DrMyers’s Blog

May 14, 2009

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!: Truth Commission?

tortureIraq7.16831244_stdWhen trying a murder trial, evidence can make or break the decision which could determine one’s  freedom. It is for this cause, prosecuters try their very best to have as much evidence as possible when pushing a jury for conviction. This evidence is important because no one in the courtroom were present at the time of the incident, no one but the defendant; and his/her integrity is in question.  Proving his/her guilt or innocence would be much easier if there were some type of evidence that could paint a clearer picture of what happened during the incident. In many cases, a picture of the crime being commited “in the act” would easily acquit or convict, but having that picture is a rare find to a prosecutor…except for those prosecuting against the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Some (but not all) pictures were released before, giving insight to the treatment of prisoners at the detention facility, but this month the rest of the pictures were scheduled to be released…until The White House told the press that Obama would fight the release of dozens of photographs showing the abuse of terrorism suspects. What’s in the photo’s?

Barack Obama received some unexpected praise today from Republican Senator Graham regarding his decision. Harshly criticizing the President’s stimulus package during the beginning of the administration, and questioning the “Change” Obama touted during his campaign, the Senator praised Obama for choosing to act as Commander in Chief without letting politics sway his decision. In another surprising move, the Senator admitted defeat in challenging the Stimulus Package, and encouraged South Carolina Governor to accept the stimulus money.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU and advocating for the photos’ release, expressed outrage and said the decision “makes a mockery” of Obama’s campaign promise of transparency. “It’s absolutely essential that these photos be released so the public can examine for itself the torture and abuse that was conducted in its name, and so that high-level officials who authorized or permitted that abuse can be held accountable,” ACLU attorney Amrit Singh said.

A poll done by the Los Angeles Times Indicated:

Should President Obama release the photos showing alleged abuse of detainees by U.S. personnel?

36.1 %
Yes, release all the photos. We need to know the full extent of detainee abuse under the Bush administration.

6.5 %
Yes, but with caveats. The administration should be careful about which photos it releases.

57.4 %
No. Obama is correct: Releasing the photos would put our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq in more danger.

2005 total responses

The President has defended his actions by stating that releasing the photo’s “would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals…In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger,” Obama told reporters. “Moreover, I fear the publication of these photos may only have a chilling effect on future investigations of detainee abuse.” With a future trip to Egypt planned later this month, Obama is clinging to National Security as his main reason for blocking the release of the photo’s; while also discouraging a truth commission from being formed, which is supported by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

One must wonder, what actions are depicted in these photo’s that would reignite anti-American feelings? It has been hinted that these pictures are not as vulgar as the pictures released before hand. If this is the case, why drag out this painful part of America’s past and get these photo’s out and into the hands of American people.

Witholding  these photo’s only further ignite conspiracy theorists, and clouds the transparency of this new administration with dirt from it’s predecessors. Would these pictures further sway public opinion towards influencing their representatives to prosecute members of the former Administration. A bigger question is; if the previous administration broke the law, why are we hesitant to prosecute? Could it mean that many more representatives(other than the republicans associated with the Bush Administration) were fully aware of the going on’s within the prison, and did not stand up for right?

It has been argued that the descisions made by the former administration, was made swiftly with only the concern of preventing the death of more American lives.  Did this protection warrant us to break our treaty signed with the United Nations; and if this treaty endangers America’s National Security…why do we honor it?

Perhaps that fine General could shed some light within our current plight:

 

General Douglas MacArthur

General Douglas MacArthur

 

 

I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

General Douglas MacArthur

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3 Comments »

  1. Obama should release the photos and anything else hid by the Bush-Cheney administration to show the world we do not support torture and are sorry we did it, otherwise, he’s supporting Bush and Cheney on their contentions that they did nothing wrong.

    Comment by Joe Anthony — May 14, 2009 @ 6:05 am | Reply

  2. Indeed! Make public these pictures, as well as anything else authorized by Bush and Co. that led to such abuse. Obviously the horrific treatment at Abu Ghraib was the result of a policy of maltreatment when it comes to US prisoners abroad. And it’s not like anti-American sentiment is all that great in the Middle East as it is, what with the US clumsily telling nations that didn’t attack us what to do. We need to get the full picture of what was allowed to happen under the Bush regime. Obama seems to want to play this game half-way: his release of the torture memos and his immediate condemnation of prosecution show that even he may not have realized the full ramficiations of that decision. But yet he made it. How are showing these pictures (supposedly “not as bad” as those released in 2004) much different from releasing the torture memos? Those memos led to what are in those pictures, it’s as simple as that. And those who wrote those memos, leading to the prisoner abuse documented here? Disbarment or worse. Our president seems to think he can simply cover over the rampant abuse and illegality of his predecessor, never mentioning how the United States is a nation of laws and he is sworn to uphold those laws. I certainly wish he would take the lead here in denouncing what was done and calling for a truth commission, similar to Pelosi, if nothing else. This needs to be investigated, and fully.

    Comment by thistleseed83 — May 14, 2009 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

  3. It seems to me that all parties are guilty in this mess. This is not a Bush/Cheney thing although they’re the most outwardly visible parties. Our congressional committees new and took part in this mess and the fact that much of our government isn’t working within the outlined constitutional framework in almost every political sphere is a travesty worthy of a serious cleansing. Obama is also part of this mess due to his political affiliations during the last 4 years in public office as a Senator. Moreover, I’m skeptical of the world body to make correct judgements with impartiality. Question: Where are those in the world community who would decry the United States and our faults but put no thought to apply the same form of pressure, if not more, on those who would torture, behead, or maim in public or virtual spaces due to their Islamic faith? Oh the irony! We must be very careful how we apply justice to one if not willing to do the same to the other –

    Comment by CitizenAuthority — May 14, 2009 @ 4:26 pm | Reply


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