The Pentagon today released 198 photos related to its investigations into abuse of detainees by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The photos are mainly close-up shots of arms, feet, heads, hands, or joints, sometimes showing bruises or scabs. Faces are redacted with black bars. It’s not always clear where each of the photos was taken, but they come from internal military investigations and have dates ranging from 2003 to 2006. Sometimes the marks on the prisoners’ skin are labeled with tape measuring the size of the wound, or a coin or pen for comparison.
The photos represent "presumably the least graphic 10 percent" of a larger set of images, according to Katherine Hawkins, a senior lawyer for the Constitution Project. The American Civil Liberties Union has been fighting in court to obtain the full set of images for years, arguing that the public has a right to see them and that they have the potential to inspire stronger protections of human rights.
"The ACLU called the release insufficient, selective and indicative of a cover-up of detainee abuse stretching across the Bush and Obama administrations," the Guardian reports.
Some of the the photos, a small sample of which are below, are haunting: