15 February 2006

Abu Redux

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian television station broadcast on Wednesday what it said were previously unpublished images of abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, fuelling more Arab anger against the United States...Some of the newly broadcast pictures suggest further abuse such as killing, torture and sexual humiliation, Dateline said...The images were swiftly re-broadcast by Arab satellite television stations and several news organisations, including American ABC News television, showed them on their Web sites. They stirred up more anger among Arabs, already incensed by the publication on Sunday of images of British soldiers apparently beating Iraqi youths and by cartoons satirising the Prophet Mohammad printed in European papers this month.

"This is truly American ugliness that no other country in the world can compete with," journalist Saleh al-Humaidi told Reuters in Yemen.

"The Americans ought to apologise to mankind for their government's lie to the world that it is fighting for freedom and that it came to Iraq to save it from Saddam Hussein's oppression," he said.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the abuses at Abu Ghraib had already been fully investigated.

"The department believes that the release of all of these images will further inflame and cause unnecessary violence in the world," Whitman said.

"...In Abu Ghraib specifically, there have been more than 25 individuals -- officer and enlisted -- that have been held accountable for criminal acts and other failures."
Wonder if the boys at the Pentagon still think it was a good idea to stonewall and delay release of the rest of these Abu Graib photos? I mean, since their half-assed cover-up managed to keep the original media attention to a murmur, and all...

This should've been over almost two years ago. At least the "shocking revelation" portion, anyway. The government saw the effects, and could've gotten this out of the way all at once.

They chose not to, electing, instead, to keep this shoe waiting to drop. The people that would use this as an excuse for violence are despicable opportunists. That said, any so-called "inflaming" going on right now can be traced directly back to the decision-makers that buried this stuff, not the media. They made the call then, they need to own it now.

Hope it was worth it.

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