Communique Editorial Vol. 15 No. 3

20 Mar
Abu Ghraib, Dec. 12, 2003, 10.47 p.m.: Soldier orders a detainee to the floor while dog handlers and their dogs look on.

Abu Ghraib, Dec. 12, 2003, 10.47 p.m.: Soldier orders a detainee to the floor while dog handlers and their dogs look on.

FOR the past year, the Pentagon has been battling the American Civil Liberties Union in federal court to prevent the remaining Abu Ghraib images from being released to the public. Reasons cited include fear of a rise in anti-American sentiment and injury to detainee rights under the Geneva Convention.

These claims are as outrageous as they are ridiculous. For it is the military’s actions that rouse anti-American sentiments, and those pretending to safeguard the detainees’ rights have in fact violated them egregiously.

It is evident that the Bush administration is interested in protecting its already tattered reputation more than in the rights of Iraqi detainees. This can be seen in Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s expressed wish for the media to divert coverage from Abu Ghraib to Saddam’s mass graves; we believe it can also be seen in the major U.S. media outlets’ use of the words “assault” and “abuse”—not “torture”—to describe the events of Abu Ghraib.

Of the detainees, Rumsfeld has said: “…they’re trained to lie… trained to allege that they’ve been tortured… to put out misinformation, and they’re very good at it.”

It is time for the media to start recognizing that Rumsfeld and company are very good at it, too. Time to publish the images the public needs to see.

This editorial was printed in the second edition(PDF) of the student newspaper of the School of International and Public Affairs, Communiqué, where I was editor-in-chief, in the spring of 2006.

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