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Продолжение скандала…

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Это скандал с фотографиями из Abu Ghraib

The nightmarish images from Abu Ghraib are still seared into the American consciousness: piles of naked bodies, detainees being led on leashes and U.S. soldiers giving a thumbs-up as it all happens. But now, a decade after they were made public, the U.S. government is trying to conceal as many as 2,100 additional photographs that are said to be even more disturbing.

A federal judge ruled in August that the Obama administration had to decide by October 21 whether it would release the images showing U.S. military personnel torturing detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq or defend its case, photograph by photograph, in order to continue withholding them. The administration said Tuesday that it intended to defend keeping the images secret and would supplement the record with its reasons.

This saga began back in 2004 when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) first sued for the images’ release. Though it was ultimately successful in the trial and appeals courts, Obama said that he feared a release would “further inflame American opinion and…put our troops in greater danger,” and blocked it from happening.

In 2009, Congress debated about whether these photos should be disclosed. During the debate, and since then, some of the images have been classified as everything from “relatively innocuous” and “[needed] more serious consideration” to “even more gruesome than the last.” Some of the images have been revealed to be part of autopsy investigations conducted by Army medical examiners.

Congress ultimately enacted a statute in 2009 that allows the secretary of defense to keep an image concealed for up to three years if its release would endanger Americans. Then secretary of defense Robert Gates opted to keep all 2,000-plus images concealed in 2009, and Leon Panetta decided to do the same in 2012, with a blanket assertion that their release would put troops at risk.

But Judge Alvin Hellerstein decided in August that this lump concealment was insufficient to support withholding the images. He ruled that if the government wanted to keep the images classified for the remainder of the three-year allotment, it would have to review each photograph and demonstrate why its release would put national security at risk. The administration has until December 12 to submit its reasoning to the court. Another hearing is set for January 20, when Hellerstein will review the submission and ultimately make a decision.

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