Obama’s Pentagon Covers Up Bush-Era Detainee Abuse

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CIA_tortureAfter more than a decade of fighting to keep them out of public view, the Pentagon released 198 photographs on Friday, mostly showing close-ups of tiny cuts, bruises, and scars on a series of anonymous men. But the real story is what the Obama administration decided to keep hidden. Friday’s photos are an innocuous fraction of a much larger cacheof 2,000 images, detailing the abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Some of the most graphic images are said to show American troops posing with corpses. Others depict U.S. forces holding guns to people’s heads or simulating forced sodomization. In one, a large man rides an elderly woman as if she were an animal and whips her with a stick. The mistreatment of corpses and prisoners are widely considered to be violations of the international rules of war.

Those grotesque photos aren’t any closer to seeing the light of day, thanks to persistent efforts by Obama administration officials to prevent their release.

The Pentagon has for years insisted that those images would incite violence against U.S. troops and potentially endanger Americans overseas. And officials had also argued that even the anodyne pics released today could inspire the same backlash—a claim that seemed hard for even the secretary of defense to believe.

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