Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dear Joan Walsh

The note added to my last entry just grew into a letter to Salon, which I reprint here.

If Salon has a complete set of all the Pentagon Abu Ghraib documents, why not release all of them? The justification seems to be "well, if we release these photos, the US will look bad, and it won't actually undo any of the crimes." This makes about as much sense as hiding evidence of a murder because it would make the murderer look bad, without being able to bring the dead back to life. In fact, the murder analogy isn't an analogy at all. It is just a description of what is going on.

You might object that keeping the full file to yourselves is not like covering up a murder, because the files are already in the hands of the relevant law enforcement agency, the Pentagon itself. But it is obvious that the Pentagon cannot be counted on to police itself. You basically acknowledge this fact in your justification of the partial release of photographs.

At the very least, I hope the International Criminal Court has complete access to the file. Given the difficulty establishing jurisdiction, though, it would be best if whole world had complete access.

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