Friday, February 25, 2005

The ACLU and the Freedom of Information Act

The ACLU is an incredibly vital organization that defends the rights of anyone who is being oppressed. Sometimes they might defend someone you despise or disagree with but at the same time on the other side of the country they are defending someone you would take a bullet for. Civil liberties, take them for granted and you will make yourself obsolete in any situation.
In an email I receive from the ACLU periodically was this story ACLU IN Court Over Torture FOIA’s. The article begins, “Army files obtained by the ACLU reveal previously undisclosed allegations of abuse by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the documents are reports that a detainee who was beaten and seriously injured was forced to drop his claims in order to be released from custody.” Don’t sue us and you can leave and as an added bonus we won’t track you down and kill you so you can’t testify. Ok, now that we understand that section let’s move on.
“The release of these documents follows a federal court order that directed the Defense Department and other government agencies to comply with a year-old request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filed by the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans for Peace. The New York Civil Liberties Union is co-counsel in the case.” If it wasn’t for the ACLU and other organizations, the FOIA, and a sympathetic judge here and there we would never find out anything about anything. But to be sure federal black markers have highlighted the files.
The report states, “One of the recently released files reports that U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan posed for photographs of mock executions with hooded and bound detainees, and that some of these photographs were intentionally destroyed after the Abu Ghraib scandal to avoid "another public outrage.” Yet another case of our soldiers behaving like, well, terrorists almost. Where is the chain of command? Where are the superior officers? The answer is in most cases I am afraid is like the scandal in the Abu Ghraid scandal, the common soldier is mere cannon fodder. The story will break and the decision is made somewhere in the chain of command to throw a few guys out into the light of day and let them take the heat. It’s not like any high ranking member of our armed forces will allow themselves to be scolded by these continual actions of malicious behavior.
If you would like to access more information about this story please go to this site of reference,
And let your voice be heard. On this site you can view the documents in question.
- Chris Mansel

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