We MUST release the torture photos, but for a whole different reason.

The idea that we  Americans –  WE AMERICANS, mind you –  can even consider discussing whether to release evidence that we committed torture, still stuns the conscience. How far have we fallen from our goals, our aspirations, our integrity and our dreams? Under Cheney/Bush, too far.

On the issue of torture, we are dealing with complete, utter, and limitless evil on one side. Only a powerful tool will fix this huge problem. And time is limited. The whole world is watching. I admit being seriously disappointed when Obama adopted the inane arguments and lame excuses used by Cheney/Bush (and completely rejected by the Federal Court of Appeals) to keep Americans from seeing the evidence of torture committed by our troops. Bush tried these arguments and lost. I hope that the new DOJ and our neophyte president suffers the same result. Not because I am some Rushbot, hoping that Obama fails, but because what is right is right, and what is wrong must be exposed and fixed.

The only people who remain ignorant about the fact that we tortured, even killed people during illegal interrogations, are Americans. Can anyone seriously believe that the widows, parents, orphans, or siblings in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, who place flowers on the graves of those we tortured to death, or who care for those family members we drove insane


Of course they do. So does the rest of the world.  Only we Americans remain conveniently ignorant. 

So, what happens when the torture photos come out now? Americans will sit down post dinner, turn on their idiot boxes, and WHAM! The inhumane, inhuman, disgusting photos of torture and abuse caused by US troops, CIA agents and some (unidentified) Independent Contractors (Xi? Blackwater?). Every sane, rational, and responsible person will react the same way. With disgust. Horror. Anger. And, perhaps, determination to fix the problem and never let this happen again.

Yes, I know some very smart people here may disagree, fearing that the photos may anger Iraqis and expose our troops to more risk,  but there is a reason behind this position. Ignore the fact that exposure is the only way to find the truth, and the only way to prevent these crimes in the future. Ignore the fact that  the world is watching us closely, wondering whether Obama’s promises are worth anything, and whether America will return to its pre-Cheney glory and position of respect. 

Ignore all of that, and realize why the disclosure of these photos is so critical right here and now. That reason is Dick Cheney. 

The Dick has been on a whirlwind tour, attacking Obama, lying about torture, and lying about the "results" they got from illegally abusing hundreds.  We finally found out that his sole purpose is to muck up the waters, in an effort to hide the worst of his crimes. 

Jay Bybee, the filthy court of appeals justice who provided cover on the issue of torture, wrote that in emergency situations, enhanced procedures could be used as a last resort, as  a matter of national security. Even the ethically challenged Bybee limited the use of torture to very risky and dangerous situations. (As an aside, if you have one particle of integrity left, sir, resign now and make yourself extremely scarce.) 

When the CIA briefed and lied to Nancy Pelosi about torture, she was told that:

a) they did not use it

b) they had legal support approving it, in an emergency situation. (Bybee memos) 

Pelosi’s battles will be discussed in the future, but let’s concentrate on Cheney.

 The US captured some high ranking Iraqis and Al Qaida. At first, they all cooperated. They told us the truth. They said that there was no connection between Al Qaida’s 9/11 and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.

This was a very inconvenient truth. It prevented Cheney from invading Iraq, (allowing his company to make hundreds of billions, & his friends steal billions due to this war) and that simply could not be allowed to stand. So Cheney, or someone high in his office, ordered that these Iraqis and other prisoners,  be tortured until they gave the "right story".  He wanted them to admit and confess to the non-existent link between  Iraq and Al Qaida’s 9/11. 

Even though they (or more accurately, a collective we?)  tortured people to death, they never managed to make that connection. Simply because it was never true. Iraq’s invasion was based on a lie. Iraq’s invasion was the personal brainchild and the extremely  profitable venture of one dick Cheney. 

That is why the torture photos and videos (sodomy of teenaged Iraqi boys? WHAT ELSE DID WE DO?)  must be released. We need to generate more heat and more light. We need to connect this madness, this evil, this torture that was ordered by Dick Cheney solely to support his war plans. We need every American to realize that Dick Cheney is a war criminal, a liar, and probably the most vile person in America. If Americans see the evidence of torture, and they learn that Cheney ordered it simply to start an illegal war, justice will eventually prevail.

And if there is justice in this world,  Cheney will spend the rest of his life in jail. 

(By the way, Duncan Hunter (R-CA- nitwit)  is one of the biggest asses in Congress. He still denies that we ever tortured anyone in Iraq, Gitmo, or through illegal renditions and kidnappings. Hunter deserves the cell next to Cheney. )


  1. Carl Nemo

    “Yes, I know some very smart people here may disagree”…extract from editorial

    Superb thoughts on this subject Rob Kezelis and hopefully I fulfill your expressed criteria for being a smart person on this site.

    When a nation embraces secrecy over justice then it is doomed to fail, as seemingly we are so now…!

    Unlike you, I’m “highly” disappointed in our new “dear leader” and he’s on my “suspect list” for being one uv’em; ie., a toady for the shadowy corporatist oligarchs. You are far too kind and genteel with your positively biased reservations about President Obama.

    The truth, along with the absolute necessity for prosecutions shall set us free…no? : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Warren

    What troubles me is that it’s even deeper than that. I agree with everything you said. Here’s the rub: Why’d they torture these guys? If all they wanted was a ‘confession’ or some false corroboration of lies, why bother with the torture?

    I mean, wouldn’t it be easier to just shoot the detainee, burn the remains, and toss the ashes in the sand? Then say ‘oh, Abdul told us such and such and we released him under an alias so that he would not be harmed by the evil ones who would otherwise torture and kill him for having collaborated with us.’ Done deal. Neat and clean.

    So why the torture? The very unpleasant thought that keeps popping into my head is that there are those within our government who LIKE the idea of torture. Gives them some feeling of control when they don’t have much, and probably some sort of sadistic pleasure.

    Please tell me I’m wrong.


  3. Rob Kezelis

     unfortunately, we know the answer to that. Which is an even uglier mirror to our society. And more so, to the ever more regional GOP.

  4. Carl Nemo

    My gravest concern Warren, knowing the Patriot Act is fully in place with absolutely no challenges to its constitutionality or even so much as a peep on the new admin’s part to either revoke or modify the act; ports the subject of torture to being used on American citizens at some time in the future in the event of insurrection along with the implementation of martial law.

    Would they torture us simply for the “sick-puppy” pleasure of doing so, with the apologia they are trying to get information in order to ‘save lives’…you betcha?!

    There are monsters stalking us even at the highest levels of our government, many being faceless bureaucrats and if unrestrained would commit horrible acts against their own people. Its happened many times throughout history and yes, it can happen even here in America.

    So setting the offshore terrorists aside we have to think of our own safety and well-being too because with the Patriot Act in place any citizen can be targeted as a terrorist and receive the same treatment if they so wish to do so. What’s to stop them without ironclad policies and laws to back up the same in place. We’re supposed to be a nation of laws, but evidently not in our times and those to come.

    Our new president seems somewhat “weefy” when he has this discussion in front of the mike. I really don’t detect any “fire in the belly” revulsion to torture and he instructing Congress to pass some legislation prohibiting it under any circumstances rather than relying on Army field manuals concerning such tactics etc. … : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. woody188

    It’s to encourage other nations to denounce the United States and form a military alliance against the Great Satan. Think Sino-Russian co-operation. It’s all leading to WW3 all according to plan.

    Better study up on your New World Order master plans.

  6. adamrussell

    We already know that there was torture. At this point release of photos is akin to pornography. It wont prove anything new, it wont do any good, and it will just get people excited. The people that may be shooting at our troops.

    The fact that there was torture is so well known that the republicans have now adopted the tobacco industry tactic: “Yes we were lying all this time, but everyone knew we were lying so it wasnt really a lie”.

  7. AustinRanter

    I don’t agree with “Only we Americans remain conveniently ignorant.”

    Americans clearly know, without a shadow of doubt, undeniably that the U.S. Government engaqed in torture.

    The issue is more about who does and doesn’t support torture. Oppps…let me add: Those who just don’t give a rats ass.

    This whole thing has turned into something more along the line of abortion. I don’t believe in abortion because…or I believe a person has a right to choose, or I just don’t care.

    Either one believes that torture saves lives…or they don’t. And again, we can’t ignore the group of people who just don’t give a damn one way or the other.

    I just don’t see that this is a matter of whether the American people are playing possum or pretending to be in denial…or even ignorant as to the incidents of torture.

    I will agree that many people in America are ignorant as to the genuine effectiveness of torture. By the way, NO…NO…and Hell NO…torture doesn’t work. If tortured…I’d confess to being the executioner of Christ…and all other executions through human history.

  8. Warren

    To a point I agree. Where I disagree is that it’s more than a matter of whether torture is effective or not. It’s a matter of our principles and ethics.

    If the national consensus is that torture is OK as long as it works, I’m outa here.


  9. woody188

    Tasers are a form of electro-shock torture but are used every day as “non-lethal” force by law enforcement officials. Don’t agree?

    Try it some time. A shock is a shock once you get into the thousands of volts much less the 10s of thousands of volts.

    Your body seizes, your joints lock, and every muscle in your body flexes as hard as it can. It can stop your heart. If you didn’t know I was talking about tasers wouldn’t you call this torture?

  10. adamrussell

    No, tasers are used briefly to subdue someone that is resisting arrest. That is not torture. If the person was already under arrest and the cops used it to punish or interrogate them then that would be torture.

    I think you are just trying to blur the line. Are you attempting to support torture or trying to say that cops should not be allowed to use tasers instead of guns?

  11. woody188

    So if they weren’t strapped down but running around waterboarding would be OK?

    I’m trying to show that we have blurred the lines of what is and isn’t torture by allowing electro-shock torture and calling it non-lethal force.

    Doesn’t matter how brief the shock if it stops your heart and you die.

    I’ve seen folks following police instructions and get tasered because they didn’t comply fast enough or were unable to comply and unable to communicate that fact.

    I’ve seen Tasers used to stop certain individuals from speaking during an open forum with a particular US Senator.

  12. adamrussell

    Just as killing someone with a gun is not murder if it is self defense, tasering to stop a dangerous criminal to keep him from harming the arresting officer is not torture.

  13. woody188

    Perhaps if no other alternative is available. But Tasers are often used as the first and not last defense.

    If you shoot someone in your house and they are unarmed or not threatening in any way other than being on your property inside your house it’s still assault with a deadly weapon/attempted murder and murder should they die from your shot.

    This country started going down when we decided it was OK to shock people, sometimes to death, should they get out of line.

  14. AustinRanter

    There is a time and place for everything. Yes, at some point in time…I want the pictures released, but the following is why I don’t for now. My reason is lengthy. Sorry…but whether or not you agree…we are a nation that not only made torture illegal…but we also have founded a nation that depends on DUE PROCESS.

    WaPo Published Polls – on Torture – Jan 21, 2009

    ** Sorry…can make all the numbers line up…But you’ll figure it out.

    Support Not Using Torture (numbers in percentages)

    All 58

    Democrats 71
    Democrat Men 65
    Democrat Women 75

    Republicans 42
    Republican Men 34
    Republican Women 50

    Independents 56
    Independent Men 45
    Independent Women 66

    Consider Using Torture

    All 40

    Democrats 28
    Democrat Men 33
    Democrat Women 23

    Republicans 55
    Republican Men 65
    Republican Women 45

    Independents 43
    Independent Men 55
    Independent Women 31

    No Opinion

    All 2

    Democrats 2
    Democrat Men 2
    Democrat Women 1

    Republicans 3
    Republican Men 1
    Republican Women 6

    Independents 2
    Independent Men *
    Independent Women 3

    Support Not Using Torture

    Liberal 72
    Moderate 57
    Conservative 47

    Consider Using Torture

    Liberal 27
    Moderate 42
    Conservative 50

    No Opinion

    Liberal 1
    Moderate 1
    Conservative 3

    Support Not Using Torture

    Men 49
    Women 65

    Consider Using Torture

    Men 50
    Women 31

    No Opinion

    Men 1
    Women 3

    To Summarize the Above Statistics

    40% of the people who might be likely to view the pictures, their reaction = have an orgasm.

    58% of the people who might be likely to view the pictures, their reaction = express horror, outrage, and believe that crimes have been committed and justice needs to be served.

    2% of the people who might be likely to view the pictures, their reaction = shrugs shoulders and says, “So, what the hell does it matter, nothing to do with me, and what could I do about it anyway.”

    All of those who believe in lawful due process…standup and be counted!

    All of those who believe in “eye for an eye” and screw the legal process…standup and be counted.

    Based entirely on the statistics above, there is no doubt that a substantial number of people “don’t support the use of torture”.

    But the real questions are…and what’s genuinely most important – IF YOU DON’T SUPPORT THE USE OF TORTURE — then:





    IS THE COURT OF “WORLD OPINION” — BASED ON MEDIA REPORTS (which as the option to make claim – or not make the claim — that they have verifiable sources that report to have conclusive evidence) AN ACCEPTABLE WAY TO CONVICT A PERSON OR PERSONS?

    How many in the forum trust today’s media corporations…PLEASE standup and be counted!

    If any violation of the law (any law) has been committed by anybody…don’t most of us want to see the offenders brought to justice…but under lawful due process? Anything less is Lynch Mob Mentality and Wanting To Take the Law Into Their Own Hands.

    If the American government is to attempt to investigate, produce forensic evidence, and based on the aforesaid…make formal legal allegations and charges against any said party who has violated any and all laws related to torture committed during the course of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars…then all such persons have the right to “DUE PROCESS”. THIS IS AMERICA DAMNIT!

    Any photos, videos, or audios created during the process of torture…IS EVIDENCE.

    Is it at all possible to get a fair trial if the most damaging evidence becomes public domain BEFORE A TRIAL can even take place?

    I hate the idea of torture. It’s wrong, period. There is a long list of ethical and legal reasons for not engaging in the practice of torture.

    One final little thought…

    If you think that the millions of radial Islamic robots around the world went crazy and caused major riot destruction around the globe when the Muhammad Cartoons were published…then just wait until all of the torture pictures are unleashed on the world…and they get to see the REAL AMERICA and VALIDATE WHAT THEY BELIEVED ALL ALONG. These million of people are too ignorant to ever weigh out the truth or evidence. They’ve been oppressed, suppressed, and under a genuine form of religious dictatorship…and they do and believe what they are told.

    There is so much to take in consideration before we all…as a lynch mob….request that all of the tabloid pornography torture pictures are let loose to SHOCK THE AMERICANS INTO UNDERSTANDING THEIR SHAMEFUL BEHAVIORS.

    IF OUR GOVERNMENT REFUSES to take action and investigate, produce forensic evidence…and charge any persons based on such evidence….then it’s time for Americans to standup and be counted and DEMAND JUSTICE…for the sake of all our future generations.

  15. Warren

    A well-thought and compelling argument. I’d agree with most of what you said if it was the case that there is ‘due process’ at work – an investigation underway and possible legal prosecution. In that case publishing the evidence could taint the legal process precluding fair trials.

    But what is to happen when the official government position is that there will be no investigation and no prosecution? So far that’s what the Obama administration’s DOJ is effectively saying, in a weasel-worded sort of way.

    Is it not then a proper function of the press to publish the evidence that contradicts that position and thereby push for some actual ‘due process’?

    Think back through all the years when sometimes only an active and vocal press has forced due process. Watergate comes to mind.


  16. adamrussell

    What is the purpose to releasing the photos? It will not prove there was torture. We already know there was. So what will it prove, specifically? Dont dance around the point. Answer specifically or go home.

  17. Rob Kezelis

     The person most responsible for the torture is DICK the Cheney. 

    Showing the photos is simply PR, an effort to support a necessary prosecution of a war criminal. Right now, the Obama administration is taking a pass on this issue, and it is hurting America across the globe. 

  18. Warren

    Adding to that, most of the world has already seen much of what we Americans have not seen. Many of the stills and videos are available on international websites. They are NOT available on any U.S. outlet, commercial or otherwise. (Interesting, huh?) They’re not for the timid or faint of heart. Many are quite sexually and physically graphic.

    My point is that all of the rest of the world is already fired up. They’ve already seen this material. Islamic zealots are not going to learn anything new from release of these materials in the U.S. They already have seen it. Only Americans will learn something new. And maybe that will get them fired up along with the rest of the world. And maybe that will lead to some ‘due process’ in the U.S.


  19. woody188

    If this is a democratic republic we have the right to know as citizens what exactly is being done in our name. Only an informed citizenry can properly exercise their voting rights.

    If this is a fascist dictatorship then they will keep it quiet and not release anything because proles are useless eaters, to be used and abused by the elite rulers that are above the law.

    Thus far we are fascist dictatorship and Obama doesn’t appear to be changing that one bit.

    As an aside, the next time someone claims it would be impossible to keep a conspiracy a secret, point out they kept torture under wraps for at least 2 years. That means thousands likely knew about it and either joined in or kept quiet. Are these good Americans?

    Dare I say who would Jesus torture?

    Who was it said all it takes is for good men to do nothing for evil to triumph?

    What about Lyndie England serving 3 years in prison for her part in the Abu Ghraib torture photos?

    Shouldn’t those that approved of those techniques and then denied doing so be punished more severely than the lowly private England who was actually following orders after all?

    How can Private England be guilty while those that ordered her to abuse prisoners are running around on private jets and earning millions off the war?

    It’s at least an obstruction of justice charge and perjury for anyone that testified against England if not war crimes for the Bush Cabal. The whole time during the Abu Ghraib investigation they claimed they never approved the techniques. Look who lied again!

    Network TV has been promoting torture on 24 and NCIS, and other shows. Think this wasn’t done to make it more appealing to the masses when the truth came out?

    Is it just coincidence torture was always shown on TV to be a negative thing until the Abu Ghraib photos appeared on the Internet?

    If 40% agree with the torture they should have to look at the photos and say it out loud under oath. I’d like to see some heads smoking out their ears as their brains try to justify saying gays can’t marry but we’ll sodomize Arab children (15 and 16-year olds) with broomsticks to create the intel we want.

  20. adamrussell

    That is absurd. If the rest of the world had this material then it would be available on internet.

  21. Warren

    Much of it is. You have to go look for it. I’m not putting links to it here.

  22. adamrussell

    If it is available overseas and on the internet then obviously it has already been released.

  23. Warren

    My guess is not officially. I’m speculating here. My guess is that some of this material made it’s way to news organizations by back channels. These materials probably carry a government classification – secret? – and so publication in the U.S. without authorization would be a federal crime. Hence little or no U.S. publication.

    There may also be multiple sources of identical or similar material. Remember that there were many cameras around and some of them with independent contractors possibly taking the pictures. More guessing here, but given that those contractors were employed by the U.S. to work in secure installations, the pictures taken would also be classified.

    And yes, there is apparently even more material that has never been seen by anyone outside of the government.


  24. AustinRanter


    I don’t at all disagree with your opinions that Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, etc. have “allegedly” committed war crimes. But apparently 40% of Americans approve, 58%, don’t approve, and 2% don’t care. That makes us a pretty divided nation, now doesn’t it? It’s damn sad, but that’s just the way it is.

    To quote Shepard Smith on a recent broadcast, he “screamed” out to two of his guest, “This is America…WE DON’T F******* Torture”. I can’t agree more.

    But, it’s my understanding that you are an attorney. You are a patriot of this country…and you understand “Due Process”. And most important, you understand the “necessity of due process”.

    But as far as the unleashing torture pictures to the world…without first using those pictures as evidence to build cases against any alleged offenders would be irrational. And the associated problems of public release of these photos would extend way beyond the borders of America…and I believe that you know that.

    It’s all up to the citizens to pressure our government into a formal investigation, collecting evidence and filing charges against the alleged offenders.

    But what I’m hearing from you is…that it’s obvious the government is hedging on taking legal actions…and that you don’t trust that enough America citizens will jointly stand up and “DEMAND” that alleged war criminals walk among us all…and we want them to be legally accountable.

    I wonder why most people don’t trust the American citizens at-large to take a genuine stand when they really need to?

    I don’t remember such a public stand since the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights marches organized by people like MLK.

    Has American citizens lost it’s will to stand in numbers to fight for what’s right…against our own government who is now self-will-run-riot?

    We have had a self-will-run-riot government for decades. The reason is simple. Apathy and ignorance are the two main culprits. “We The -Please Give It To Me – People” have gotten fat off of the “I Promise To Give It To You – Politicians and we’ve become politically lazy and conveniently myopic.

  25. JoeAnne10

    I don’t understand what kind of torture pictures are you talking about? I understand that people are crazy these days but releasing materials like this in a public website it’s not such a good idea in my opinion. It happened for me to see a few things like this and some guys smoking cigars in some pictures on a private website.