Free Markets, Free People

Obama’s Decision About Photos

Chris Cillizza notes:

President Barack Obama’s reversal on the release of detainee photos has angered the liberal left, a perceived poke in the eye that has left some questioning Obama’s commitment to progressive policies.

“Progressive policies”? Here’s the stated Obama reasoning:

Obama argued that “the publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals” and, in fact, the most likely effect would be “to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”

As the Clintons would say, this is “old news”. The situation in question has been sifted through with a fine-tooth comb and those who responsible are in jail. What in the world, other than what Obama points out, would be the effect of releasing old photos now? Is it “progressive policy” to do precisely what Obama wants to avoid?

I supported the release and the investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib. We covered them extensively here at QandO, and frankly, didn’t think those further up the chain of command got everything they deserved for letting the situation develop. Nothing new will be learned from the release of more photos. But what we do know is there are those who will use such a release for purposes that are not in our best interest and the end result will be endangering our troops in the field.

As you’ll see in Cillizza’s article, it is mostly the usual suspects in the left blogosphere who are whining and stamping their feet. Others outside that group apparently have much cooler heads and apparently better reasoning power:

“Politically, not reversing course could have had much worse consequences,” said Tad Devine, a Democratic media consultant. “I think it is the right move, and that makes it a smart move politically.”

And I, for one, applaud the decision.


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14 Responses to Obama’s Decision About Photos

  • There is a difference between real journalism and emotional voyeur-journalism.  Getting into photos and fantasizing about political opponents going to jail is the latter.   We need to know what happened and ask ourselves hard questions about trading principles for a sense of security, what tactics really work, etc.  You can’t prosecute someone for having a legal opinion as far as I can see, and at some level it’s got to be about what’s best for the country, and not some kind of political game (just like social security shouldn’t be a political game).  We’re in a fundamentally changed environment — all sides need to rethink how they approach issues and not be knee jerk.  I find myself annoyed at the partisans of the left as much as the partisans of the right.

    • How much MORE do we need to know?
      Do we need all little details, did he scream during the torture, or did he merely moan?    Do we need more photos of prisoners being ‘humiliated’?
      We KNOW that things were done we ought not to tolerate, I don’t need the gory details, I need to feel comfortable that where wrong was done those things WON’T be repeated as a result of intent or even from mere neglect by superior oversight.

      But please, there was no good purpose served in releasing these photos, the original intent was to embarrass the Bush administration, and if possible inflame some more loons to act against us, that was when the case originally went into the court system.  The fact that it dragged into the next administration is lost on the people who are still thinking that they need to impeach and arrest George W. Bush for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

      Obama demonstrated he does have a clue after all by attempting to prevent their release.

  • …..the most likely effect would be “to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”
    The Leftosphere is upset because they want that reaction to the photos.

  • And I, for one, applaud the decision.

    I do, too, but let’s not kid ourselves about the reasons for the move. He still wanted to do it, but saw he’d catch hell for it if he did.  And there is another factor, here, that bothers me. With the descriptions he gave, it strikes me that the pictures weren’t abuse enough to serve his political purposes. IN the end, he felt himself and his agenda better served by the spectre of them being out there… they idea that they exist at all, without being seen by the public, will create more of a firestorm of support for him than would the actual pictures being released.

    I find myself annoyed at the partisans of the left as much as the partisans of the right.

    Erb, spare us the attempted claim of centrism. Remember: Bush was a centrist, and so too is John McCain. I don’t recall your ever being overly supoprtive of them.

  • The useful idiots take one to the face………………….again.

    Getting to be a habit for them lately. And what with Obama doing nothing about gay marriage and considering “indefinite detention” for Gitmo prisoners, that face is gonna take quite the few more hits soon. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Actually, all Obama did was kick the can down the road and CYA.

    Now it’ll be up to a Court.

  • put our troops in greater danger

    Of course, lost in all of this is the fact that, according to the Geneva Conventions, prisoners or pictures of prisoners can’t be used for propaganda purposes.

    Who among us all is willing to say that had the pictures been released that they would not have been used for propaganda purposes ?

    A show of hands …. nuff said

  • Once again O has to clean up your mess, taking a hit for the sake of the country.  You should be on your knees thanking him.

    • uh, yeah, I’m sure.  You’re right of course, he took the hit for retracting something he shouldn’t have agreed to in the first place. 

      If the reasons THIS week are because he didn’t want to inflame passions against Americans, those reasons were the same two weeks ago, only he and his crew were apparently unable to see that THEN.

      Now go explain to your lefty buddies how making foreigners mad at the CURRENT United States government is not going to help destroy the FORMER administration at all, and maybe they should grow up and recognize they no longer need to impeach George W. Bush.

  • One of my math. professors told me of an old Russian proverb; “Repetition is the soul of learning”. Constantly telling us how evil the US and capitalism are makes it easier to learn. Consider it a corollary to the Big Lie technique, the Constant Lie technique.

  • I said to someone yesterday when The Clown™ changed his mind on the photographs, “I bet he is doing this for a reason other than `national security.’ Wanna bet he denies Cheney’s document request and then says if he can’t release photographs, he can’t release documents?

    Well, I was going to post this, this morning, but The Clown™ beat me to it and denied Cheney’s request for the documents. So The Clown™ was even faster in doing this for political purposes than even I figured.

  • I see – happily!- that ol’ rictus face Pelosi is doubling down on the “EIT” stuff, now claiming everyone mislead her and congress, the poor dear.

    This is great news for the country. Perhaps we can get the desired result- Pelosi and the Dems smeared, the CIA discredited and gutted.

    Win-win for everyone.

    In the meantime, the Dems sure are stupid if they get mislead so much. Does she want to buy these magic beans I have for sale?

  • Naturally, I applaud a correct decision, but it’s weak applause.

    1.  A stopped clock is right twice each day.  Even TAO does SOMETHING right now and then.

    2.  Why in the world did it take him so long to come to this right decision???  Shouldn’t it have been obvious from the beginning that publicizing the photos would do grave harm to our image and COULD endanger American lives?  The dems (spit) whine all the time about how the WoT enrages the Muslim world, creates more terrorists, makes us less safe, blah-blah-blah.  How could it not have occured to The Annointed One that MORE pics of Muslims being mistreated would tick them off all over again?

    3.  I suspect that this is political theater; we’ll see how hard Bagman and TAO’s Justice Department really fight this thing.  My guess is that they’ll put up a half-hearted defense, just enough to be able to say, “Oh, we tried and tried (honest!) to stop publication, but – dang it! – the judge just said that we had to.”

  • We need to see the photos of the guards having sex with each other. That will show thinking people that the guards’ behavior was an aberration and not policy. No one is going to believe Rummy ordered sex acts between the guards.