Friday, December 03, 2004

Moral values, 1 

A Friday night horror:

THE PHOTOS: Dozens of photos appear to show Navy SEALs in Iraq sitting on hooded and handcuffed detainees, while others appear to show bloodied detainees and the aftermath of commando raids on homes.

WHAT'S NOT KNOWN: The identities of the troops, the detainees and the photographer, and what happened before and after the photos were taken.
(via AP)

More fraternity pranks. Again, don't blame the troops. Blame the chickenhawks who put them where they are.

Of course, this violates Navy regs and the Geneva Convention (which, an international treaty ratified by the Senate, is the law of the land):

John Hutson, a retired rear admiral who served as the Navy's Judge Advocate General from 1997 to 2000, said they suggested possible Geneva Convention violations. Those international laws prohibit souvenir photos of prisoners of war.

"It's pretty obvious that these pictures were taken largely as war trophies," Hutson said. "Once you start allowing that kind of behavior, the next step is to start posing the POWs in order to get even better pictures."

At a minimum, the pictures violate Navy regulations that prohibit photographing prisoners other than for intelligence or administrative purposes, according to Bender, the SEALs spokesman.
(via Kansas City Star)

And the Navy's reaction? Investigate how the photos got out!

"They presented copies of them to us last week and once we were presented with these photos we then launched an investigation as to how the photos got on the Internet and who is responsible," navy Commander Jeff Bender said.
(via ABC News)

Interestingly, the photos predate Abu Ghraib.

Some of the photos have date stamps suggesting they were taken in May 2003, which could make them the earliest evidence of possible abuse [torture] of prisoners in Iraq. The far more brutal practices photographed in Abu Ghraib prison occurred months later.
(via Strib)

Oh, and how were the photos found? Google:

The images were posted to the Internet site Smugmug.com.

The images were found through the online search engine Google. The same search today leads to the Smugmug.com Web page, which now prompts the user for a password. Nine scenes from the SEAL camp remain in Google's archived version of the page.

Before the site was password protected, the AP purchased reprints for 29 cents each.

Some men in the photos wear patches that identify them as members of Seal Team Five, based in Coronado, and the unit's V-shaped insignia decorates a July Fourth celebration cake.

The photos surfaced amid a case of prisoner abuse involving members of another SEAL team also stationed at Coronado, a city near San Diego.
(via Kansas City Star)

29 cents? Well worth it!

And I can't seem to get the photos out of Google's cache. Readers?

UPDATE Ah, here are some photos (thanks to Memeorandum)

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
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