A US judge has ordered the Bush administration to release more than 100 new photographs and videos of abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib, creating a fresh public relations nightmare for government officials as they seek to rebut accusations that the US is sponsoring torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.
Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the New York federal court granted a petition by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to release the materials after viewing eight sample photos last week. It is not known exactly what the 144 photographs and videos depict, but they are from the same sources as the graphic images of prisoners being piled up on top of each other, threatened by attack dogs and forced into sexually compromising positions that triggered scandal and outrage just over a year ago.
"These images may be ugly and shocking, but they depict how the torture was more than the actions of a few rogue soldiers," said ACLU director Anthony Romero. "The American public deserves to know what is being done in our name. Perhaps after these and other photos are forced into the light of day, the government will at long last appoint an outside special counsel to investigate the torture and abuse of detainees."
[A] Pentagon spokesman indicated yesterday that the administration would not give up the materials without a further fight.
We need to see what is really happening. Maybe that will break the mesmerism that is so clouding the reality testing ability of the ordinary American.