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Friday, July 22, 2005

Defense defies order to release additional Abu Ghraib material

After a Freedom of Information request by NGOs, today was meant to be the day that additional photographs and video of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse were released. The government had already been given nearly a month's extension, to allow them time to obscure the identity of soldiers and victims in the photographs and video.

At the last moment, the government will file a motion to oppose the release of the photos and videos. They will request a 7(F) exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act to withhold law enforcement-related information in order to protect the physical safety of individuals. The government's motives behind these actions will be met with suspicion.

According to a press release from one of the ACLU, the government will file the full reasons for defying the request in a memorandum and three declarations, which will be under seal with the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York.

Under the government’s proposal, the documents explaining the government’s reasons for withholding the images of abuse will not be available to the public except in redacted form, and the photographs and videos may never be made public.


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