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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 — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
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.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount the inventor of the yellow “smiley face” had received for it by the time of his death in April:
An astrophysicist observed that the early universe looked like vegetable soup.
In North Korea, a missile capable of striking U.S. bases overseas blew up immediately after a test launch, and in North Carolina, a G.O.P. headquarters was firebombed.
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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.'”