Obama Now Says He Will Not Release Detainee Abuse Photos

Jake Tapper:

President Obama met with White House counsel Greg Craig and other members of the White House counsel team last week and told them that he had second thoughts about the decision to hand over photographs of detainee abuse to the ACLU, per a judge’s order, and had changed his mind.

The president “believes their release would endanger our troops,” a White House official says, adding that the president “believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court.”

Wow. Those photographs must be truly, shockingly horrendous if Obama and his advisers are so concerned their release would put U.S. soldiers’ lives in danger and threaten our national security:

A couple of points here: First, it isn’t the photos; it is the acts themselves that put US troops in danger. The abuse is widely known among Iraqis, and those inclined to act don’t need photographic evidence as justification.

Second, the White House has a tough argument to make here. The Second Circuit Court has ruled that the Bush claim of an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act was not meant to be an “all purpose damper on global controversy.” Since a controversy already exists, and photos of abuse from Abu Ghraib have previously been released, the current administration is going to have to argue that the new photos are somehow substantially more controversial.

Makes one want to ask: controversial how?

Exactly.

On the other side of the issue, Neptunus Lex thinks this was a “good call“:

Nothing new would have come of this but propaganda for the enemies of civilization. Apparently, the administration has determined that the increased risk to our troops – something he should care about both personally and politically – outweighs the delicious opportunity to further harrow his increasingly irrelevant predecessor.

I’d call that growing in the job.

I, on the other hand, would call it missing the point. How many times has Barack Obama said, both as president and during the campaign, that the previous administration’s use of harsh enhanced interrogation techniques torture has been one of Al Qaeda’s most effective recruiting tools? It’s the torture that endangers our troops’ lives and makes us less safe, as Gregg Levine wrote in that quote above. It’s the torture that the “enemies of civilization” have been using and will continue to use as propaganda until they know it’s ended and the people responsible are being held accountable. Our “enemies” are not going to see anything when those photos are released that they didn’t already know about, or that, indeed, they haven’t already seen up close and personal. It’s us — the American people — who need to see and fully know what’s been done in our names.

And that “enemies of civilization” concept — what’s that about? Is torture not uncivilized? (Not to mention, illegal.) Is it okay that we perpetrated such unimaginable cruelties against the “enemies of civilization” if we can persuade ourselves that everyone we brutalized was an enemy of civilization? Surely some of them were not uncivilized!

I’ve gotten to know Lex a wee bit as a person, and he’s a decent, smart guy with a cool sense of humor. But on this, he is wrong, wrong, wrong.

4 Responses to “Obama Now Says He Will Not Release Detainee Abuse Photos”

  1. I applaud the president on this move.

    What good would release of the photos do to anybody? The troops would be punished and our reputation would take a serious hit. These photos would be degrading to the people of the Middle East where most of these prisoners hailed from. It would have been a lose-lose situation.

    This is one of the first moves where I support the president 100%.

    Ryan

  2. Booogie-Mann says:

    Obama campaigned against Military Tribunals, Indefinite detentions, NSA Spy Program, Lobbyists in the White House … but now that he’s President, maybe the boy Obama has grown up?? Now that HE has to make the decision, it’s grown more serious.

    Obama continues “indefinite detention” without trials:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090514/pl_afp/usattacksguantanamodetention_20090514105450
    All these things Bush did, that the Left was all outraged about Obama is continuing … how does that make you feel Kathy?

  3. Booogie-Mann says:

    Maybe Obama realizes the turmoil caused when Female Guards in a jail run by a Female General abused prisoners. Then, thanks to the Left making it a big story for months, violence erupted in Iraq again … killing thousands of Civilians and many of our troops.

    Can you feel the warm blood on your hands?? Obama doesn’t want to give our enemies the ammo to recruit and wage more War, become more powerful. Too bad Lefties like Obama and Kathy could not see this during Abu Ghraib …. you were motivated by Politics at the time, just trying to destroy Bush, not Al Qaeda …

  4. Booogie-Mann says:

    You guys rip the Bush Attorney’s yet Obama’s chief council is Greg Craig?? Wholly shit, wasn’t this the same guy who orchestrated the break-in to a private home, and deportation of that little Cuban Kid?? I think so. Clean up your side.

    This proven snake also defended Clinton in the Lewinski scandal … lied and tarnished that poor young intern. He eagerly defended John Hinckley, who tried to murder President Reagan .. an obviously unethical sleazy lawyer of the first order, now in the White House … Clean up your side!!

    Represented Kofi Anan in the “Oil for Food” scandal, the Kennedy rape trial, Pinzon (killed US troops) and on and on see a list of his clients below. Greg Craig’s Legal take on things is clearly as a deviant, anti-American, and pro-murders/rapists.

    Clean up YOUR side:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Craig#Past_clients

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