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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:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”