I Love the Law

Friday, June 03, 2005

I Love the Law

One of the joys of legal practice is coming up with arguments like this one.

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....

Government lawyer Sean Lane had argued that releasing pictures, even in redacted form, would violate Geneva Convention rules by subjecting the detainees to additional humiliation.

As a professional, I take my hat off to Mr. Lane.

I'm not being sarcastic, at least not entirely. The argument may have been redolent of chutzpah, but the beauty of it is that he's got a point.

Remember how stunned people were when the Abu Ghraib photos first came out? And how the picture of the black-hooded figure with wires attached to the extremities has become such an icon of what we've done?

If the pictures were worth a thousand words, the videos could be worth a million. The victims' faces will be blurred, but there's no doubt that if the videos are sufficiently outrageous, what happened to them will be on TV screens all over the world for weeks and posted on the Internet for posterity.

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