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July 13, 2009

David Swanson: "I've Seen 1,200 Torture Photos"


This moment, in which the Attorney General of the United States claims to be considering the possibility of allowing our laws against torture to be enforced seems a good one in which to reveal that I have seen over 1,200 torture photos and a dozen videos that are in the possession of the United States military. These are photographs depicting torture, the victims of torture, and other inhuman and degrading treatment. Several videos show a prisoner intentionally slamming his head face-first very hard into a metal door. Guards filmed this from several angles rather than stopping it.

The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) of Australia revealed several of these photographs, video of the head slamming, and video of prisoners forced to masturbate, as part of a news report broadcast in 2006. But the full collection has not been made available to the public or to a special prosecutor, although it was shown to members of Congress in 2004. When these photos are eventually made public, I encourage you to take a good look at them. After you get over feeling ill, it might be appropriate to consider Congress' past 5 years of inaction. You'll be able to feel sick all over again.

The rest.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at July 13, 2009 09:58 AM

Totally 100% random, unrelated C & P:

"However, for most of the world, the Nuremberg Trials were a symbolic expression of outrage over the atrocities of the Nazi organization. Once done, however, it seems that the major concern was to put the whole matter in the past and forget it. It is highly doubtful, to use Justice Jackson's words, that we have eliminated "the causes" and laid the basis for preventing "the repetition of these barbaric events." "

Posted by: Oarwell at July 13, 2009 10:36 AM


Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 13, 2009 11:46 AM

I had posted this comment in May on Nell's post
on May 14, 2009 "Pull The Other One"

I have just finished seeing the documenatry "Taxi to the Dark Side". The images from Abu Ghraib are almost pornographic ( there were some I had never seen before ) and frankly I do not care to see any more of them. I would much rather spend my energy on trying to bring the perpetrators to justice and gettting torture BANNED by our govt.
Posted by Rupa Shah at May 15, 2009 10:49 PM

Nothing has changed my mind. All I can add is it made me sick to look at those images. War turns ordinary men and women into monsters and they order and some carry out the orders to commit horrendous crimes. It is beyond comprehension, how they try to justify such acts by calling them by a different name or a phrase.

Every petition has been signed to appoint a special prosecutor. All the alleged perpetrators must be brought to trial and if found guilty, given maximum prison sentence ( and should have no special privileges while in the prison ). And Torture should be banned by any name.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at July 13, 2009 05:26 PM

Rupa, yes, but torture WAS banned. All major nations were signatories to the Geneva Conventions. Read any of the statements of Chief U.S. Prosecuter Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg Trials, and try to reconcile that the same nation went on blithely supporting torture, and torture-regimes, whether the Greek colonels or Latin American School of America-trained butchers or SAVAK or Saddam or Operation Phoenix or Abu Ghraib/Bagram and so on. It doesn't seem possible. Hypocrisy may be the homage vice pays to virtue but I, in my naivety, keep wondering 'aren't there any good guys left in the military to say this is completely wrong?' There were some, Taguba and others, but they were completely steamrolled into oblivion by our own Good Germans, aided in the propaganda effort by the mouth-breathers running our vile corporate media.

Reading these quotes reminded me that America used to be capable of producing something other than villainy.

"The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating, that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated. That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason."

"If we can cultivate in the world the idea that aggressive war-making is the way to the prisoner's dock rather than the way to honors, we will have accomplished something toward making the peace more secure."

Opening Address to the International Military Tribunal at the Nuremberg Trials (November 10, 1945).

Posted by: Oarwell at July 14, 2009 10:26 AM

Thank you for your comment. Yes, torture is illegal in our country but that DID NOT stop our administration from inflicting it on detainees ( many of whom may have been innocent of being involved in any criminal activity ). I do not know about our country as a whole but it has been a wound on my psyche, which I do not know if will ever heal.
I believe, torture committed by the govt is a result of a worse crime, WAR. And personally, I would devote my energy to stop our govt from continuing wars or starting a new one. At the same time, try to work with groups like AI that work as watchdogs on our govt's activities. Unfortunately, with almost 50% of the population supporting torture, the task will not be easy.

Read a very good article on...
"Why Torture is Evil"

ps btw, Bush administration did not believe, the Geneva coventions applied to the detainees( at least initially).

Posted by: Rupa Shah at July 14, 2009 12:47 PM