Obama Signs Law Authorizing Suppression of Torture Photos

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Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Among other things in the Homeland Security appropriations bill President Obama signed into law yesterday is a provision that authorizes the Defense Department to continue to conceal photos of the torture and abuse of detainees by U.S. forces. The American Civil Liberties Union had specifically sought those photos, and sued to get them, among other documents relating to detainee abuse, in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The exemption signed, however, is much broader than simply the photos sought in the lawsuit. It would apply to any other photos taken between Sept. 11, 2001 and Jan.22, 2009 that the Secretary of Defense has certified would, if released, endanger U.S. citizens, servicemen, or employees overseas.

President Obama initially agreed to release the photos, but changed his mind after consulting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others at the Pentagon, who warned the photos would endanger U.S. servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two federal courts have already heard and rejected that argument, however, ruling that the Freedom of Information Act can’t be trumped by citing unspecified dangers to unspecified potential targets of the anger that the information may produce. The government has appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.

The bill signed Wednesday is an effort to get around those court rulings, and to prevent a similar ruling from the high court.

Still, it’s not clear if passage of the new law will necessarily moot the pending court case. The lawyers could still try to challenge the new legislation or the Pentagon’s right to invoke it.

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Tweets that mention Obama Signs Law Authorizing Suppression of Torture Photos « The Washington Independent -- Topsy.com
Pingback posted October 29, 2009 @ 6:36 pm

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uberVU - social comments
Trackback posted October 29, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by ACSLaw: RT @TWI_news: Obama Signs Law Authorizing Suppression of Torture Photos http://bit.ly/1zGydJ...


Mark Desmet
Comment posted October 29, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

Gates is correct, it would anger our enemies and therefor endanger troops. Imagine for a second if we had followed the principles that made our troops “safer” like the “Geneva Convention” or how about the “Constitution?” Yes, I'm a naive idealist. I'm also a veteran.


strangely_enough
Comment posted October 29, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

Our enemies already know what we are doing to them. It's domestic consumption they are worried about.


Obama signs law blocking release of torture photos | Raw Story
Pingback posted October 29, 2009 @ 9:06 pm

[...] Daphne Eviatar noted at the Washington Independent, "President Obama initially agreed to release the photos, but changed [...]


Obama signs law blocking release of torture photos : Infowars Ireland
Pingback posted October 30, 2009 @ 7:15 am

[...] Daphne Eviatar noted at the Washington Independent, “President Obama initially agreed to release the photos, but [...]


Obama signs law blocking release of torture photos « NWO News
Pingback posted October 30, 2009 @ 9:30 am

[...] Daphne Eviatar noted at the Washington Independent, “President Obama initially agreed to release the photos, but [...]


lexalexander
Comment posted October 30, 2009 @ 10:45 am

This is nothing but butt-covering, if not obstruction of justice.


Obama Allows Pentagon to Block Release of Torture Photos « Little Alex in Wonderland
Pingback posted October 30, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

[...] Daphne Eviatar noted at The Washington Independent, “President Obama initially agreed to release the photos, but changed his mind after [...]


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Pingback posted October 30, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

[...] on more government transparency, but Barack Obama, our ostensibly Constitution-loving president, is going the obstruction-of-justice route just like his [...]


Obama signs law blocking release of torture photos | NW0.eu
Pingback posted November 1, 2009 @ 2:46 am

[...] Daphne Eviatar noted at the Washington Independent, “President Obama initially agreed to release the photos, but [...]


susiethomas
Comment posted November 3, 2009 @ 11:21 am

i guess that one term in office is good with him, i sure wouldn't vote him in again, and i worked for him the first time


susiethomas
Comment posted November 3, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

i guess that one term in office is good with him, i sure wouldn't vote him in again, and i worked for him the first time


Freedom of Information, State Accountability and Wikileaks « Bourgeois Inspirations
Pingback posted July 27, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

[...] with questionable conclusions[8].  Obama who  ran on a platform of change and transparency signed a law just to supersede the FOIA and suppress torture photos. Governments also prevent public [...]


psbjr
Comment posted July 28, 2010 @ 1:43 am

I agree. This is reinforced by the hawks' related argument that “being nice won't change their mind, they'll still want to kill our soldiers, therefore we have to be ultra militaristic”

If they aren't going to change no matter what we do, then hiding crimes from US citizens is the only plausible reason for concealing the evidence.


Freedom of Information, State Accountability and Wikileaks | TruthDive
Pingback posted September 2, 2010 @ 8:47 am

[...] with questionable conclusions[8].  Obama who  ran on a platform of change and transparency signed a law just to supersede the FOIA and suppress torture photos. Governments also prevent public [...]


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Pingback posted September 18, 2010 @ 1:20 am

[...] Washington Independent, October 29, 2009: [...]


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[...] Washington Independent, October 29, 2009: [...]


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Pingback posted September 20, 2010 @ 11:27 am

[...] Daphne Eviatar noted at the Washington Independent, “President Obama initially agreed to release the photos, but [...]


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Pingback posted September 29, 2010 @ 10:27 am

[...] Seventh, Obama has denied the rights of a free press by signing an order against the release of torture photos. [...]


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Pingback posted October 5, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

[...] the Obama Administration’s support, Congress has already let the Secretary of Defense withhold photographs showing how U.S. forces handled (and in some cases [...]


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Pingback posted October 7, 2010 @ 3:40 am

[...] release evidence of torture in wake of court orders requiring disclosure, the administration later caved to pressure from the intelligence community, and even went so far as to force out the official whose decision antagonized the CIA leadership. [...]


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Pingback posted November 11, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

[...] the White House has consistently pressured the Justice Department not to enforce the law (and even lobbied Congress to give the Defense Department the authority to hide its criminal [...]


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Pingback posted November 13, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

[...] the White House has consistently pressured the Justice Department not to enforce the law (and even lobbied Congress to give the Defense Department the authority to hide its criminal [...]


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[...] Washington Independent, October 29, 2009: [...]


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Pingback posted January 7, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

[...] is an amendment to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that Congress passed and President Obama signed last year in response to a FOIA lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that [...]


chat
Comment posted March 21, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

thank you


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Photographobia and Gerhard Richter’s “September” « THE HYDRA
Pingback posted April 3, 2011 @ 12:18 am

[...] they were about to take the fight to the Supreme Court, before they convinced Congress to pass a law specifically exempting photographs from the general requirement of government transparency. Their rationale? The photos, if released, [...]


Obama’s view of liberal criticisms - Salon.com
Pingback posted May 21, 2011 @ 10:34 am

[...] Washington Independent, October 29, 2009: [...]


Will grisly Afghan corpse photos be released? - Salon.com
Pingback posted May 21, 2011 @ 10:37 am

[...] is an amendment to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that Congress passed and President Obama signed last year in response to a FOIA lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that [...]


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