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)
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.