Monday, October 03, 2005

LAST WEEK, Jeanne at Body and Soul reported that a federal judge had ordered the Bush administration to release 74 photographs and 4 videos of torture at Abu Ghraib that the ACLU has been fighting to get for almost 2 years. The photographs and videos were part of the evidence of torture turned over to the Army's Criminal Investigative Unit by Joseph Darby, the soldier who blew the whistle on the abuse.

Crooks and Liars posted a video today of Bill O'Reilly and Wesley Clark going at it over the release of the photos. C & L also provides a link to a dkos diary post on the photos.

One of the pathetic arguments O'Reilly uses to defend the actions revealed in the photographs and videos is that "this always happens." Clark snapped back that his Army did not torture prisoners and adhered to the Geneva Conventions. What I'd like to know is, Would O'Reilly use the "this always happens" argument if it were American prisoners of war being tortured?

The administration's argument against releasing the photographic material was that "the images would provoke terrorists and incite violence against U.S. troops in Iraq." Putting aside the absurdity of that argument just on a daily reality level (provoked terrorists? violence against U.S. troops? what would that look like?), dkos diarist xrepub says, "Sorry guys, you should have thought of that before you suspended the Geneva Convention and condoned torture."

As has been noted by any number of people here and elsewhere, the abuse of prisoners is NOT something that the US should EVER condone. This Administration - to its everlasting shame- has sought legal justification for NOT following the Geneva Accords on treatment of prisoners and our soldiers are suffering the consequences.

If we HAD treated prisoners WELL and with civility, FOLLOWED the Geneva Accords, we wouldn't have had the beheadings and more. THIS ADMINISTRATION created this problem and - in the opinion of many - IS guilty of war crimes in its treatment of prisoners.

In other words, blame America? It's our fault?

Damn straight.

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