Skip to main content

Pentagon to Release Prisoner Abuse Photos

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Pentagon, in response to a lawsuit, will end a Bush administration legal battle and release "hundreds" of photos showing abuse or alleged abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. personnel, according to defense officials and civil liberties advocates.

The photographs, to be released by May 28, include 21 images depicting detainee abuse in facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan other than the Abu Ghraib prison, as well as 23 other detainee abuse photos, according to the American Civil Liberties Union and a letter from the Justice Department sent to a federal court in New York yesterday.

In addition, the Justice Department letter said "the government is also processing for release a substantial number of other images" contained in dozens of Army Criminal Investigation Division reports on the abuse.

"This shows that the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was not aberrational but was systemic and widespread," said Amrit Singh, an ACLU staff attorney involved with the 2004 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that led to the promise to release the photographs. "This will underscore calls for accountability for that abuse."

Singh called for an independent investigation into torture and prisoner abuse and said it should be followed, if warranted, by criminal prosecutions.

Pentagon officials disputed the charge that the photographs proved abuse was "systemic" in prisons run by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying the images came from 60 of the military's own investigations of abuse allegations.

"What it demonstrates is that when we find credible allegations of abuse, we investigate them," said a senior defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The Pentagon has not stated when or how it will release the detainee photos, but defense officials said the initial 44 and possibly hundreds more are likely to be made public close to the May 28 deadline.

The Pentagon has noted that it investigates all allegations of detainee abuse and since 2001 has taken more than 400 disciplinary actions against U.S. military personnel found to have been involved in such abuse.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates yesterday said it was "unrealistic" for the government to try to keep photos of detainee abuse a secret, noting that the ACLU lawsuit and others like it have made public release practically unavoidable.

"There is a certain inevitability, I believe, that much of this will eventually come out," Gates said. "Much has already come out."

The Bush administration had argued that public disclosure of the photographs would unleash outrage and violate a section of the Geneva Conventions that is widely interpreted to mean that photos of prisoners should not be shown to the public.

But a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit rejected such arguments in September 2008 and required disclosure of the photos because of a "significant public interest" in potential government misconduct.

A Bush administration request that the full appeals court rehear the case was denied March 11.

Facing a deadline to either produce the photographs or take the appeal to the Supreme Court, where they believed chances of success were not high, Pentagon and Justice Department lawyers consulted last week and decided to comply with the lower-court ruling.

"This case had pretty much run its course. Legal options at this point had become pretty limited," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.

At the same time, however, Gates voiced concern that the release of photos, along with disclosures of interrogation memos and other materials, could cause unrest and create further problems for U.S. troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

"I also was quite concerned, as you might expect, with the potential backlash in the Middle East and in the theaters where we're involved in conflict, and that it might have a negative impact on our troops," he said.


Popular posts from this blog

A Golden Age for Cheapskates

In a Lousy Economy, People Dig a Bit Deeper to Turn Up Deals
By Nancy Trejos
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 19, 2009

Last fall, the Woodbine, Md., mother of three figured out a great way to get some: online giveaways. She has entered about 40 so far. She has won T-shirts, cleaning products, a small portable vacuum, olive oil, beef jerky and -- best of all -- a Nintendo DS on Web sites such as, and

"The lure of free stuff is quite appealing," she said. "I never considered myself a winner. I don't think I ever won bingo. My name was never drawn from a hat. However, I've been extraordinarily successful at the giveaways."

The recession has emboldened a certain kind of consumer: The mooch. With dwindling retirement savings, a higher cost of living and wobbly job market, they don't just want discounts on items they used to pay full price for without a second thought. They want freebi…


A RECENT NOR EASTER HIT THE NEW ENGLAND COAST AND AS THOUGHT THIS WRECK SURFACED AGAIN FROM ITS BURIED DEMISE--The skeleton only appears periodically - the last time was in 2013 - always after a significant coastal storm, and always attracting attention. Archaeological work conducted in 1980 indicated the wreck is a sloop of about Revolutionary War age. It is likely a “pinky,” a type of vessel with a high, narrow stern and square rigging easily maneuverable along the coast of Maine. Pinkies were popular as fishing and cargo vessels. The first sighting of the skeleton was in 1958, and then it has surfaced periodically right up to the present day - and usually after a good spring nor’easter. Word spread quickly about this sighting via social media, and people came over the weekend and on Monday as well. First, they had to navigate the seaweed- and rock-strewn streets of York Beach. They were also precluded from parking cars in most of the Ellis Park lot, which was buried under a layer …


I've always felt a special fascination for mosaics. From Roman tile compositions to current digital collages, I think they're an awesome artistic expression.
That's why I was so happy when I found Andreamosaic.
This tool enables you to create amazing mosaics from your digital pictures in a very easy way.
It requires having a large collection of photos to use as tiles, that's true. Fortunately the installation file already includes a pack of 500 sample photos that produce excellent results.
The program's interface is quite dull; in fact it's simply a gray window with too much text on it. But the mechanics are easy to understand so you'll be creating your own mosaics in no time!
Plus, the program includes a 20-page manual that explains everything thoroughly. Just remember that the more tiles you use, the longer it will take to generate the mosaic and the larger the final file will be.


How To Create A Photo Mosaic In Photos…