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Speaking of Reversals...

In order for accountability to be possible, transparency is essential.
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May 14, 2009

Yesterday, we saw the Obama administration do a 180 on its position to release photos of detainee abuse in our Torture FOIA case. Previously, the Defense Department had said, pursuant to a court order, that it would release the photos on May 28. But the White House announced yesterday that it would have a new argument as to why it doesn’t think it should release the photos.

While we wait, we can examine what the Obama administration said when it announced it would be making this new argument. Yesterday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said:

I think you could draw an analogy to a murder case. If somebody is involved in that case, is it more important to show the crime — the picture of the crime scene or deal with the potential that somebody might have killed somebody?

It sounds to us that Gibbs is saying that accountability is what’s important. We couldn’t agree more, and we believe that in order for accountability to be possible, transparency is essential. It is essential that the photos be released so that the American public can know the full truth about the torture and abuse that was conducted in its name, and so that high level officials who authorized or permitted torture can be held accountable.

So send a message to President Obama asking him to live up to the commitment towards transparency he made his first full day in office. Tell him we need accountability for torture.

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