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Why does the story about photographs documenting abuse at Abu Ghraib go on and on? There’s one quick answer: because the U.S. government keeps dissembling and covering it up. The last exercise came yesterday, when the Daily Telegraph secured a description of some of the withheld photos from Major General Antonio Taguba. Pentagon spokesman Bryan G. Whitman responded with a harsh attack on the reputation of Britain’s principal conservative quality paper, and the White House chimed in. But they have a problem: the Daily Telegraph report is correct. I secured specific corroboration of the Telegraph report and further details on the photos in a story in the Daily Beast, just up.
What’s this storm all about? Remember that Barack Obama announced his about-face decision to withhold the photos with a carefully worded statement that “the people who appeared in those photographs” had been investigated and prosecuted. That’s true. But there has been no investigation of responsibility up the chain of command for the decisions that produced these abuses, and that’s just what Obama appears intent on blocking. He fully appreciates that disclosure of the photos would fuel demands for appointment of a special prosecutor and a criminal investigation of the torture regime.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”