To follow-up on yesterday’s post, Judge Hellerstein ruled Monday that the Bush assministration’s arguments against releasing additional photos and video of detainees being torutred and humiliated by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib should themselves be made public, set a date on which he would hear arguments for and against the release, and hinted as broadly as possible that he would order release of the images in question.
A judge said he generally ruled in favor of public disclosure when he ordered the government on Monday to reveal some redacted parts of its argument for blocking the release of pictures and videotapes of detainee abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein made the statement in open court after meeting in a closed session with lawyers for the government and the American Civil Liberties Union, which is seeking release of the pictures and tapes.
He said his rulings pertained to arguments by Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and Ronald Schlicher, deputy assistant secretary and coordinator for Iraq in the Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
“By and large, I ruled in favor of public disclosure,” he said.
The judge has said he believes photographs “are the best evidence the public can have of what occurred” at the prison.
The judge scheduled arguments on the question of whether the photographs and videos should be released for Aug. 30, saying a speedy decision is important so the public’s right to know isn’t compromised.