Lawyers for the Defense Department are refusing to cooperate with a federal judge’s order to release secret photographs and videotapes related to the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.
The lawyers said in a letter sent to the federal court in Manhattan late Thursday that they would file a sealed brief explaining their reasons for not turning over the material, which they were to have released by yesterday.
The photographs were some of thousands turned over by Specialist Joseph M. Darby, the whistle-blower who exposed the abuse at Abu Ghraib by giving investigators computer disks containing photographs and videos of prisoners being abused, sexually humiliated and threatened with growling dogs.
The small number of the photographs released in spring 2004 provoked international outrage at the American military.
We know (roughly) what abuse happened, and while I disagree with the fact that only a few low level enlisted personnel (and one Guard Colonel) have been punished, I see no reason to flood the airwaves with another round of pictures. It can wait until after the prosecutions that are under way are complete.