It’s Official: Democrats Support Torture (and Covering Up Torture)

By Kenneth J. Theisen

The Democrat-led Congress has once again taken a step to continue the fascist trajectory begun by the Bush regime.
 
On October 15, 2009 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a homeland security appropriations bill with an amendment attached that would grant the Department of Defense (DOD) the authority to continue suppressing photos depicting the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody in hellhole prisons overseas. Previously released photos have caused world-wide outrage at the crimes of the U.S. government.
 
The amendment, which was introduced by Senator Joseph Lieberman, would allow DOD to exempt the photos from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The photos were previously ordered released by a federal appeals court as part of an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) FOIA lawsuit.
 
The ACLU has been seeking the release of the photos and other records related to detainee abuse through FOIA litigation initiated in 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. That court ordered the release of the photos in a June 2005 ruling that was affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeal in September 2008. After initially indicating that it would not appeal the Second Circuit decision and would release the photos, the Obama administration abruptly reversed its position in May 2009 and asked the Supreme Court to hear an appeal. The Supreme Court is expected to conference on whether it will hear the Obama administration appeal of the Second Circuit ruling on October 30, 2009.
 
Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU National Security Project had this to say about the recent House action to cover up the crimes of the U.S. government, "We are deeply disappointed that the House voted to give the Defense Department the authority to hide evidence of its own misconduct, and we hope the Senate will not follow suit…The last administration's decision to endorse torture undermined the United States' moral authority and compromised its security. The failure of the current administration to fully confront the abuses of the last administration will only compound these harms." 
 
But the Obama administration has repeatedly gone out of its way to cover up the abuses of the Bush regime. This has included the failure to pursue prosecutions, or even investigations, of the top criminals in the Bush regime for their numerous crimes. Over and over, Obama’s Department of Justice has gone to court to suppress the revelations of the crimes of the Bush administration. It has used arguments of “national security,” “state secrets,” and “executive privilege” to keep the dirty secrets of the regime from becoming public.
 
This amendment is just the latest attempt to hide the truth from the people of the world. Supporters of Obama should ask themselves why the Obama administration has deliberately taken its cover-up actions on so many occasions. Is this the change they expected when they voted for Obama?
 
To learn more about the ACLU’s activities to reveal the crimes of the Bush regime in its FOIA lawsuits, see http://www.aclu.org/accountability/.

 

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.