Tags: no | detainee | appeal

White House: No Point Appealing Photo Release Order

Friday, 24 Apr 2009 03:18 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

WASHINGTON – The White House says it was clear an appeal of a court ruling ordering the administration to release photographs of prisoners abused by U.S. military or civilian personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan would not succeed.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday that Department of Justice lawyers concluded they would lose if they fought a judge's order to release those photos. Gibbs said President Barack Obama is not worried his political agenda will be compromised by pictures depicting abuse under his predecessor. The pictures will be released by May 28.

The Defense Department will release a "substantial number" of photographs as a result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Defense Department will release a "substantial number" of photos depicting abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American Civil Liberties Union said late Thursday.

The photos will be made available by May 28, the ACLU said, citing a letter dated Thursday from the Justice Department to a federal judge in New York. The photos' release is in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU in 2004 and will include images from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan at locations other than Abu Ghraib, the ACLU said.

"These photographs provide visual proof that prisoner abuse by U.S. personnel was not aberrational but widespread, reaching far beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib," Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU, said in a statement. "Their disclosure is critical for helping the public understand the scope and scale of prisoner abuse as well as for holding senior officials accountable for authorizing or permitting such abuse."

The Justice Department letter, signed by Acting U.S Attorney Lev L. Dassin, follows a September 2008 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit requiring disclosure of the photos and the court's subsequent refusal in March 2009 to rehear the case, the ACLU said.

Since the ACLU's FOIA request in 2003, the Bush administration had refused to disclose these images, the ACLU said. The administration claimed that disclosure of such evidence would generate outrage and would violate U.S. obligations toward detainees under the Geneva Conventions, the ACLU said.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court in September 2008 rejected the Bush administration's position, saying there was significant public interest in disclosure of the photographs, the ACLU said. The Bush administration's appeal to the full appeals court was denied on March 11 of this year.

The letter from Justice said the Pentagon was preparing to release 21 photos at issue in the appeal, plus 23 others "previously identified as responsive." The letter added that the Pentagon also was "processing for release a substantial number of other images contained in Army CID reports that have been closed during the pendency of this case."

The ACLU and the Defense Department reached an agreement for "all the responsive images" to be released by May 28, the letter said.

"The disclosure of these photographs serves as a further reminder that abuse of prisoners in U.S.-administered detention centers was systemic," said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU National Security Project. "Some of the abuse occurred because senior civilian and military officials created a culture of impunity in which abuse was tolerated, and some of the abuse was expressly authorized. It's imperative that senior officials who condoned or authorized abuse now be held accountable for their actions."

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

-

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Obama Faces Growing Rebellion Against Deportation Program

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 11:54 AM

On April 16, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced that the city would no longer agree to federal government reque . . .

Chris Ruddy: Jeb Bush Will Rise With Immigration Stance

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 11:42 AM

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush set off a firestorm when he said people who come to America illegally to provide a better l . . .

WSJ: Obamacare Agencies Seek to Fix Prices, Limit Costs

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 11:28 AM

Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation are bureaucracies that hi . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved