In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the Defense Department has released some 200 photographs related to prisoner abuse at U.S. military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The photos mostly show close-ups of body parts like arms, legs, and heads, many with injuries. There are also wider shots of prisoners, most of them bound or blindfolded. They are part of a larger collection of some 2,000 photographs, most of which the government refuses to release.
The disclosure of these photos is long overdue, but more important than the disclosure is the fact that hundreds of photographs are still being withheld. The still-secret pictures are the best evidence of the serious abuses that took place in military detention centers. The government’s selective disclosure risks misleading the public about the true extent of the abuse.
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