Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Government Position: Abu Ghraib Prison Photos Could Cause Riots.

Releasing pictures and videotapes of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison would aid al-Qaeda recruitment, weaken Afghanistan and Iraqi governments and incite riots against U.S. troops, according to General Richard B. Myers, the chairmen of the joint chiefs of staff. Myers went on to day that the release of the Abu Ghraib photos “pose a clear and grave risk of inciting violence and riots against American troops and coalition forces”, and that it was “probable that al-Qaida and other groups will seize upon these images and videos as grist for their propaganda mill.”

The arguments were submitted July 21st in a case that the American Civil Liberties Union seeks the release of 87 photographs and 4 videotapes taken at the prison. The ACLU is seeking the pictures as part of a October 2003 lawsuit, seeking information on the treatment of detainees in US custody.

In response to Myers, the ACLU submitted a declaration by a former military intelligence official, retired US Army Col. Michael E. Pheneger, who said Myers “mistakes propaganda for motivation.” Pheneger went on to say that insurgents average 70 attacks a day and that they “will continues regardless of whether the photos and tapes are released.”


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