Release the Photos

bumped - Todd

President Obama will oppose the release of several dozen photos depicting abuse of detainees held in US military custody abroad, reversing his previous position on the grounds that the pictures could inflame anti-American sentiment and endanger US troops. More from the Washington Post.

I make it a point never to blog when angry for fear of saying something that I might later come to regret. I will only limit myself to noting that these photos that likely demonstrate inhuman torture and abuse need to be released and that those who authorized and condoned such barbarity be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. These are just photos. It is the acts they depict that are the problem. The photos were gathered in the course of dozens of military investigations of prisoner abuse between 2001 and 2006. That the release of these photos will inflame world opinion is self-evident but perhaps those who committed these acts to begin with might have thought of that when they were behaving in ways unbecoming Americans.

Tags: ACLU, Torture Photos (all tags)

Comments

26 Comments

Re: Release the Photos

Okay, I'm going to reach for my hope bong once again.

This may not be the blow to the cause of prosecuting (or at least investigating) torture that it seems on its face.  In fact, I tend to agree that releasing the photos could in fact be more damaging than helpful.  

If there is going to be any motion on this issue, it is going to begin on Capital Hill.  Eric Holder is not going to stick his neck out on this until all of his other options are exhausted.  Obama the same, but more so.  

And while the photos may have served to generate short-term outrage and therefore calls to action, I will believe for the time being that Congress plans to do its job.  I will also believe for the time being that once Congress does its job, the finished product will force Holder to look into these matters from a DOJ perspective.  

No one is going to prison over this, but some careers may be ruined.  Whether this serves as a disincentive for future would-be torturers is anybody's guess.  But it's better than just letting the whole issue die quietly.

by the mollusk 2009-05-13 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

It is my hope that these pictures, while depicting atrocities, are depicting behavior that is firmly in our past. With that hope in mind I find myself cautiously agreeing with the President on this one. We have troops in harms way who surely did not take part in such atrocities. We want to keep those troops safe and, Iraq, wind down the conflict. Releasing these pictures would do nothing to bring that sordid conflict to a close.

by JDF 2009-05-13 01:44PM | 0 recs
the problem is that

the jihadists are going to make videos for propaganda, and lie, saying "America does this" in the present tense. We don't need anymore excuses for jihad: they already have Iraq.

by Lakrosse 2009-05-13 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: the problem is that

I am not worried about the jihadists. They are already our enemies. I am worried that releasing these photographs might inflame those who are not already with the jihadists to either join them, or at the very least step back from the United States.

by JDF 2009-05-13 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

I am going to sound in on the side of caution here as well.  There is a time to put these photos out, but for once I believe the POTUS is putting the welfare of the soldiers ahead of the careers of politicians or their underlings.  If you want to deal with Pakistand and A-stan while WINDING DOWN Iraq, then putting new fuel on the fire (that the US is a BAD country) is not a really good idea.

I would rather see them released in January of 2013 after Obama has successfully pulled us out of Iraq, dealt with A-stan and P-stan, and gotten us on the road away from fossil fuels, and, oh, gotten re-elected.  A few years of old-fashioned US Good will, that we had forgotten for the last 8 years, should blunt the trauma these photos may cause.

by Hammer1001 2009-05-13 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

Oh, that's bullshit.  The PR value of the photos isn't going to cause a marginal increase in the attacks on our troops. It will, however, provide the GOP with an attack vector to blame Obama for each new attack, regardless that the photos had nothing to do with it.

Obama is simply covering his ass.  It isn't surprising, he's a politician, it's what they do.

I also think Obama is counting on SCOTUS to make him release them.  It's disappointing but I suspect the end results will be the same.

by j royale 2009-05-13 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

Does no see what the Pres is doing here?  He has been doing it for two months.  It is called the drip drip information dump.  Every couple of weeks they admin puts out additional damaging memos, photos, whatever.

So BO (and just to put this into context if voted for HRC) waits two months to put this out.  So what.  This is good politics and a smart move.  It makes the right look bad and then when the court orders the Admin to relase the photos in two months they can say they had no choice.

Seriously what is the down side here.

As much as i wanted HRC to win i want BO to win a 2nd term and this is smart politics, period.

d

by giusd 2009-05-13 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously
 what IS the downside here? He is not covering up the crimes, we can all imagine what is in the photos. If Obama's caution is causing some to feel that they are being deprived of their right to view disgusting pictures of human degradation, may I just point out that plenty of pictures are available on the series of tubes to satisfy even the sickest tastes imaginable. My advice to those who feel upset over this....
Try rotten.com, or better yet: Grow the Fuck Up!
by QTG 2009-05-13 04:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

This is not surprising. You want surprising news here it is:

The credit card capping bill failed in the senate today 33-60.

Hmm makes me wonder if Obama, he who is giving a talk on credit card regulation soon, will actually put his money where his mouth is or is it just more window dressing, you know like the torture memos with no plans to prosecute, mortgage relief bills with no WH clout and healthcare legislation without a single-payer representation and a watered-down public plan. Oh well!!

by tarheel74 2009-05-13 04:34PM | 0 recs
Wow

somehow you managed to go from torture photos to credit card bill to mortage relief to healthcare and not make a single valid point other than your usual "Obama sucks" whine.

by DTOzone 2009-05-13 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow

ah the favorite right-winger lurking in MyDD. But did you not say that we are not prosecuting torture because Obama wants to move on economy?

by tarheel74 2009-05-13 08:05PM | 0 recs
Hey, I'm a right winger!

my Republican family will be happy to hear it!

by DTOzone 2009-05-13 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow

Somehow reading your comments reminds me of this:

by tarheel74 2009-05-13 08:08PM | 0 recs
Your PUMA is showing tarheel

The "if you still support Obama, then you are a blind follower" is getting old, really.

by DTOzone 2009-05-13 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Your PUMA is showing tarheel

WEAK....surely you can do better than that!! BTW you should read that Obama hating blog TPM and Huffington Post and even that most PUMA blog written by Andrew Sullivan. Oh we PUMA hate Obama sooo much!!! LOL

by tarheel74 2009-05-13 08:17PM | 0 recs
Nobody on TPM or Huff Post of Sullivan

are calling people who disagree with them on this blind Obamabots...you are, that's a classic PUMA move.

BTW, TPM, Huff Post and Sullivan are not criticising Obama on everything like you are...so no, unlike you, they are not Obama-hating.

by DTOzone 2009-05-13 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: The fallacy of

There is rational support and there is irrational behavior. Irrational support makes us just like the right-wing nuts with W and I have no compunction in calling out irrational support when I see it.

by tarheel74 2009-05-13 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

I don't have an issue with him not releasing the photos... there's a million legitimate reasons not to, but he chose Fox News' and Dick Cheney's reasoning, which both vindicates and validates them from this time forward.

Now Dick Cheney rules Obama's world, and Dick Cheney is going to be setting the standards for defense policy.

That's a big mistake on Obama's part...  he should have never validated the right wing like he did...

by LordMike 2009-05-13 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

Umm.... what??!

by JDF 2009-05-13 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

It's a fair point, if a thin one.  From where I sit let 'em think they are influencing policy, maybe it'll keep Cheney in the foreground damaging the brand for a little while longer.  Who knows, he may even decide to run in 2012...  Now that would be fun.

by Shaun Appleby 2009-05-13 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

Dick Cheney spent the last two weeks on TV blasting Obama for releasing info on torture saying that such release has, "Harmed the troops."  By using that same reasoning for not releasing the photos, Obama has now validated Dick Cheney's talking point.

Instead of calling out Cheney on his BS, the administration is now using the same talking point.  If Obama thinks that this move will somehow deflect criticism, he's wrong... the right now has an opening...  They can continue to attack Obama in this vein, since their attacks have obviously worked, and the president caved to their reasoning...

By using this Bushism to not release the photos, the Obama administration is now going to be playing defense every time the right complains about foreign affairs...  By agreeing with the right on the issue of torture, future discussion on torture and the "war on terror" will now be on their terms, not ours.

by LordMike 2009-05-13 06:44PM | 0 recs
Cheney's right on this

As much as I don't want to vindicate that fat bastard, he's right about this and he knows it, which is why he is grandstanding.

Releasing the photos DOES put a huge risk to our troops. We're trying to make the Muslim world see a future relationship with us, not the past. The last think we need is to open this can of worms again.

That's why Obama is going to Egypt next month, which, btw, was scheduled to be five days after the photos are released.

by DTOzone 2009-05-13 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

In the case of torture and host of other issues we are seeing this administration resorting to grandstanding and posturing without anything solid to back all their talk...you know "the beef". Except of course when it comes to shoveling trillions to failing banks and corrupt Wall Street businesses.

by tarheel74 2009-05-13 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

Why my misfortune?

by Charles Lemos 2009-05-13 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Release the Photos

Obama is making the right decision by not releasing the photos. The whole world knows what happened, why put lives at risk simply to gratify the over indulged curiosity of the masses?

by watchingNwaiting 2009-05-14 02:22AM | 0 recs
Poor Miles, now gone with the Wind?

Where art thou liveth in the Outlands these days?

by louisprandtl 2009-05-14 09:35PM | 0 recs

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