This morning’s news: Yet more lies about torture from Barack Obama.
In justifying his refusal to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, and release to the American Civil Liberties Union a set of photographs showing acts of torture, President Obama said, “I want to emphasize that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib.”
But then, Obama declared that ““The most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to inflame anti-American public opinion”. If you’ve had your morning cup of coffee already, you’ll catch the contradiction. If the photographs really were “not particularly sensational”, as Obama claimed, then why would releasing them “inflame anti-American public opinion”?
This contradiction seems unresolvable – until you realize that Barack Obama was lying to us. This morning, confirmation of Obama’s lie came in the form of news that the photographs Obama is trying to keep covered up include photographs of male against female rape, male against male rape, forced stripping of female prisoners by male prison guards, and the sodomizing of prisoners using various objects.
Does Barack Obama really think that these kinds of photographs are not particularly sensational? No, of course he knows better than that. Obama was simply lying to us. Obama seems to have learned that, if he says something is true, most of the American people will believe it, because he has a nice speaking voice and a calm, reassuring demeanor.
A small number of the photographs that President Obama is trying to cover up have already leaked out. Among them is the photograph you see here, of a naked prisoner with his hands over his shaved head, and a white liquid dripping out of his mouth.
I wasn’t there to collect DNA evidence or anything, but I’m not so innocent that I don’t know what that liquid looks like. It looks like semen. It looks like that prisoner had somebody’s penis in his mouth, which then ejaculated sperm onto his tongue, and an American prison guard was there, either doing it, or taking photographs of it.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the prisoner had just been fed some yummy maple glazing of the sort they put on cinnamon rolls, and had let some drizzle out of his mouth because it was so delicious. Sure. And that’s why the prisoner is naked, and prison guards were taking pictures of it. Yeah. Because they have a frosting fetish.
Are you offended? Do you feel that your pretty little eyes shouldn’t have to look at a photograph like this? Tough. If that’s how you feel, I have no sympathy for you. There’s a much more serious issue involved here than your tender sensitivities. If you are truly offended by this photograph, then you should be working like hell to make sure that your government holds stops the torture, investigates it fully, and prosecutes everyone involved.
It’s not just Barack Obama who is lying about about this torture, and these torture photographs, however. The United States Senate, Democrats and Republicans alike, just passed Torture Amendment 1157, which gives the Secretary of Defense the power to hide photographic evidence of the rape of prisoners by military guards, and other forms of torture, not just when the abuse happened in the past, but also when it happens again in the future.
In justifying the passage of this legislation, Democrats and Republicans in Congress alike have repeated Barack Obama’s lies. For example, Republican senator Lindsey Graham, a cosoponsor of Torture Amendment 1157, claimed that, “What happened in the past, I think, has been explored. The photos in question are more of the same. The people who brought about the abuse have for the most part been brought to justice. The Bush Administration has been held accountable in the court of public opinion.”
Held accountable in the court of public opinion? What does that mean, that George W. Bush has been punished for war crimes by having people not like him very much anymore?
The plain truth is that the torture of the past decade has barely begun to be explored. The Obama Administration is blocking lawsuits seeking to explore the torture. Obama is also refusing to prosecute low, mid and high level government figures involved in torture.
Furthermore, the specific photographs that Obama is seeking to cover up represent some acts of torture and abuse that have yet to be openly investigated. The government sanctioned the Taguba Report of 2004, but that report only investigated acts of torture in one prison in one country: Abu Ghraib, in Iraq. The photographs Obama is concealing are from six prisons, including at least one prison in Afghanistan, and possibly some other prisons in other countries.
I have searched for any government investigation into rape and sexual assault in American prisons in Afghanistan. I have found none. I did find about a Human Rights Watch Report from 2005 into allegations by one prisoner that he was threatened with rape by his American guards. I also found a State Department report from 2003 that workers from nongovernmental organizations in Afghanistan had been threatened with rape by Afghans sympathetic to the Taliban.
But, have there been open public investigations into the content of the secret photographs? No. There have been no such investigations into sexual torture by American guards in prisons in Afghanistan. The claim by Barack Obama and by Democrats and Republicans in Congress that the world already knew about what’s in the secret photographs is a blatant lie.
Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress are telling us that, when it comes to torture and other war crimes committed by the U.S. government, we just shouldn’t worry about it. They tell us that we can trust them, and that we shouldn’t think about the issue any more.
However, once again, Obama and Congress have been caught deceiving the public about torture. The fact that both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have lied to the American people about the content of these photographs is a good reason to make the photographs public in itself.
Above all else, we remember the most important lesson of the last eight years – that we cannot allow our government to operate in secret, with the trust that whatever it is doing is in our best interests. A secret government is a government that is inherently unworthy of trust.
So, are you going to accept that? Are you going to take these lies, the secrecy, the high crimes, the coverups, and just shrug them off?
If so, you have lost the right to complain about anything that your government does in your name. You are not a citizen. You are subject.