Obama on torture photos: cover-up and complicity :: www.uruknet.info :: informazione dall’Iraq occupato :: news from occupied Iraq :: - it
15 May 2009
President Obama’s repudiation of his promise to comply with a court order and release Pentagon torture photos marks a qualitative deepening of the cover-up of the crimes carried out under Bush as well as their continuation under the new administration in only slightly altered form.
The president’s decision amounts to the deliberate suppression of evidence that the US military-intelligence apparatus, at the direction of the White House, carried out systemic torture.
The about-face on the torture photos is of a piece with a series of actions taken by the administration in recent months. These include the Obama Justice Department’s attempt to suppress lawsuits challenging extraordinary rendition, torture and illegal domestic spying, all hallmarks of the police-state apparatus erected under Bush in the name of a war on terrorism.
Moreover, according to press reports, the decision on the photos coincides with the administration’s finalizing of plans to hold terror suspects indefinitely without charges in the US itself. It was precisely the Bush administration’s designation of such detainees as “enemy combatants”—supposedly without the protection of either the Constitution or the Geneva Conventions—that facilitated the use of torture. Now, it appears that this status of legal limbo is going to be continued on US soil, with far-reaching implications for democratic rights.
Obama’s statement Wednesday justifying his keeping the photos secret is a mixture of political hypocrisy and outright lies.
He began by insisting that the images in question “are not particularly sensational.” If this is true, it begs the question of why the government refuses to release them, purportedly for fear that they would provoke attacks on US troops.