The ACLU at the trial and appellate levels, and now in the Supreme Court, are seeking the release of more prisoner “torture” photos from Iraq and Afghanistan. No matter how mild or bad these photos are, logically their release will result in more civilians and military people killed in both those nations. Additional death is apparently the purpose of the ACLU in this case.
Some of the facts for this article come from a Wall Street Journal blog on 15 September. It reports that the Obama Administration has reversed course on the release of certain photographs taken at American prison facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ACLU and its allies had gone to federal court under the Freedom of Information Act to get the so-called “prison torture photos” released by court order.
The latest decision in the case is from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and might result in the release of some of the photos. An exception to the FOIA is made for information which could “threaten the life of any individual.” The court said that the claim of exemption has to be “more specific,” and has remanded the case for more hearings.
President Obama recognized the obvious in a recent speech — that releasing photos that put American service people in a bad light will be used as a rallying cry by our enemies, and will cause additional civilian or military deaths. The Administration originally declined to take the case to the Supreme Court, and instead sought an order of protection. An Obama representative at the time called the case “unwinnable.”
Now, the Administration has changed its mind, likely in response to negative public reactions, and has asked the Supreme Court to take the case. The ACLU and its allies have, of course, asked the Supreme Court to refuse to take the case.
Anyone with the slightest familiarity with the uses of propaganda in wartime knows that the forced release of more photos like those from Abu Ghraib will benefit America’s enemies and harm the interests of America and its allies. The results will certainly involve riots, demonstrations, civilian deaths, and recruitment for the enemy resulting in additional military deaths in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The question of whether these photos are as incendiary as those from Abu Ghraib cannot be determined until they are released. If that happens the damage will be done, and cannot be undone.
This is what the ACLU has consistently sought. The war should go worse, with more deaths, so the US will grow weary of the fight and abandon its efforts in both those nations. The Administration has come to the legal fight late, perhaps because ACLU types are great allies of Obama. Still, the Administration’s legal position now is that the Supreme Court should act to prevent these photos from being released in wartime.
This writer has in his house stereographic photos of American war dead in World War I. These photos were taken by the American military. But they were not released to the public until after the war was over. There are simply some images that should not be released in wartime. Military people and others with common sense, know this is so. But judges and bureaucrats who are influenced by the ACLU may not grasp this simple, essential fact.
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