A federal judge has ruled that additional Abu Ghraib photos, which the government had sought to keep secret for various lame, self-serving reasons, must be released in response to an FOIA request: Judge orders release of Abu Ghraib abuse photos.
Even if it gets delayed or overturned as it works its way into the upper ranks of the judiciary, it’s heartening to see someone willing to articulate truths like these:
Suppression of information is the surest way to cause its significance to grow and persists. Clarity and openness are the best antidotes, either to dispel criticism if not merited or, if merited, to correct such errors as may be found. The fight to extend freedom has never been easy, and we are once again challenged, in Iraq and Afghanistan, by terrorists who engage in violence to intimidate our will and to force us to retreat. Our struggle to prevail must be without sacrificing the transparency and accountability of government and military officials. These are the values FOIA was intended to advance, and they are at the very heart of the values for which we fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is a risk that the enemy will seize upon the publicity of the photographs and seek to use such publicity as a pretext of enlistments and violent acts. But the education and debate that such publicity will foster will strengthen our purpose and, by enabling such deficiencies as may be perceived to be debated and corrected, show our strength as a vibrant and functioning democracy to be emulated.