Friday, July 22, 2005

Bush Threatens to Block Guantanamo Investigation

On May 8th 2005 The Boston Herald reported on new images of Guantano both photographs and videos that showed American soldiers beating and raping prisoners at Guantamo Bay.
Signaling the worst revelations are yet to come, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the additional photos show "acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman." [...]

The unreleased images show American soldiers beating one prisoner almost to death, apparently raping a female prisoner, acting inappropriately with a dead body, and taping Iraqi guards raping young boys, according to NBC News.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the scandal is "going to get worse" and warned that the most "disturbing" revelations haven't yet been made public.

"The American public needs to understand, we're talking about rape and murder here," he said. "We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience; we're talking about rape and murder and some very serious charges."

Today the Bush Administration was under orders to release the photos. However, they filed a motion to prevent their release "in order to protect the safety of individuals pictured."
On June 2, 2004, CCR, along with the ACLU, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense, and Veterans for Peace filed papers with the U.S. District Court, charging the Department of Defense and other government agencies with illegally withholding records concerning the abuse of detainees in American military custody. Since then, the organizations have been repeatedly rebuffed in their efforts to investigate what happened at the prison.

In June, the government requested and received an extension from the judge stating that they needed time in order to redact the faces of the men, women and children believed to be shown in the photographs and videos. They were given until today to produce the images, but at the eleventh hour filed a motion to oppose the release of the photos and videos, based on an entirely new argument: they are now requesting a 7(F) exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act to withhold law enforcement-related information in order to protect the physical safety of individuals.

Yesterday Bush threatened to veto a defense spending bill unless provisions for a Congressional investigation of detainee abuse at Guantano were removed.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Thursday threatened to veto a massive Senate bill for $442 billion in next year's defense programs if it moves to regulate the Pentagon's treatment of detainees or sets up a commission to investigate operations at Guantanamo Bay prison and elsewhere.
"If legislation is presented that would restrict the president's authority to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack and bring terrorists to justice," the bill could be vetoed, the statement said.

This is there idea of "protecting Americans effectively from a terrorist attack"? Torturing people? This looks to me like an Administration scared shitless of a Congressional investigation and of the release of anything that might lead the public to want one. What are they hiding? It's time we had an investigation into this, and it's time that we put an end to this kind of policy. They are ruining Americas standing in the world and pursuing a morally bankrupt policy where the ends always justify the means. This is outrageous.

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