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Apr 22 2014

Suppressing news about torture

We don’t know when and if the Senate intelligence report on torture will be released. But while it remains secret, some of its contents may come out in dribs and drabs. But we should not underestimate the ability of the government to keep unpleasant things hidden.

At the time that the Abu Ghraib atrocities were revealed, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said that other things were done by the US in those prisons to even children were even more horrific. But those reports were never released. The Obama administration managed to suppress photos of detainee torture, reversing course after first promising to release them, saying that releasing them would endanger Americans by inflaming passions. It never seems to occur to them that the best way to not inflame passions is to not commit atrocities in the first place. And of course, the fact that those photos would implicate Americans in criminal acts was not given as one of the reasons for their suppression.

Stephen Colbert discusses the torture report.

(This clip aired on April 8, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

4 comments

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  1. 1
    Marcus Ranum

    investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said that other things were done by the US in those prisons to even children were even more horrific

    And why didn’t he publish?? Because he was asked not to.

  2. 2
    Marcus Ranum

    I wish I could stick up a liquor store or loot a savings and loan and, when they catch me, say – “you know we need to put this behind us. it’s the past. we need to move on.”

    Colbert is very funny, but he’s talking about high crimes more severe than misdemeanors – that are about to swept under the carpet.

  3. 3
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    It never seems to occur to them that the best way to not inflame passions is to not commit atrocities in the first place.

    It’s their central lie. That’s the whole game. They know it creates an enemy we can point to, and with which to distract ourselves. Not releasing documents, or releasing late, etc., just allows enough of us to live in the delusion that none of it is true or not as bad as some people claim.

  4. 4
    astrosmash

    If they’re concerned for national security if we release the docments and photos, the solution is simple. Arrest and press chages against the torturers and their bosses. Make those cases priority number one….The DOJ has that authority…THEN release the documents and photos to the publc. If the world saw that we took our wrondoing seriously and that those responsible facwed consequenses, backlash would be seriously reduced

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