Center for Constitutional Rights – 2005-08-04 00:20:57
Bush Administration Files 11th Hour Papers Blocking the Release of Darby CD Photos and Video Of Abu Ghraib Torture
WASHINGTON — On July 22, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) denounced the latest efforts of the Bush Administration to block the release of the Darby photos and videos depicting torture at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison facility.
On June 2, 2004, CCR, along with the ACLU, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace filed papers with the US District Court, charging the Department of Defense and other government agencies with illegally withholding records concerning the abuse of detainees in American military custody.
Since then, the organizations have been repeatedly rebuffed in their efforts to investigate what happened at the prison.
In June, the government requested and received an extension from the judge stating that they needed time in order to redact the faces of the men, women and children believed to be shown in the photographs and videos.
They were given until today to produce the images, but at the eleventh hour filed a motion to oppose the release of the photos and videos, based on an entirely new argument: they are now requesting a 7(F) exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act to withhold law enforcement-related information in order to protect the physical safety of individuals.
Today’s move is the latest in a series of attempts by the government to keep the images from being made public and to cover up the torture of detainees in US custody around the world.
Joseph Darby was the US reservist who turned over the photos and videos to US Army officials and touched off the Abu Ghraib scandal in April 2004.
“This is absolutely unacceptable,” stated Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “We can not move forward from this scandal until we have a full public accounting and independent investigation into what happened at Abu Ghraib. The government cannot continue to hide evidence of torture. The time to release these photos and videos was a long time ago.”
Expectations are that the FOIA request will release more than 100 photos and 4 videos, all believed to document deplorable human rights violations by US military personnel against Iraqi civilians.
Barbara Olshansky, Deputy Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, stated, “The public must be informed of what is being done in our name. It is this Administration that has put our troops at risk and caused world-wide anger by fostering policies that promote torture and refusing to hold those responsible publicly accountable.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights once more calls for a complete, transparent independent investigation into the torture and abuse of detainees that goes all the way up the chain of command and demands that the Administration apply the Geneva Conventions to every detainee being held in US custody around the world.
This is part of the request under the Freedom of Information Act filed by the the Center for Constitutional Rights, the ACLU, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans for Peace. The FOIA lawsuit is being handled by Lawrence Lustberg and Megan Lewis of the New Jersey-based law firm Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, PC.
Bush Viewed Unpublished Photos of US Troops Raping Iraqi Woman
Translated by Prof. Dr. Q. Al-Samarrai /
WASHINGTON — Sources in the Pentagon revealed that there are between 200 and 300 photos depicting various methods of inhumanly abusing and torturing Iraqi detainees which are not as yet published or shown to the media. Some of them show sexual violation and violent raping of young Iraqi boys.
Bush watched as well photos of American soldiers (three of them) raping collectively an Iraqi detainee woman whom they forcibly led to an isolated spot. The American CNN reported that a well informed source in Bush administration as saying: Bush himself saw tens of colour photos depicting American soldiers in despicable sexual scenes with Iraqi detainees.
Sources in Bush administration announced that furious discussion is going between the White House and the Pentagon on about whether it is advisable to permit publishing ALL the photos and videos that show the excessive abuse of Iraqi detainees at the hands of American soldiers instead of waiting for the media to get hold of them.
A final discion was not yet reached. Bush undertook an unprecedented initiative when he visited the Pentagon to show his support of his defense secretary who s facing an ever increasing pressure to resign his post. In the same meeting, Bush declared: “we will hold accountable every one who committed the act of torture or abused the Iraqi detainees.
He further says: “Free states can face such problems but the investigations about the abuses have already begun what is now called “the session of excuses.” But in spite of mounting criticism leveled against the Defense Secretary of State [Defense Secretary] concerning the inhumane treatment of the Iraqi detainees, Bush turned his face to Ramsveld [Donald Rumsfeld] saying: “You have done a great job,” “you are a great Defense Secretary, you have performed a great work to fight terrorism.”
Bush promised to continue the commitment of his country in staying in Iraq until his commitment is accomplished. He, moreover, said: “I will take every precaution to safeguard the American forces in Iraq and the security of the Iraqis”.
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