Looking away won’t work

Oy.

Photographs of Iraqi prisoner abuse which U.S. President Barack Obama does not want released include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Thursday.

The images are among photographs included in a 2004 report into prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prison conducted by U.S. Major General Antonio Taguba.

Taguba included allegations of rape and sexual abuse in his report, and on Wednesday he confirmed to the Daily Telegraph that images supporting those allegations were also in the file.

The issue isn’t really whether horrific images are made available to the public, the issue is whether the leadership of the Democratic Party has the moral fortitude to do something to make sure this can’t happen again.

And that will require something like a Church Committee. There is certainly enough evidence to suggest that a large formal inquiry is warranted.

If the position of the Democratic Party is “we don’t like torture but we’re just going to forget it ever happened,” then we’re no better than the Republicans. This is bigger than partisan politics anyhow, it goes directly to what kind of civilization we supposedly are.

If top Democrats wind up being embarrassed or worse, then they have whatever is coming to them as well. We already know the Republicans will screech about “criminalizing politics,” as if all this is just some unfortunate accident rather than the result of deliberate policy. This wasn’t soldiers losing control in combat, this was systematic torture of defenseless people, executed with gleeful savagery.

The Obama administration has a choice to make, and for the sake of future generations, it better find a way to deal with this ugly episode in American history and give the people a full accounting of what was done in their name. A government that abides barbarism undermines its claim to being of, by and for the people it represents, a flaw similar to those of European tyrants that prompted the creation and growth of this noble experiment in the first place.

Comments

  1. 1

    narcolepsy spews:

    the issue is whether the leadership of the Democratic Party has the moral fortitude to do something to make sure this can’t happen again

    The Democratic Party now is controlled by borderline-totalitarian fucks. We got “change” alright, and in some big ways it was bad change:

    Deal with it —

    – 90-6 the Senate bars the Administration from closing Gitmo (cunts Murray and Cantwell voting Yea, backing military trials of US prisoners, no writs of habeus corpus, and indefinite incarceration without charges being filed);

    – Obama’s Sec. of War Casey announces extension of US occupation in Iraq by at least ten years, and immediate increase of US troop level BEYOND Bush troop level increases in Afghanistan;

    – National Sales Tax proposed: highly regressive tax loved by the rich and corporations, very harmful to poor people, retirees, etc.;

    Forget trying to rehash anti-human acts during the Bush years. Focus on heading off the current extreme behavior by the Democratic Party. Those photos ultimately are meaningless. Look at what’s going on now as far as Democratic Party actions – these are twisted people.

  2. 2

    spews:

    What is worse? Criminals running the GOP, or Democratic pussies afraid of doing the right thing because the cons may get mad?

    Our government SUCKS BIG TIME.

    Barack / Holder. Prosecute some of the bastards that ORDERED TORTURE. Jeeeesh!!!

    Or you can just f-ing resign.

    I know, I know. You have to hear back from the banks, drug companies, defense contractors, and energy companies to see what they want you to do.

    If you don’t prosecute these criminals, you can send me back the thousands I donated to your campaign.

  3. 4

    My Goldy Itches spews:

    My only regret is that they didn’t have pliers and blow torches applied against them.

  4. 5

    Another TJ spews:

    Well said, Jon, but I’ll quibble with one point:

    If the position of the Democratic Party is “we don’t like torture but we’re just going to forget it ever happened,” then we’re no better than the Republicans.

    Developing and maintaining a torture regime really is different from (and worse than) repudiating that regime but not bringing it to justice. It ain’t the right thing to do – I’m in complete agreement with you there – but it really isn’t as bad.

    Just saying the first part, “we don’t like torture” is an improvement over the Republicans.

    That said, I’ll just quote you again, because this can neither be better put nor improved upon:

    The Obama administration has a choice to make, and for the sake of future generations, it better find a way to deal with this ugly episode in American history and give the people a full accounting of what was done in their name. A government that abides barbarism undermines its claim to being of, by and for the people it represents, a flaw similar to those of European tyrants that prompted the creation and growth of this noble experiment in the first place.

  5. 6

    notaboomer spews:

    the issue is whether the leadership of the Democratic Party has the moral fortitude to do something to make sure this can’t happen again.

    the leader is obama. he already made his choice. if dems want to stay rooted, time for local leg districts to lead from the bottom up. i challenge king county dem LDs to pass resolutions for (a) releasing the photos (b) prosecuting the torture policy makers and (c) rejecting obama’s preventive detention policy.

  6. 7

    Spit in the Ocean spews:

    The lessons of Nurenburg means nothing to this bipartisan torture fest . Maybe “they” do hate us for our values .

  7. 8

    Daddy Love spews:

    I don’t agree with 6. President Obama is doing what he should be doing–letting the Attorney General look at whether prosecutable crimes were comitted and listening when he makes his recommendation. The president does not decide when a crime has or hasn’t been committed nor whom to prosecute.

    That said, it was those sick fucks Cheney and Rumsfeld who made the decsions and authorized the programs that led to these abuses. They should be tried, convicted, and frogmarched to the gallows.

  8. 9

    ArtFart spews:

    I’m far, far more interested in seeing those who disgraced us all by ordering these atrocities sent off to the don’t-drop-the-soap hotel, than I am in seeing the victims’ misery plastered all over the supermarket tabloids.

  9. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    For years, the right bombarded us with Made-In-GOP propaganda that “detainee mistreatment” consisted of nothing more than flusing pages of the Koran down the toilet.

    All along we suspected that was a damned lie; then we knew for certain it was a damned lie; now it’s time to prove to the American public and the world it was a damned lie.

  10. 12

    GBS spews:

    What is worse? Criminals running the GOP, or Democratic pussies afraid of doing the right thing because the cons may get mad?

    Clearly, not prosecuting the law is worse than breaking the law.

    The survival of the Rule of Law philosophy depends on prosecuting the law not following the Rule of Law.

    There will always be criminals who break the law. In order to maintain a civil society the law must be applied equally to anyone and everyone if we are to give meaning to the words “no one is above the law.”

    Obama will be a failed president, even worse the Bush, if he does not prosecute crimes committed by the previous administration.

    Particularly, War Crimes.

  11. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 “My only regret is that they didn’t have pliers and blow torches applied against them.”

    Why are you assuming they didn’t? Why are you ignoring the (extremely high) probability that at least some (if not most) of the victims of Republican torture were innocent? Either you are very stupid, or very evil.

  12. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Before any of this blog’s readers ever consider voting Republican, go back and read comment #4 again, then think about this:

    That’s what Republicans are, and that’s what Republicans represent.

  13. 15

    GBS spews:

    Remember back when that dictator Saddam Hussein was running Abu Grahib and the charges from the Bush administration wereSaddam Hussein was torturing prisoners and running RAPE ROOMS?

    If you have a moral compass you don’t consider who ordered torture or rape, you just say that’s wrong and prosecute those who commit such heinous crimes.

    “My country, right or wrong.”

    In one sense I say so too. My country; and my country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
    ~Carl Schurz (1829–1906)

    Schurz expanded on this theme in a speech delivered at the Anti-Imperialistic Conference, Chicago, Illinois, October 17, 1899: “I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”—Schurz, “

    President Obama, put this country right, or resign.

  14. 16

    GBS spews:

    @4:

    Clearly you are the enemy in our midst. You are not, I repeat, you are not an American Patriot.

    You are no better than the terrorist who stuck America on 9/11. You may be different from them, but you are equal to THEM.

  15. 17

    Ghengis Khan spews:

    Church commission is a cop out.

    Prosecute. Everyone of them.

    Yes, not prosecuting is worse then doing the crime.

    Look at Nixon. Should have put him in jail.

    They will keep doing it.

    We have laws so that they are enfoced, right? What is this scaredy cat desire for some commission? We have law, prosecutors, and criminals put them all in jail including Bush, Cheney, Yoo, Freddy all of them.

  16. 18

    less is more spews:

    If top Democrats wind up being embarrassed or worse, then they have whatever is coming to them as well. We already know the Republicans will screech about “criminalizing politics.

    There are people in America that are so ignorant that they don’t know that all politicians are crooked? I don’t believe that. I’ve worked with people with 3rd grade educations that knew better than that.

    Politicians aren’t being blacmailed in the US by the CI lying A or the FB stealing I? Nonsense. They have cooked their books so much that I believe that everyone in those upper offices has “no show” jobs. Has any military budget ever been reduced? What was the audited amount that the government spent last year? How much did Bernie Madoff steal?
    Criminal activity is undoubtedly the current growth industry.

    Ghengis Khan 17, there is a PhD theses written in the 1970s about corruption in Indonesia. Find it and study it, it will explain why the US is skipping second world status and going straight to the third world.

    PS Ghengis Khan, auditing attorney’s fiduciary accounts will send at least 25 per cent of the current practicing lawyers to jail for embezzlement. I have literally threatened to turn them in and they still steal. The champion was a lawdog who submitted photocopies of a meal with another lawdog to ten separate trustee accounts. I made photocopies in case I ever decided to blackmail him. Jerk had a heart attack before I could use the information.

  17. 20

    GBS spews:

    @ 19:

    I know, I know. We deal at a higher level of thinking than just bumper sticker slogans.

    That would make it difficult for someone of your inferior mental capacity to follow logic.

    Sorry.

    Perhaps, if one of us volunteered to read you My Pet Goat as a consolation prize that would make you feel better?

    And, if you’re a super-good, boy, some milk and cookies before nap time.

    Loser.