By Michael Haas
The best kept secret of the Bush’s war crimes is that thousands of children have been imprisoned, tortured, and otherwise denied rights under the Geneva Conventions and related international agreements. Yet both Congress and the media have strangely failed to identify the very existence of child prisoners as a war crime. LinkHere
Iraq's Child Prisoners
A Sunday Herald investigation has discovered that coalition forces are holding more than 100 children in jails such as Abu Ghraib. Witnesses claim that the detainees – some as young as 10 – are also being subjected to rape and torture
Judge Orders Release of Abu Ghraib Child Rape Photos
Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2006-10-23 20:54. Evidence
NEW YORK A federal judge ruled today that graphic pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released over government claims that they could damage America's image. Last year a Republican senator conceded that they contained scenes of "rape and murder" and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said they included acts that were "blatantly sadistic."
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordered the release of certain pictures in a 50-page decision that said terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven they "do not need pretexts for their barbarism."
The ACLU has sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes taken at the prison as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture.
Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command, said Thursday that releasing the photos would hinder his work against terrorism. "When we continue to pick at the wound and show the pictures over and over again it just creates the image--a false image--like this is the sort of stuff that is happening anew, and it's not," Abizaid said.
The judge said, however, that "the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed."
An ACLU release this afternoon said it was getting 70 photos and three video tapes. It also said that the government is being given 20 days to appeal.
What is shown on the photographs and videos from Abu Ghraib prison that the Pentagon has blocked from release? One clue: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Congress last year, after viewing a large cache of unreleased images, "I mean, I looked at them last night, and they're hard to believe." They show acts "that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhumane," he added.
A Republican Senator suggested the same day they contained scenes of "rape and murder." Rumsfeld then commented, "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse."
The photos were among thousands turned over by the key "whistleblower" in the scandal, Specialist Joseph M. Darby. Just a few that were released to the press sparked the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal last year, and the video images are said to be even more shocking.
“Today's historic ruling is a step toward ensuring that our government's leaders are held accountable for the abuse and torture that happened on their watch,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “The American public has a right to know what happened in American detention centers, and how our leaders let it occur." LinkHere