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The United States Government Wants to Keep Torture Photos Secret

May 14, 2009 - 8:04am
Jim Iannuzo by Jim Iannuzo


President Obama in a reversal of his pledge on transparency intends to keep torture photos classified, thereby preventing their release. Obama insisted this has to do with protecting America from potential harm due to Bush administration abuses. According to parties in the lawsuit, it may also protect members of Congress who were briefed on the torture activities under President George Bush.

Torture PhotoPhotos taken by CIA and Defense Department officials showing abuse of prisoners at prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere are scheduled to be released May 28th, 2009. President Obama will file an objection with the court to prevent their release. This is a 180 degree reversal of his earlier position to release these photos. Similarly, the Bush administration insisted on secrecy of "enhanced" interrogation techniques so enemies could not prepare if captured. President Bush filed an objection to the original freedom of Information request. Two federal courts disagreed with the Bush administration and ordered the release. Costs to the taxpayers have run in the tens of millions of dollars to litigate these cases, forcing already strapped Americans to pay for administration misconduct.

Examining a claim is useful in understanding the particular subject and provides clear insight into the authoritarian control structure at the federal level. Why would two "fundamentally" different administrations come to the same political conclusion? The ill conceived policies followed by past administrations can not be hidden from informed citizens regardless of classification. By following a policy of secrecy, Obama reinforces the fact he is an authoritarian ruler no different than Bush. This systemic rot permeates both the Democrat and Republican parties.

Claim #1 - Republican Dick Cheney insists our country is less safe by releasing these photos.

Clearly, this is not the case from the interviews conducted outside America. Especially in middle eastern countries like Iraq. A common Iraqi response is "what are you hiding," Many foreigners do not distinguish the policies of the Bush - Obama administrations from that of individual Americans. Failure to release the photos results in blanket accusations against individual American citizens. Civil libertarians are especially outraged that they are lumped into administration policies that are morally abhorrent. One Libertarian candidate stated "The Jeffersonian idea of peace through trade has been replaced by security through secrecy".

Claim #2 - Democrat Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi who was an early supporter of enhanced interrogation techniques, indicates government authorized torture may have prevented another 9/11.

It is not possible to prove a negative. Historical evidence shows that long term peace and prosperity are achieved with high ethical standards and the ability to defend oneself against the initiation of force. Look at Switzerland during the 20th century. Swiss representatives are considered to be a neutral party to international problems and serve as intermediaries in major worldwide disputes. During WWII, Germany did not invade Switzerland due to the ability to defend their country. Secrecy in Switzerland is used to ensure individual rights, records and financial transactions which is the only proper role of government. State secrets are antithetical to freedom.

Related Content:

Self Defense - Richard Sutton
The Folly of Nation-Building - Austin Raynor
Are You an Anarchist, or a Statist Thug - Nick Coons

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Show Date Aug 2, 2015
Topic Secret Science

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