(NOTE: A hearty welcome to Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, and Mudville Gazette readers! And thanks to Prof. Reynolds, Michelle, and Greyhawk for linking.)
In a comment on a previous post, Bojack pointed out an upcoming event that's practically guaranteed to set off the next wave of anti-U.S. outrage and media attacks: the court-ordered release of the Abu Ghraib videotapes.
The Washington Post reports:
A judge has ordered the government to release four videos from Abu Ghraib prison and dozens of photographs from the same collection as photos that touched off the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal a year ago.We know what went on at Abu Ghraib. We've seen the photos. We've heard the stories. We've punished the offenders. Yet somehow, after all that, after "36,000 pages of documents and the reports of 130 investigations", the ACLU thinks four tapes and some extra photos are going to really clear things up.
The federal judge issued the order late Wednesday requiring the Army to release the material to the American Civil Liberties Union to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.
The ACLU said the material would show that the abuse was "more than the actions of a few rogue soldiers."
Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the 144 pictures and videos can be turned over in redacted form to protect the victims' identities. He gave the Army one month to release them.
...So far, 36,000 pages of documents and the reports of 130 investigations, mostly from the FBI and Army, have been turned over to the ACLU. The group is seeking documents from the CIA and the Department of Defense as well.
..."These images may be ugly and shocking ... (but) the American public deserves to know what is being done in our name," said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU.
Videos of prisoner abuse are unlikely to tell us anything we don't already know about Abu Ghraib. They are, however, virtually certain to further inflame anti-American sentiment around the world. Nevertheless, Mr. Romero of the ACLU has a valid and undeniable point: Americans deserve to know what the men and women of our armed forces are doing in our name overseas. Everything they're doing.
Our troops' misdeeds at Abu Ghraib have been given ample coverage in the media, and are about to receive even more, thanks to the ACLU. Our troops' hardships and setbacks have been the subject of award-winning photojournalism, courtesy of the Associated Press and the Pulitzer Prize Board. Yet our troops' triumphs not just in combat, but in the ordinary good deeds they do every single day are scarcely mentioned in the media. Perhaps they're not considered "newsworthy." Nevertheless, as the ACLU points out, Americans deserve to know about them.
Fortunately, I found a media source with photos of our troops that haven't been widely published elsewhere the U.S. Army. All of the following twenty photos come from among the hundreds in the vast image gallery on its website. (Links open in a smaller window):
The photos I picked don't tell the whole story of what's going on in Iraq. But they do tell part of it. And it's a part that bears keeping in mind the next time America's military is smeared by the mainstream media.
Arthur Chrenkoff has a photo illustrating part of the Australian and Japanese effort.
Andrew Sullivan agrees that it's important to recognize the good things our troops are doing, but also feels Americans don't yet fully grasp the horrors of Abu Ghraib and other American detention facilities.
YET ANOTHER FOLLOW-UP:
Uranari links to more pictures of Japan's Self Defense Forces at work in Iraq.
AND ONE MORE FOLLOW-UP:
Detroit News political blogger Libby Spencer writes, "I'd bet that Saddam and Hitler went around their countries, smiling at children and passing out candy too."