13 May 2009

Cheney wins

Well, according tot this post at The New York Times, Obama has fallen into the trap Cheney has laid. The issue is no longer legal (let alone moral) commitments and whether we have been systematically violating them. It is no longer culpability for sanctioning despicable policies and practices. The issue is now whether we are somehow fanning the flames of fanaticism that will endanger our troops.
"President Obama said on Wednesday that he is seeking to block the release of photographs that depict American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, worrying that the images could “further inflame anti-American opinion.”

As he left the White House to fly to Arizona for an evening commencement address, Mr. Obama briefly explained his abrupt reversal on releasing the photographs. He said the pictures, which he has reviewed, “are not particularly sensational, but the conduct did not conform with the Army manual.” He did not take questions from reporters, but said disclosing the photos would have “a chilling effect” on future attempts to investigate detainee abuse."

Nice try Mr. President! You have no intention of investigating "abuses" (let alone systematic military policies). And we know from whom you is taking your cue:
"The release of these detainee photographs, Pentagon and military officials said, would only serve to provoke outrage and, in particular, might be used by violent extremists to stoke attacks and recruit suicide bombers. Military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan were said to be particular targets of such attacks, but officials said that civilian targets might be chosen by extremists, as well."
Here is the problem: It is not the photographs that will enrage people; it is the illegal, immoral behavior that they depict that will do so. And it is not photographs that will provoke attacks on American troops it is there continued (and escalating) presence in places where they don't belong combined with strategies that place civilians at risk of injury and death.

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Blogger Unknown said...

What really annoys me about this is that you've got a double headed cynical attack from the right on Obama.

Cheney says transparency is bad (in the case of photos) because it will anger "the enemy" whilst Rove says transparency is bad (in the case of memos) because it will enbolden "the enemy" and know the US doesn't torture.

Cheney says we shouldn't expose the truth and Rove says we shouldn't change [torturous] tactics.

All of this comes a little late.

The Bush administration created this poo-storm and then they sling everything at Obama when he's trying to juggle to fall-out.

14 May, 2009 01:10  
Blogger Unknown said...

Forgot the link for the Rove comment.


14 May, 2009 01:11  

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