist.

The “news” yesterday was that Taguba confirmed that the pictures of rape and sodomy DO indeed, exist. That he saw these pictures.

And that is why Gibbs “shot the messenger. To deflect questioners who would ask about the rape photos specifically, to deflect from the fact that the sensational pictures do (or did) exist. He attacked the British Press, not Taguba. And thus put himself in a position where he didn’t, at least for the moment, have to actually answer any questions about pictures that show rape and sodomy.

So as Michael Gass said yesterday, They are both right. Sorta.

The pictures that were specifically part of the ACLU suit, either 21 or 31 of them, depending on the source, may not be “sensational.” (Depending on our jaundiced and jaded view of what is sensational post-Bush)

This is allegedly a description of what is in the ACLU photos…


About 31 digital photographs contained on a compact disc discovered in June 2004 during an office clean-up at Bagram Airfield also depicted the corpse of “local national” who died from “apparent gunshot wounds” and uniformed U.S. soldiers from the Second Platoon of the 22nd Infantry Battalion stationed at Fire Base Tycze and Dae Rah Wod (DRW) kicking and punching prisoners whose heads were covered with “sand bags” and blindfolds and hands were “zipped-tied,” according to a U.S. Army criminal investigation. The documents related to that investigation can be found in these five separate files:

You can access the referred to files at that link.

But, the photos that Taguba and others have referenced (See Gass’s piece linked above.) certainly are sensational.

And the original plan by the Obama Administration was, presumably, to release those as well.

Thus the confusion.

Yesterday, someone sent me some pictures by e-mail. In my essay yesterday I stated that I had the pictures and that they were indeed sensational. People asked then why I didn’t release them. I answered several of those comments, but apparently folks were to lazy, lol. to find all of those answers and so someone wrote a diary on Dkos today asking for clarification. (Hat tip to Lady Libertine for directing me there.)

So here is my comprehensive response to those questions.

First… Obviously, I cannot conclusively prove that they are THE pictures. Since there is no way to conclusively do that.

The pictures correspond to what Taguba depicted yesterday. That is the only ‘real evidence’ that they are the pictures in question.

They were e-mailed to me by someone I trust….to the extent that anyone should trust anyone based solely on a internet relationship. This person also cannot, obviously, prove that they are THE pictures. I did not obtain them through some clandestine means.

And my position from the very start is that they should only be released to a Special Prosecutor for action.

As I say here in my essay from the day after Obama blocked the release. Why the Pictures Are Important, Evidence of an Organized Torture Program

My conclusion in that essay stands:

Give the pictures to a Special Prosecutor with instructions to thoroughly investigate the program behind them. All the way to the top.

So obviously I am not going to post the photos I have here or on Dkos. Or anywhere else.

For all the reasons listed above….It would be irresponsible to do so.

We, as proven by the fact that we are “debating torture.” live in a sick society, a diseased culture. A culture where torture is no big deal to a large segment of the populous…..but that will impeach a sitting, popular President for getting a blow job and then ‘lying’ about it.

In this sick society, where torture is fine, but sex is a crime, perhaps photos of violent, obscene acts committed by soldiers on captive and ‘presumed innocent’ prisoners would shift the balance of the debate.

Certainly, feeding the American appetite for violence, the very appetite that one would presume led directly to these sort of obscene abuses would have an impact.

This entire “debate” is certainly a sign of how diseased our culture truly is. How do we even begin to address that disease?

One step is surely to hold accountable everyone involved in the torture, rape, and homicide that took place under the Bush Torture Program, from the lowliest soldier to George Bush himself. And that is what I am interested in, that is what I have been fighting for for years now.

THAT is how we can start to “Move Forward” from the heinous and ultimate crime of being a society that tortures. In my opinion the only way we can start to cure this disease, that we can reestablish our moral center and moral standing, the only way that we can move forward as an innocent, and not a guilty nation is to hold accountable and indeed punish those who led us down that road.

We must stand them ALL up in the light of day and say to them …..NO.

No….WE do not do that, that is NOT who we are. And WE are going to repudiate you and condemn you publicly for what you have done.

We reject you.

We reject those things that YOU did…in our name.

We, as a culture and a society shun you and your methods, you are not fit to walk among us as equals.

THAT is what I am fighting for. not revenge, not prurient interest in the acts that were committed.

Justice.

period.

25 comments

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  1. Photobucket

  2. being asked about you “having the pictures”, and also to those questioning your integrity or your motivation. Sigh. Clearly, more folks than just Gibbs desire to “shoot the messenger”.

  3. I marked it to read later, looks interesting.

  4. I’m pretty sure I know the photos you’re speaking of and, as yet, unconfirmed as to whether the “real McCoy” or not.  But, at this point, I agree, I think it sufficeth that having heard from Taguba, excerpts of a Hersh article of 2004, and others, it is definitely conclusive that torture, rape, sodomy, and other horrific sex crimes were committed, not only against adults, but children as young as 10 years of age.

    The only remaining questions are:  WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?  And when will INVESTIGATIONS BEGIN?  

    This is all so surreal — unbelievable — like watching some horror movie, where the bad guys win!  Oy, is right!!!!!!!!

    Thanks, buhdy!  I’m with you on this one!  

  5. Can you send me copies of these oictures?  I promise not to publish them…..really!!!

  6. right now… here

  7. I think that most people don’t want to acknowledge this…

    Not just because it’s beyond horrific…

    Not just because many of them were bamboozled after 9/11…

    (& as someone, Gail Collins I think, wrote recently, why is it that those of us who were in NYC on and after 9/11 were less afraid of terrorism than people in places like Des Moines, IA and Lincoln, NE?)…

    but because with the economy in a crash because of GOP policies everyone’s too anxious & depressed to want to delve into even more depressing matters.

    Let me put this personally: when I was unemployed last year, I was too depressed to read much beyond the pootie diaries.  I am still creeping my way out of that.

    No excuses: these are horrific crimes & we as a society must face up to them.

    Just, it’s hard to do when you’re already worried about your job (if you have one), your rent, and whether you can afford dinner.

    • sharon on May 31, 2009 at 7:40 am

    But what is far scarier about these images Obama refuses to release and that the Pentagon is likely to be lying about now, is that it is not the evidence of lower-level soldiers being corrupted by power — it is proof of the fact that the most senior leadership — Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney, with Rice’s collusion — were running a global sex-crime trafficking ring with Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Baghram Air Base as the holding sites.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/

    sorry i can’t write more.  it’s almost 2 am and i can’t keep my eyes open.

  8. This entire “debate” is certainly a sign of how diseased our culture truly is. How do we even begin to address that disease?

    One step is surely to hold accountable everyone involved in the torture, rape, and homicide that took place under the Bush Torture Program, from the lowliest soldier to George Bush himself. And that is what I am interested in, that is what I have been fighting for for years now.

    THAT is how we can start to “Move Forward” from the heinous and ultimate crime of being a society that tortures. In my opinion the only way we can start to cure this disease, that we can reestablish our moral center and moral standing, the only way that we can move forward as an innocent, and not a guilty nation is to hold accountable and indeed punish those who led us down that road.

    We must stand them ALL up in the light of day and say to them …..NO.

    No….WE do not do that, that is NOT who we are. And WE are going to repudiate you and condemn you publicly for what you have done.

    We reject you.

    We reject those things that YOU did…in our name.

    We, as a culture and a society shun you and your methods, you are not fit to walk among us as equals.

    I’m with you all the way.  (Even though my Pony button still won’t work!  : (  Fortunately, my Rec Diary button still does.  : )   )

  9. is what about the torturers who are being returned to the U.S.? As long as this is being swept under the rug, nothing is being done for (or to) those people, and they must number in the thousands by now.

    I’m not just talking about the people doing the torture, although that is a big issue. But what about the guards? The pilots? JAG officers? And then you have…

    1) The torturers. Folks on the ground actually doing grave physical/psychological harm to others. These are some sick puppies. Some of the prisoners were held — and tortured — for 5 or 6 years. How can you torture the same person day in and day out for even one year? I don’t care how evil you think they are, after you have held them helpless for that long, torturning them all the while, how can you make yourself believe they still “deserve” it or that it might be a necessary evil? If they weren’t psychopaths when they started on the torture squads, they most certainly are now. And yet, they will come back into society without anyone knowing what profoundly sick and dangerous people they are.

    2) The Chain of Command. They probably didn’t get their hands dirty, but they saw the “fruits” of the torture they approved; they know how many people were killed. Someone had to write Alberto Gonzalez every day seeking approval for even more torture. And again the next day. How could they not know it was wrong? Even though the were able to find a legal fig leaf, I doubt it is big enough to cover their conscience — assuming they had one to begin with. Anyone who could rationalize that away certainly doesn’t have one now. And yet, they too will return to society without any mental health screening or any warning to the rest of us.

    3) The worker bees. All kinds of military personnel who knew, or suspected, what was going on but were powerless to stop it — guards, clerks, nurses, communications specialists, translators, etc. If they are a decent person, they have to process their “complicity” in torture somehow. I suspect that is one of the reasons this particular “war” has produced such an abnormally high suicide rate.

    4) The doctors and psychologists and other “mental health professionals” who developed these practices. They should be branded and imprisoned far, far away from any humans. These are truly sick, evil people, but as yet we don’t even know who they are. They could be sitting next to you on the train tomorrow. And their name could be listed in the Yellow Pages under “licensed psychologists.” Now there’s a creepy thought.

    Seriously, scared fools like Harry Reid are so concerned about the prisoners being in a supermax facility in their state. I’ll guarantee you, there are lots scarier people walking around free than the gitmo prisoners. We have trained a lot of young men and women to become psychopaths, and given them lots and lots of practice so they would be really good, then shoved them out into society without even an assessment, much less treatment or a warning for the rest of us.

    Legislators want to maintain a Sex Offender list and notifiy communities when one moves in. I would like for them to maintain a “Torturers” list and notify us when one of them is going to move into the neighborhood, ’cause those are some really scary folks.

    My husband is a therapist who specializes in anger management and violence. I showed this to him and asked what he thought. He said, “God help us. Our mental health system is not equipped to deal with anything like this at all.”

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