Judge Orders Feds to Release Over 2,000 Photos of Torture and Abuse by U.S. Military in Iraq and Afghanistan

After a 10-year legal battle, U.S. district judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled last Friday that the U.S. government must release more than 2,000 Torture photos showing the abuse and mistreatment of people detained by the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush Administration.

As reported by the award-winning Photography Is Not A Crime police accountability blog, the federal government “is required to disclose each and all of the photographs” in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request from the ACLU, as the government failed to prove that “disclosure would endanger Americans.”


The federal government has tried to suppress these photographs, even going so far as changing the FOIA law in secret with the help of Congress in 2009.

“The photos are crucial to the public record, they’re the best evidence of what took place in the military’s detention centers, and their disclosure would help the public better understand the implications of some of the Bush administration’s policies,” said ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer. “The administration’s rationale for suppressing the photos is both illegitimate and dangerous. To allow the government to suppress any image that might provoke someone, somewhere, to violence would be to give the government sweeping power to suppress evidence of its own agents’ misconduct. Giving the government that kind of censorial power would have implications far beyond this specific context.”

The U.S. Solicitor General has two months to decide whether to appeal, and continue the decade-long fight to bury the horrifying truth exposing the inhumanity of the Bush Administration’s reign.


Among the horrifying images the government may be suppressing is alleged video of children being sodomized in front of their mothers at Abu Ghraib. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh – who exposed the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, where women were gang-raped and mutilated – reported that the U.S. military was sodomizing children in Iraq on video back in 2004.

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