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

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published on April 15th 2015 by occupydemocrats.com by Carlos Miller

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.

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Amid Senate Skirmish, Obama Continues to Shield CIA and Bush-era Torture

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These are the people behind the Bush torture program, but Obama continues to "look forward" despite the ugly implications of keeping Bush's secrets locked away. (File)

White House still refusing to hand over key documents about CIA torture to senate investigative panel

Published on Thursday, March 13, 2014 by Common Dreams - Jon Queally, staff writer

What's in the more than 9,000 pages of top secrets documents held by the White House that the Senate Intelligence Committee and investigators looking into the Bush administration's torture program are not allowed to see?

After an unprecedented public skirmish between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA surfaced this week over an investigative panel's look into the agency's torture program, President Obama said Wednesday that he and his White House would not "wade into" the controversy.

But according to new reporting by McClatchy, the White House is not only not "uninvolved," it is actively keeping documents from the Intelligence Committee that it has repeatedly asked to see. As the news agency reports:

The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.

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Freed Gitmo Detainee: 'We Were Subjected to Meticulous, Daily Torture'

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By CommonDreams.org  Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Upon his return to Sudan after 11 years of incarceration at the hands of the U.S. military in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a frail 52-year-old Ibrahim Idris declared at a Thursday press conference in Khartoum that detainess at the prison "have been subjected to meticulous, daily torture with punishment," with 'double' the abuse for those who participated in the hunger strike.

“We were helpless…on an isolated island, surrounded by weapons,” he stated, his voice described as soft and weak in numerous media reports.

Idris returned to Sudan on Thursday with fellow detainee and 51-year-old Sudanese citizen Noor Othman Mohammed—who was reportedly unable to attend the press conference because he was receiving medical treatment in a hospital.

Idris, who suffers from mental and physical illness, spent much of his incarceration in a psychiatric facility, held without ever being charged with a crime. His release to Sudan came years after he was cleared for transfer, in a prison where over half of the inmates have already been approved for release.

Idris's account of "doubled" torture for hunger strikers comes days after the U.S. military announced it is placing a media blackout on information about hunger strikes within the notorious offshore prison.

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The Peaceful Protest US Govt Doesn't Want World to Know About

Guantánamo Bay rally – activists protest in front of the White House demanding President Obama close the US prison camp earlier this year. Now, the military acknowledges that the withholding of information is a deliberate move to undermine public knowledge of a protest that has garnered international support. (Photograph: Larry Downing/Reuters)Media blackout hides Gitmo hunger strikes in military bid to erode public support

Sarah Lazare, CommonDreams.org staff writer

First it was the force-feedings, genital searches, and transfers to solitary confinement. Then came the media blackout.

In its latest bid to deprive Guantánamo Bay inmates of what Algerian prisoner Ahmed Belbacha has called their "sole peaceful means" of protest, the U.S. military announced it will stop providing information to the press about the ongoing hunger strikes within this notorious offshore prison.

"The hunger strike has been the only way the prisoners can effectively protest and force world attention back on Guantánamo Bay," said Omar Farah, staff attorney for Center for Constitutional Rights, in an interview with Common Dreams. "The government has tried to undermine that in many ways. We saw that in the summer with raids on Camp 6 and forcing prisoners into solitary confinement. This is a new and different way to silence the protests."

In an interview with Al Jazeera-America published Wednesday, Navy Commander John Filostrat acknowledged that the withholding of information is a deliberate move to undermine public knowledge of a protest that has garnered international support. “It’s [the strikers'] desire to draw attention to themselves, and so we’re not going to help them do that," he stated.

"JTF-Guantánamo allows detainees to peacefully protest but will not further their protests by reporting the numbers to the public," Filostrat told the Miami Herald last week upon announcing the blackout.

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Report: US Military Doctors Complicit in Torture

Tubes used for force-feeding at Guantánamo. (John Riley/EPA)

Published on Monday, November 4, 2013 by Common Dreams

Experts say health professionals used to design and participate in cruel, inhumane, and degrading torture of military detainees

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

According to a study published this week, doctors and psychologists working for the U.S. Department of Defense and CIA have participated in the physical and psychological torture of suspected terrorists in the post-9/11 era.

The report, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror, was conducted by the 19-member Task Force on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centers over a two-year period. The report describes how doctors employed by the DoD and CIA "designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees," and reveals vast breaches of ethical codes of conduct for health professionals in the name of counterterrorism.

“The American public has a right to know that the covenant with its physicians to follow professional ethical expectations is firm regardless of where they serve,” said Task Force member Dr. Gerald Thomson, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at Columbia University.  “It’s clear that in the name of national security the military trumped that covenant, and physicians were transformed into agents of the military and performed acts that were contrary to medical ethics and practice. We have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again.”

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