I’m confused. Obama can sign a “hate-crimes” law that in effect says that a special select group of people have more rights than the general population. Then, the very next day, he can sign a law blocking the release of torture photos. In my mind, these torture photos are direct evidence of hate crimes commited against another group of people. How is it that one day Obama can sign a law that essentially gives a select group of people rights that others don’t have (if you’re a “victim” of a “hate crime” you have more rights than other victims of the same type of crime), and the next day, he can sign another law that effectively *protects* people who commit hate crimes (torture) against a different group of people? Hypocricy anyone?
From Raw Story:
President Barack Obama received a great deal of media attention on Wednesday for signing a historic hate-crimes bill into law. But, on the same day, the US president also signed a Homeland Security spending bill that received far less attention, even though it effectively blocks efforts by activists to reveal photos of detainee abuse in US custody.
“We are disappointed that the president has signed a law giving the Defense Department the authority to hide evidence of its own misconduct, and we hope the defense secretary will not take advantage of that authority by suppressing photos related to the abuse of prisoners,” Jameel Jaffer, national security director for the ACLU, said in a statement.
Earlier this month, the House and Senate inserted language into the Homeland Security appropriations bill that would shield photos of detainees in the US’s war on terror from the Freedom of Information Act. The language, which was added at the prodding of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), effectively blocks an ACLU lawsuit currently before the courts that would have forced the government to release the photos under Freedom of Information statutes.
As Daphne Eviatar noted at the Washington Independent, “President Obama initially agreed to release the photos, but changed his mind after consulting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others at the Pentagon, who warned the photos would endanger US servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
At issue are 21 photos of detainees in US custody that the Department of Defense has been fighting tooth and nail from releasing. As Raw Story reported earlier this year, those photos may show acts of sexual abuse being carried out against detainees.
Filed under: Government, Law | Tagged: obama, terrorism, torture, war | Leave a comment »