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.