Thursday, May 21, 2009
Torture photos beginning to leak already?
by Larry Geller
Some of the pictures President Obama doesn’t want to release may already be out there. Others could be leaked in the future. See the end of this article for some links. If you dare.
But why did Obama renege on his agreement to release the pictures? John Dean probably has it right, in this Tikkun article which begins:
Allow me to share some analysis about the way things work in Washington. President Obama's flip-flop on his agreement to turn over photographs of detainees being tortured by American soldiers is a message with broad and clear implications. Those who believe that the Obama Administration should expose and prosecute persons who committed war crimes should understand that it is not going to happen the way they would like, or as quickly, because Obama is having internal battles as well. His pullback is not occurring because he fears that Republicans will attack him (he knows they will); rather it is occurring because he needs the national security community behind him, and they fear they will be further embarrassed and humiliated if more information is revealed.
According to The Washington Post, President Obama told White House lawyers he does not "feel comfortable" releasing the photos because of the reaction they could cause against U.S. troops, and because "he believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court," in responding to the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
If the photos get out anyway, it may not hurt Obama as much as if he were the one to release them, then. Such is the theory.
Some photos may already be out there. Be warned, if you click the next links, you’re going to see something unpleasant.
A few appeared last week on Brad Blog. That story links to additional photos published by the Sydney Morning Herald. While these are purported to be among the collection Obama now refuses to release, of course it’s impossible to know without being able to look inside his desk.
Will these photos cause damage to America in the “war zone,” as has been explained? Probably not these few. Should Obama continue to cover up instead of prosecute, and should a large number of photos leak out, perhaps that will be damaging. The solution is to get busy and clean up the mess, not hope it will be forgotten. John Dean provides some explaination of the resistance that Obama is likely meeting from the Washington bureaucracy.
While I hope you will click over to Tikkun and read the entire John Dean article, in case you don’t, I’d like to snip his closing paragraph also:
I would encourage those who are demanding exposure and prosecution to keep pounding their drums. Clearly, they are on the right side of this issue, and Obama knows it. While he is going to placate the national security bureaucrats from time to time in order to lead them effectively, hopefully the pressure for him to deal with the atrocious behavior of Bush and Cheney is only just getting started.
So if you know a way to get your message to Obama, please do so. Let’s keep pounding those drums for justice.
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