May 13, 2009

Obama opposes the release of more Abu Ghraib photo.

CNN reports:
"Last week, the president met with his legal team and told them that he did not feel comfortable with the release of the [Defense Department] photos because he believes their release would endanger our troops, and because he believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court," [an Administration] official said....

The ACLU said the Pentagon had agreed to release a "substantial" number of photographs by May 28. Officials at the Pentagon have said the photographs are from more than 60 criminal investigations between 2001 and 2006 and show military personnel allegedly abusing detainees....

"We know that many terrorists captured in Iraq have told American interrogators that one of the reasons they decided to join the violent jihadist war against America was what they saw on Al-Qaeda videos of abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib," [Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, wrote in a March 7th letter to the President.] ""Releasing these old photographs of detainee treatment now will provide new fodder to Al-Qaeda's propaganda and recruitment operations, undercut the progress you have made in our international relations, and endanger America's military and diplomatic personnel throughout the world."

Andrew McCarthy, writing on the Web site of the National Review, issued a harsh warning Tuesday: "American soldiers, American civilians, and other innocent people are going to die because Pres. Barack Obama wants to release photographs of prisoner abuse."
Barack Obama, the pragmatic moderate. I approve.

127 comments:

Methadras said...

It doesn't really matter does it? The damage has already been done by the mere suggestion that they be released only to have Mr. Barely oppose their release. He looks like a hero and yet will fuel the wild speculation about what those photos contain. The Left will be enraged at missing an opportunity to besmirch this country further.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Barack Obama, the pragmatic moderate. I approve..

I think this is great. Really. I mean its only been 100 days and change and he's really giving the middle finger to the lefties who actually believed he'd keep the promises he made.

I wonder if Cindy Sheehan has exploded yet?

It almost makes his socialist takeover of the financial industry worth it. Almost.

CarmelaMotto said...

Pragmatic moderate my butt. he just finally let someone (like Lieberman or some generals) talk some sense into him that these pictures will be used for anti-American propaganda and in the end, it will hurt the Obama administration (which is what really matters to him).

Or perhaps Cheney is getting under his skin.

madawaskan said...

Oh holy shizzle ...

Thanks Ann...

Question is- he kind of let the jeanie outta of the bottle I hope he can stuff it back.

Didn't the White House decide not to take the ACLU suit to the Supreme Court?

madawaskan said...

So they are going to the Supremes....gee I hope they can find lawyers dedicated to "winning" it...

garage mahal said...

Troops will die if photos of things-we-do-to-our-own-troops are released.

AJ Lynch said...

"Obama met last week" to voice his concerns? I don't believe that Obama himself was concerned.

The Obama Politburo looked at some poll and realized this was political suicide and then someone had to convince Obama he was wrong.

If that makes him a pragmatic moderate in your head Althouse, suit yourself.

jayne_cobb said...

Meh,

He probably saw how poorly the whole "torture memo" release worked for both his administration and his party and figured he didn't want to risk further harm.

I mean he's already got the CIA taking shots across his bow why risk bringing the DOD in as well.

ElcubanitoKC said...

In any case, he stands to benefit from this. If it blows up with his hard-line Red Guards down the line, he can blame Lieberman et al.

It is pragmatic, but I wouldn't call him moderate for it.

AJ Lynch said...

Plus Obama crapped his pants after Dick Cheney demanded he release CIA documents showing near-torture has worked.

Plus it is hard to claim the Abu Graib pics created more terrorists, then release similar photos.

Liberals do suck at logic.

veni vidi vici said...

I think they should've released them, certainly after making such a mawkish theatrical production out of their very existence, and fueling a wildfire of speculation about what they actually contain.

The damage has been done: everyone knows these photos exist. The damage is exacerbated by this onanistic "evenhandedness" of Obama's, which comprises laying the schmear on thick through telling half the story, then yanking back the narrative in the name of "evenhandedness", "moderation", "blahblah" (insert weasel-term here), so that none can ever see for themselves what the big stir is about.

I'm inclined to go with Garage on this: either these pics show stuff that's probably fairly banal as goes the training for our guys, or they really are some sort of extraordinary horror show, in which case the prudent course of both the Bushies and Obamanites would've been to deny their existence and stuff them into a drawer of presidential memos not subject to FOIA release for several decades. I find it difficult to believe that this government, which is capable of losing everything, would have such difficulty "misplacing" these documents/photos into/among other docs subject to the highest level of security/FOIA/whatever.

It's either run-of-the-mill, or a complete outrage. Can't have it both ways, and to me Obama's copping out in a huge way. This is the lamest sort of "baby-splitting", indicating that, in addition to everything else one thinks about the president, he was probably also a shitty law professor.

rdkraus said...

This is today's decision.

Tomorrow?

Who knows?

Kansas City said...

I don't think Ann was declaring Obama to be pragmatic moderate as a general proposition (what intelligent person could at this point?), just a pragmatic moderate on this issue. Actually, the term hardly fits the issue. It is not a conversative/liberal issue. It is a matter of common sense, which he did not show in releasing the "torture" memos and he now has shown in reversing what would have been a serious mistake.

My biggest disappointment in Obama is his patter of intentional deception. He continuously creates strawmen, he plays games with "save or create" jobs, he claims to be reducing the budget, he pretends $100 million dollars in budget "savings" is significant, etc. The adoring MSM allows him to get away with it, because they support his left wing objectives.

I think the only positive so far (other than the positive of a black in the White House) is that he seems to be taking Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan seriously. He likely will be a one termer due to the economy and what will turn out to be his bungling of the issue, but the question is how much long term damage he can inflict on the country before he slips in the polls and loses his power.

bearbee said...

He appears erratic.

What political pressures? What perceived backlash building?

Bob said...

See what happens when you try to buff yourself as Mr. Paragon by crapping on your predecessor's policies? Sometimes it comes back to bite you in the ass.

Pragmatic and moderate, huh? Rubbish. I know a backpedal when I see one.

goesh said...

- the Islamic world will rage and not accept the aopology Obama says America owes but these pictures/videos will give him a real, second chance...

Fen said...

To the Muslim world, Obama is apostate. He was raised Muslim but then left the faith. The penalty for that is death.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Well I think releasing the photos could have been part of America's atonement for its past wrongs.

Regardless, it would have been nice if Obama could have had one consistent and clear statement on this issue. I thought he was supposed to be the type of person who listened to everyone's advice and then made a decision, not the type who is constantly listening for criticism.

His executive style keeps putting him in positions were he alienates some people without really making other people happy.

Minzo said...

"The Left will be enraged at missing an opportunity to besmirch this country further."

Do you honestly believe that what is actually motivating the left is 'besmirching' America?

Freder Frederson said...

disgusting, just disgusting. There is no legal or constitutional reason not to release them.

I would like Ann to provide one.

Hint: embarrassment to the government is not a legitimate reason to withhold a document.

Freder Frederson said...

"The Left will be enraged at missing an opportunity to besmirch this country further."

I thought you were proud of what we had done. What is the problem with releasing the photos and letting the terrorists know what they are in for if they fuck with us?

Either torture is effective and will discourage terrorists or it will give our enemies cause to hate us more and cause even more terrorism. You can't have it both ways.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I would like Ann to provide one.
.

Why not ask Obama to provide one? After all, he is the one blocking it, not Althouse.

Freder Frederson said...

I thought there was no downside to torture. Now you are saying that it might cause problems if our enemies see pictures of people being tortured.

I'm so confused.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Either torture is effective and will discourage terrorists or it will give our enemies cause to hate us more and cause even more terrorism./

Actually the best way to discourage terrorists is to kill them. Two in the chest, one in the head. Or just one in the head and save the ammo. There is a shortage after all.

Freder Frederson said...

Why not ask Obama to provide one? After all, he is the one blocking it, not Althouse.Althouse approves. And she is supposedly the constitutional law expert. I would just like to know under what bizarro notion of constitutional law she approves of this.

Besides last time I checked, this is Althouse's blog, not Obama's

Jason (the commenter) said...

Hoosier Daddy : Why not ask Obama to provide one? After all, he is the one blocking it, not Althouse.

Yeah, but Althouse has more legal experience than Obama. Obama is your go-to guy if you want a book written (not a speech!) or maybe exercise advice.

Fen said...

"The Defense Department was set to release hundreds of photographs showing alleged abuse of prisoners in detention facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq."


Freder: I thought there was no downside to torture. Now you are saying that it might cause problems if our enemies see pictures of people being tortured. I'm so confused.

Of course you're confused. Read the OP. Its about prisoner abuse by reservists who worked as prison guards while civilians. Not about waterboarding.

Fen said...

Freder: Either torture is effective and will discourage terrorists or it will give our enemies cause to hate us more and cause even more terrorism.

This is a stupid comment, even for you. No one has ever said that the purpose of waterboarding is to discourage terrorists. Its purpose is to gain actionable intel to save innocent lives.


Thats twice now. Did you take a stupid pill this morning?

Penny said...

I can imagine the final outcome depending on the roar from the left, ultimately presented as "The American people speak! We will no longer sacrifice our values in the name of national security!.

Out of site, Axelrod will serve as the invisible ringmaster and whip those lefty lions into shape.

I used to enjoy the circus, but the ticket price is way too high these days.

Freder Frederson said...

Of course you're confused. Read the OP. Its about prisoner abuse by reservists who worked as prison guards while civilians. Not about waterboarding.

I'm not confused at all. Abu Gharaib was the inevitable result of what happens when the rules get lax. The message came down from the Pentagon, directly from Rumsfeld, that the Army Field Manual was no longer in effect. Things got out of hand, including numerous people being tortured to death. At the same time the OLC was putting out memos redefining torture.

Minzo said...

"This is a stupid comment, even for you. No one has ever said that the purpose of waterboarding is to discourage terrorists. Its purpose is to gain actionable intel to save innocent lives."

I'm pretty sure conservatives on this site have used torture as a potential deterrent to terrorists. Obviously its primary use would be to get information from suspects, but Im sure they have supported its potential deterrent effect. I cant trawl through all the previous threads hunting them down, but ive been involved in a few debates here where conservatives have used the 'it will teach them to fuck with America' argument.

Freder Frederson said...

This is a stupid comment, even for you. No one has ever said that the purpose of waterboarding is to discourage terrorists. Its purpose is to gain actionable intel to save innocent lives.

It just shows that you have not been paying attention to my arguments against torture that I have been making for several years now. So apparently you are the idiot.

I have always been willing to admit that torture may have some tactical benefit, especially in the hypothetical ticking timebomb situation (although I doubt there is really ever such a situation). But, strategically, torture is always a loser. And strategy is always more important than tactics.

Fen said...

I'm pretty sure conservatives on this site have used torture as a potential deterrent to terrorists.
You'd be wrong.

And even then, its never been the policy of any administration [even all the ones who used torture before Bush] to use it as a deterrant.

David said...

Obama did not change his mind.

He was getting his massive Vulcan (surgically made human) ears pinned back politically and caved.

But you've got to hand it to him. He makes himself look at least half good by caving.

Do you suppose perhaps his shiny new Generals in Afghanistan told him the photo release was a bad idea?

And if the court does not alter its ruling, will Obama obey it, or does he have some inherent power as Commander in Chief to ignore the court order?

See how interesting reality is!

Fen said...

Freder: It just shows that you have not been paying attention to my arguments against torture that I have been making for several years now

What? That you dishonestly conflated prisoner abuse with waterboarding?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I would just like to know under what bizarro notion of constitutional law she approves of this..

Me too because I am at a loss as to which part of the Constitution says the Pentagon has to provide this information.

Maybe its next to the abortion amendment, I don't know.

Minzo said...

"Do you suppose perhaps his shiny new Generals in Afghanistan told him the photo release was a bad idea?"

Of course either way he's screwed at some level. If he doesnt release them, he gets accused of covering-up and being secretive. If he does release them, he will be accused of putting America in danger or for trying to score political points to embarass the previous administration.

Robert Cook said...

"It almost makes his socialist takeover of the financial industry worth it."
You've got it backwards; the financial industry has taken over ourgovernment.

Socialism? If only!

Robert Cook said...

"The Left will be enraged at missing an opportunity to besmirch this country further."
You're confused; it's those who committed torture and those who ordered it and those who now justify and apologize for it who besmirch our country.

UWS guy said...

Right wingers demanded torture of our enemies and the price is dead soldiers.

How many extra road side bombs were worth the waterboards, the ceiling shackles, the hypothermia?

Republicans can go fuck themselves for putting our troops in extra harm.

John Althouse Cohen said...

He was raised Muslim but then left the faith.

Not true.

veni vidi vici said...

"His executive style keeps putting him in positions were he alienates some people without really making other people happy."

Exactly, and in the final assessment, both sides of the divide come away thinking he's a chiseling chucklehead with a serious lack of balls.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Robert Cook said...
[...]

Socialism? If only!

2:09 PM
.

Can I swap you for my family members stuck in a socialist paradise? I am sure you'd love it. Let me know, this is a serious offer..

Freder Frederson said...

Me too because I am at a loss as to which part of the Constitution says the Pentagon has to provide this information.Freedom of Information Act

You've got it exactly backwards. The onus is on the government to prove why they shouldn't release this information. "We the people" and all that nonsense.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Socialism? If only!.

There are quite a few socialist paradises out there Robert. In all seriousness, if it is such a superior system, why don't you go to one? It's an honest question. If I truly believed I'd have a better life in another country, I'd leave.

What is stopping you?

Robert Cook said...

"...Obama crapped his pants after Dick Cheney demanded he release CIA documents showing near(sic)-torture has worked."
You're fantasizing; you can be sure there are no such memos, at least none that are unimpeachable, drafted, if they exist at all, merely to serve later as cover for their crimes.

Aside from the red herring as to whether torture works or not--either way, it's immoral and more pertinent, illegal--I think we can safely assume that fantastic claims by Cheney and other Bush administration figures that we "stopped other plots and thereby saved thousands more American lives" have never been substaniated because such events never happened.

Freder Frederson said...

What? That you dishonestly conflated prisoner abuse with waterboarding?I didn't dishonestly conflate anything. You are the one trying to dishonestly separate the two.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You've got it exactly backwards. The onus is on the government to prove why they shouldn't release this information. "We the people" and all that nonsense..

No Freder, I don't. You wanted Althouse to explain under what bizzaro constitutional notion she approves of his. I only echoed your sentiments because I too want to know what part of the Constitution this falls under.

There is a lot of information the guv'mit doesn't release.

UWS guy said...

Hey republicans, what's rush limbaughs opinion on the serverity of abu graib again?

UWS guy said...

Socialist paradise? You mean sweden?

Oh Cuba!? That's not a socialist paradise. That's a country that tortures captives.

AJ Lynch said...

Abu Graib ...unless you worship the NYT, it was much ado about a handful of drunken reservists.

Robert Cook said...

"No one has ever said that the purpose of waterboarding is to discourage terrorists. Its purpose is to gain actionable intel to save innocent lives."
You've been misled; waterboarding, as with any torture, is meant merely to brutalize prisoners, thus terrorizing the perceived enemies of the state, and, more urgently, to extract confessions of crimes. Whether those confessions are true or false is generally immaterial to the purposes of the torturers.

Bob said...

"But, strategically, torture is always a loser. And strategy is always more important than tactics."

Freder, how exactly has torture been a loser for the insugents? Also, if your Army has miserable tactics your strategy wil fail. Having good tactics does not mean you'll win, you can always piss away your tactical victories. Just ask the Germans.

Bob said...

Robert, one can certainly use torture to brutalize or terrorize a given population. But you can also utilize enhanced interrogation techniques simply to gather intel. One's aim would have some impact on whether you choose torture or enhanced interrogation.

Roost on the Moon said...

Regarding the so-called conflation of "abuse" and "waterboarding":

First, cut the non-conservatives some slack on definitions. Speaking as a non-conservative, I like to take a common sense approach to whether or not something is torture. It seems to that me restricting someone's breathing until they fear for their life is abusing them. But hey, that's just me. If I was a conservative, I guess I'd see that it isn't.

So let's grant you that. Suffocating people isn't abusive, if you follow the lawyers' instructions.

It's still a matter of record that the waterboarding as administered was substantially more extreme than the practice outlined and justified by the justice department memos.

So now, I think even alot of conservatives would admit that waterboarding and prisoner abuse have some significant overlap.

The Exalted said...

Fen,

The disgusting acts displayed in the photos of Abu Gharaib released to date were mostly authorized by Rumsfeld: nudity, dogs, stress positions, humiliation.

Freder is exactly right: the abuse at Abu Gharaib directly flowed from the authorized torture at Gitmo.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I like to take a common sense approach to whether or not something is torture. It seems to that me restricting someone's breathing until they fear for their life is abusing them. But hey, that's just me. .

Fair enough. The problem is the torture crap has been watered down (pun intended) to the point where refusing the headhackers a Koran would be considered abuse. Christ we heard 'torture complaints' when a female interrogater rubbed her tits on some jihadist. I used to pay for that kind of abuse.

I guess it boils down to the this. If Freder and his fellow travellers are correct and we can get the jihdaists to sing like canaries using the gentle methods in the Army Field Manual then that assumes that the CIA is simply filled with sadistic monsters who torture for the sake of it. Or we can assume that Achmed the Headhacker is not going to be as cooperative as the Prussin born Wehrmacht General who will divulge actionable intelligence after a game of bridge and steak dinner.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"One's aim would have some impact on whether you choose torture or enhanced interrogation."
"Enhanced interrogation" is another name for "torture." The phrase was first used by the Nazis, for the same reason as we use it: to obfuscate to others and to themselves what they were really doing.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.
com/the_daily_dish/2007/05/verschfte_verne.html

Robert Cook said...

http://andrewsullivan. theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/05/
verschfte_verne.html

The corrected link.

m00se said...

I like the current discussion I'm seeing regarding actually researching the efficacy of "torture".

If it's so ineffective, I would think that very little research would be required to show that. I would also think that it could be shown without having to actually subject anyone else to the EIT's.

It's more a urban legend than anything else that "torture" doesn't work...

Roost on the Moon said...

Standard Operating Procedure (from Errol Morris) is a very good documentary with extensive interviews from 5 of the 7 people indicted in the wake of the Abu Grahib scandal.

Taxi to the Dark Side convincingly shows that this stuff was not limited to Abu Grahib.

Both are available to watch online at Netflix.

Propublica did a good job on their side-by-side comparison of the "torture memos" and the Red Cross International report on detainee abuse.

There is a good short Bloggingheads episode on this stuff today.

The Exalted said...

I guess it boils down to the this. If Freder and his fellow travellers are correct and we can get the jihdaists to sing like canaries using the gentle methods in the Army Field Manual then that assumes that the CIA is simply filled with sadistic monsters who torture for the sake of it.No, it assumes that rank amateurs in interrogation were running the show. The real experts, the FBI, have said as much, and pulled completely out of the interrogation regime because of the employment of such methods.

The Exalted said...

m00se said...
I like the current discussion I'm seeing regarding actually researching the efficacy of "torture".

If it's so ineffective, I would think that very little research would be required to show that. I would also think that it could be shown without having to actually subject anyone else to the EIT's.

It's more a urban legend than anything else that "torture" doesn't work...
urban myth, or the testimony of officers in the FBI who actually obtained information from terrorists using accepted, lawful and efficient methods.

Bob said...

As the guards at Abu Gharib were there to watch the prisoners and were not trained interrogators please supply the memo in which Rumsfeld signed allowing this use of guards as interrogators.

Otherwise this is and was a case where guards got drunk with their own power and abused their charges.

Bruce Hayden said...

"You've been misled; waterboarding, as with any torture, is meant merely to brutalize prisoners, thus terrorizing the perceived enemies of the state, and, more urgently, to extract confessions of crimes. Whether those confessions are true or false is generally immaterial to the purposes of the torturers."

The amazing thing is how much misinformation is packed into this one paragraph.

Smilin' Jack said...

It's too bad we don't have photos of what went on at Abu Ghraib under Saddam. But there's not much doubt that conditions there improved under Bush. So, if the issue of torture at Abu Ghraib is really important to you, you have to support Bush, and the war.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Urban myth, or the testimony of officers in the FBI who actually obtained information from terrorists using accepted, lawful and efficient methods."

Well, maybe, but then you have generalized here, and really cannot, given the circumstances. There is no reason to believe that the terrorists that the FBI interrogated were as hard core as the small number water boarded by the CIA, or even that they had to deal with all that many of them.

The Exalted said...

Bruce,

They were the exact same terrorists.

John Lynch said...

They should have released all the photos in 2004. They're going to come out eventually. They should have done it during the original scandal and gotten it over with.

The Exalted said...

Bruce,

From Ali Soufan's op-ed in the NYT:

It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence.

We discovered, for example, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah also told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. This experience fit what I had found throughout my counterterrorism career: traditional interrogation techniques are successful in identifying operatives, uncovering plots and saving lives.

There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.

Salamandyr said...

Within a handful of days of September 11, the major media networks decided to ban depictions from that day of people throwing themselves from the towers, or even the towers falling down. Their reasons were that they were emotionally traumatic, and would inflame American sentiments.

Yet, many of those same networks seem eager, desperate even, to publish pictures from Abu Ghraib, or other pictures that show Americans allegedly mistreating prisoners. They seem to have no concern about inflaming sentiments in this case.

I wonder why that is?

The Exalted said...

Salamandyr said...
Within a handful of days of September 11, the major media networks decided to ban depictions from that day of people throwing themselves from the towers, or even the towers falling down. Their reasons were that they were emotionally traumatic, and would inflame American sentiments.

That's incorrect. As anyone could deduce, those images were not shown out of respect to the victims, and their families.

Cedarford said...

So who is behind the ACLU FOIA act to release pictures likely to endanger our soldiers and Americans abroad?

The Usual Suspects.

After 9/11 the ACLU's Executive Director Nadine Strossen approved rush-forming the "National Security Project" meant to promote the rights of "terror suspects".

They chose a Canadian Muslim, Jameel Jaffer, to head it and backed him up with committed Hard Left Jews as staff lawyers that shared a negative opinion about America and the need to impede "evil Bush" and the US military, as well as American national security.
Melissa Goodman
Jonathan Hafetz
Lucas Guttentag
Arthur Eiesenberg
Judy Rabinowitz

And added the strongly anti-American daughter of an Indian PM, Amrit Singh, to "round out diversity."

Hafetz and Goodman head the litigation to force release of all photos of criminal investigations of unauthorized force used on terror suspects in custody - to the Muslim world. But the ironically named "National Security Project" has dozens of otther lawsuits filed on "so-called terrorist" detainees and "inappropriate scrutiny of Muslims in America and those flying." This ACLU "project" is also lavishly funded by the usual suspects...
====================
The Exhaled - urban myth, or the testimony of officers in the FBI who actually obtained information from terrorists using accepted, lawful and efficient methods..

How quickly we forget. The 9/11 Commission slightly dinged the CIA for not being aggressive enough in fighting to circumvent the Gorelick "wall" - but most of their bile was reserved for the FBI failing to interrogate well, follow Muslim terrorists they knew of, failure to communicate well inside the FBI's various silos - or listen well to what the CIA, America's police forces, and counter terror prosecutors were saying. It was so bad, with such a focus only on getting "criminal convictions" that many members proposed splitting the FBI into it's cultural prediliction for traditional law enforcement with only gun-wielding "special agents" with "admirable conviction rate records" promoted into management -- and taking counterterror and counter espionage away from them. Forming a version of the UK's MI-5 or French DST.

The Exhaled - No, it assumes that rank amateurs in interrogation were running the show. The real experts, the FBI, have said as much, and pulled completely out of the interrogation regime because of the employment of such methods.No, Exhaled, if anything the post-9/11 investigations showed the FBI was the amateurish, culturally hindered weak link of career-minded CYA lawyers and agents that have had a pretty miserable performance record in espionage and terror-fighting in recent decades and are about 30 years behind private industry, local cops, and other government agencies in Information Management and nurturing or importing new job skills.

Salamandyr said...

That's incorrect. As anyone could deduce, those images were not shown out of respect to the victims, and their families.I don't think that's the case, though one might consider a defensible argument.

One counter-argument is that those photos and films do not show necessarily show identifiable people.

Another counter-argument is that the networks have long pressured the Bush Administration to photograph the coffins being unloaded and lined up in hangars as they return from Iraq. Where is the respect for the dead in those cases.

And then there are all the other cases where media outlets publish faces, names, pictures, and details of people involved in crimes or accidents regardless of the wishes of the families.

It seems to me that if they are acting as you say, then they are somewhat selective in the areas where they wish to show respect.

buster said...

Freder Frederson said:

"disgusting, just disgusting. There is no legal or constitutional reason not to release them.

I would like Ann to provide one."


The issue arises under a statute (FOIA) not the constitution.

FOIA allows the president to remove the photos from the scope of FOIA by issuing an exective order to that effect.

So nothing, not even the court order, requires Obama to release the photos if he determines it would not be in the national interest. Nor does he have to appeal to the Supreme Court before he can issue the executive order. IOW, Obama could end the who frouhaha today if he were willing to ignore his leftist base.

Bob said...

It should be pointed out that the networks also banned footage of Muslims dancing around in glee while watching the towers fall.

EnigmatiCore said...

I approve of the decision, but give Obama no credit for it.

If the election results were reversed, Senator Obama would be on his soapbox slamming President McCain for making such an outrageous decision.

I usually hate these 'unprovable' accusations, but I think this one is on a foundation of rock.

Michael McNeil said...

Socialist paradise? You mean sweden?

Glad you brought that up. Prominent American socialist Michael Harrington (former co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, and thus a real socialist) had some choice words to say in this regard, in an interview with Robert MacNeil of the PBS Newshour:

MacNeil: “Finally, tonight, we remember political activist Michael Harrington, who died yesterday — he was 61 years old.

“Harrington began his career as a leftist political organizer, author, lecturer, and teacher in the early 50's. He became co-chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America in 1983. Among his books was The Other America: Poverty in the United States, published in 1962; it was widely viewed as helping set the scene for the Johnson Administration's War on Poverty.

“I spoke with Harrington a year ago, when he was already suffering from the cancer that led to his death. I asked why he thought socialism had never caught on in the United States.”

Harrington: “I think that's very complicated, but to just tick off a number of the reasons:

“Number one, we're a presidential country, not a parliamentary country. In Canada, so much like us, there's a socialist party which in the polls right now is at about 28-29 percent, which has been 20 percent or better for years. In part that's because in Canada you can vote for your socialist candidate for Parliament, and he or she can then affect the Executive in the Parliament.

“Number two. Because the United States in the period when most European workers were becoming socialist, which was the period roughly from 1880 to 1914 — in the United States that was the period in which it was more important that you were Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish, white or black, Italian, Irish, etc. That is to say, our race, our ethnicity, all of those complexities made it difficult to develop a class consciousness when people were much more ethnically and religiously and racially conscious.

“Finally, the most complex of all, in my opinion. There's a sense in which I think America is the most socialist country on the face of the earth right now — which is one of the reasons we don't have a socialist movement. By that I mean that the United States I think has always been one of the most egalitarian, open, non-deferential societies. We've never had any real Tories — any real conservatives — in America. One of the reasons that Canada has a socialist movement is that our Tories went to Canada after the Revolution, and sat around and told the workers that they were human refuse — that they were no good! And one of the things that generates socialist consciousness is having a bunch of upper-class snobs trying to push people down — we've never had it. And, I think, in a crazy way — socially — I've always thought that America is really much more socialist than Sweden!”

(MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour, Robert MacNeil's interview with Michael Harrington, broadcast August 2, 1989; transcribed by me.)

Bob W. said...

People are conflating these photos with the debate over controversial interrogation techniques. Wrong. These photos, as the President stated, are pictures that emanated from military investigations of detainee abuse.

Some in the forum here might suggest this abuse occurred because of the aforementioned controversial interrogation techniques. I would proffer they occurred because our military is largely a cross section of American society, and when a military unit suffers the perfect storm of piss poor leadership and an informal peer leader who happens to be a sadist, abuse will occur. Just like it does in the correction system and among the police forces of many of our larger cities from time to time.

The fact that the administration is resisting the release of these photos will no doubt sensationalize them; so now that they have chosen to delay them, I hope that they are never released, or at least not until most of our forces are back from the middle east, which may be the same thing. . .

David said...

From Reuters:

"Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he had had second thoughts about the decision to release the pictures after hearing the concerns of the top U.S. commanders in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. Army Generals David McKiernan and Ray Odierno.

"Our commanders, both General McKiernan and General Odierno, have expressed very serious reservations about this, and their very great worry that release of these photographs will cost American lives," Gates told U.S. lawmakers.

"That was all it took for me."

So it was the shiny new generals.

Now, will Obama obey the order if the court sticks to its guns? Will he decline to use executive power to avoid harm to American troops that he has pubicly described?

Robert Cook said...

Michael McNeil:

The quote you present from Michael Harrington is very interesting--to use a word my freshman comp instructor said one should never use,(but here it's true)--and reveals Harrington to have been both a nuanced thinker and an optimistic one.

However, I would counter that presently, with the financial institutions taking billions from the tax payers to escape the consequences of their own rapaciousness and heedlessness, while at the same time effecting the defeat of a bill in Congress that would have offered potential relief to homeowners who will now be evicted from their foreclosed homes without an opportunity to refinance them, that we are being told we're refuse by our masters in the American hierarchy. Whereas we have never had an explicit class stratification as in the UK and many other European nations, we do have stratification based on income, and yes, while the American system has allowed many to move up from one economic stratum to another, we now see an aggregating and consolidating of wealth among the very few, while the many lose their jobs, homes, and savings while paying the wealthy.

Further, I suggest we have become blinded to the economic disparities that do exist both by the incessant propaganda generated by our mediaplex and by the ease with which we can acquire material goods on credit. We come to believe we have wealth that is not real, that is illusory; we are indenturing ourselves to the future to pay for goods we buy today. This is far from the buying power that the truly wealthy command.

If this is socialism, I'll Take Sweden!

MadisonMan said...

Abu Graib ...unless you worship the NYT, it was much ado about a handful of drunken reservists.

I don't believe it was drunken reservists who made the decision to use one of Saddam's more notorious prisons to hold and torture people.

Meet the new boss! Same as the old one!The decision to preserve that prison will continue to haunt the US.

Michael McNeil said...

If this is socialism, I'll Take Sweden!

So when do you leave?

ElcubanitoKC said...

No, Robert Cook, in real socialism you don't have a choice. This is Cuba or else.

daredevil-66 said...

Kudos to the prez, well done. I am finally seeing some of this "pragmatism" I've been hearing about the last couple of months.

Jeremy said...

EnigmatiCore said..."I approve of the decision, but give Obama no credit for it."

Now there's a real shocker.

Hoosier Daddy - "I think this is great. Really. I mean its only been 100 days and change and he's really giving the middle finger to the lefties who actually believed he'd keep the promises he made."

You're such fucking rock head. Even when Obama does what you should wholeheartedly approve of, you just can't bring yourself to hold off on the standard right wing drivel.

You're gutless.

ObamaNation said...

You vile unamerican Rethuglican bastards. Your precious George W. McHitlerburton tortured unarmed and presumed innocent civilians, and here you are defending him. Have you no shame?

Have you seen the photos from Abu Graib? They made those captives wear underwear on their heads. Underwear. On their heads. And they made large dogs bark loudly at them, while they had underwear on their heads.

Just think about that for a while. Let it sink in.

And as for waterboarding: Have any of you Reichwingers ever experienced a swirly? Because I have, many, many times. And let me tell you, when your head is at the bottom of that damnable bottomless vortex, you can feel the cold, clammy hand of death on your scrotum...as well as those eighth-graders' hands on your ankles, as they lower you into the bowl.

You bastards sicken me.

Jeremy said...

ElcubanitoKC said..."No, Robert Cook, in real socialism you don't have a choice."

Where in the hell would you come up with that?

Socialism doesn't "demand" you accept the benefits afforded.

AJ Lynch said...

Mad Man:

Which prison should they have used?

It was a group of hard-drinking reservists from a unit out of western Maryland. You could look it up. No conspiracy from the higher-ups has ever been proven even by the biggest Bush-hating loons.

And I would not call it torture. But doctrinaire lib that you are, I expect you to disagree with me.

Jeremy said...

ObamaNation - I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think you're going to be very popular here.

Very popular.

ObamaNation said...

Yeah, what would a Cuban know about socialism? Rethuglican hillbilly.

Pwned!!!11!!

ObamaNation said...

Jeremy said: "ObamaNation - I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think you're going to be very popular here."

Wow, thanks, Jeremy; that means a lot coming from you. You're sort of a hero of mine. You, AlphaLiberal, hdhouse, MontanaUrbanLegend.

I just hope I'm more popular than I was in the eighth grade. Those bastards chipped my tooth once during one of those swirlies. So I know torture, firsthand.

AJ Lynch said...

ObamaNation:

I love the profile picture which I happen to know was taken on Broad Street (I could not make that up) in Philly when you protested a Sara Palin appearance.

Michael McNeil said...

Andrew Sullivan:

“But I have a sickeningly familiar feeling in my stomach, and the feeling deepens with every interaction with the Obama team on these issues. They want them to go away. They want us to go away.

“Here we are, in the summer of 2009, with gay servicemembers still being fired for the fact of their orientation. Here we are, with marriage rights spreading through the country and world and a president who cannot bring himself even to acknowledge these breakthroughs in civil rights, and having no plan in any distant future to do anything about it at a federal level. Here I am, facing a looming deadline to be forced to leave my American husband for good, and relocate abroad because the HIV travel and immigration ban remains in force and I have slowly run out of options (unlike most non-Americans with HIV who have no options at all).

“And what is Obama doing about any of these things? What is he even intending at some point to do about these things? So far as I can read the administration, the answer is: nada. We're firing Arab linguists? So sorry. We won't recognize in any way a tiny minority of legally married couples in several states because they're, ugh, gay? We had no idea. There's a ban on HIV-positive tourists and immigrants? Really? Thanks for letting us know. Would you like to join Joe Solmonese and John Berry for cocktails? The inside of the White House is fabulous these days.

“Yesterday, Robert Gibbs gave non-answer after non-answer on civil unions and Obama's clear campaign pledge to grant equal federal rights for gay couples; non-answer after non-answer on the military's remaining ban on honest servicemembers. What was once a categorical pledge is now - well let's call it the toilet paper that it is. I spent yesterday trying to get a better idea of what's intended on all fronts, and the overwhelming sense - apart from a terror of saying anything about gay people on the record - is that we are in the same spot as in every Democratic administration: the well-paid leaders of the established groups get jobs and invites, and that's about it. Worse: we will get a purely symbolic, practically useless hate crimes bill that they will then wave in our faces to prove they need do nothing more. […]

“Translation: we're doing the bare minimum to make us look no worse than Bush, but we have no real interest in this and are letting the bureaucracy handle it, and we guarantee nothing.”

The Exalted said...

It was a group of hard-drinking reservists from a unit out of western Maryland. You could look it up. No conspiracy from the higher-ups has ever been proven even by the biggest Bush-hating loons.
uh, no. they acted on orders from CIA, MI and contractor interrogators to "soften" up the prisoners. they were given an understanding that softening entailed beatings, stress positions, lack of sleep, nudity, dogs, and far more vile things.

no cooincidence that the woman in charge of abu gharaib came directly from a position running...gitmo. also no surprise that the tactics authorized at gitmo came over with her, but deepened in depravity when put in the hands of untrained, simpleminded reservists.

Bob W. said...

Exalted:

These are pictures from abuse investigations, ones that the military itself was carrying out based on misconduct by its own personnel, many of whom were punished under the uniform code of military justice.

David, Odierno and McKiernan have been in place for awhile, they are not the shiny new Generals (the latter was fired on Monday, remember?); McChrystal and Rodriguez are the "shiny new" generals heading to Afghanistan.

ObamaNation said...

AJ Lynch said: "I love the profile picture which I happen to know was taken on Broad Street (I could not make that up) in Philly when you protested a Sara Palin appearance."

Thanks, AJ; it's one of my favorite pictures of me speaking truth to power. And it would be just like those heteronormative hedgemonist bastards in Philadelphia to name a street "Broad Street". What pigs.

ObamaNation said...

Well, BobW, I guess we'll have to bow to your expertise when it comes to torture. You list "flyfishing" as an interest.

You subhuman monster. You don't even have the decency to land them quickly; no, you have to play them out slowly, with your one-pound test leader.

Typical Rethuglican environment rapist.

AJ Lynch said...

Exalted:

You got some bad poop again. Were you hanging out with Titus?

The "woman" in charge of Abu Graib was a paper-pushing reservist named Gen. Janet Karpinski. She was too timid to even go down and visit the cell areas. As a result, disorder ensued and the drunken soldiers did the frat pranks on the prisoners.

There were no orders from the top and no conspiracy.

BTW Karpinski was demoted and is now making the rounds of the lib "news" shows and blaming everyone but you and me.

daredevil-66 said...

I almost want to go out on a limb and say Obama had learned an important lesson on the job in this case. The publishing of the so called "torture memos" was done in the mistaken attempt to placate his lefty base. He sent Rahm out on the sunday circuit to tamp down any more talk of Truth hearings or any other retribution but the partisans at the DOJ was hearing none of it. So we have a few choice CIA leaks and VOILA a 180 degree correction. If Pelosi and Levin and the other hypocrites want to continue on their crusade, they have been given a clear enough sign they're on their own. Something tells me their hunger for more hearings is on the wane.

MadisonMan said...

And I would not call it torture. But doctrinaire lib that you are, I expect you to disagree with me.

My wife just asked what I want for dinner. You seem to want to put words in my mouth; what should I tell her?

As for what to use other than Abu Ghraib -- would it matter? I just think they shouldn't have used Saddam's torture prison to interrogate, because it is very bad symbolism.

Michael McNeil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penny said...

I wonder what ObamaNation thinks about his man, OBAMA, opposing the release of more Abu Ghraib photos?

Still no word on that.

AJ Lynch said...

Only doctrinaire libs would be concerned with symbolism in the middle of a war zone.

As to your dinner, I will guess you'd like some broccoli and veggie burger.

Michael McNeil said...

Folks here might like to peruse a view of conditions within Abu Ghraib, by an Iraqi doctor stationed there during the same time period as the infamous abuses were being perpetrated in one location by improperly supervised out-of-control night-shift guards. As the interview (by fellow physician Ali Fadhil of the Iraq the Model blog) makes clear, the experience people had in the bulk of that facility was very different.

Quoting now from that piece….


Saturday, May 08, 2004

Abu Gharib, other parts of the picture


Yesterday a friend of mine, who’s also a doctor, visited us. After chatting about old memories, I asked him about his opinions on the current situations in Iraq. I’ve always known this friend to be apathetic when it comes to politics, even if it means what’s happening in Iraq. It was obvious that he hadn’t change and didn’t show any interest in going deep into this conversation. However when I asked him about his opinion on GWB response to the prisoners’ abuse issue, I was surprised to see him show anger and disgust as he said:

– This whole thing makes me sick.

– Why is that?! I asked.

– These thugs are treated much better than what they really deserve!

– What are you saying!? You can’t possibly think that this didn’t happen! And they’re still human beings, and there could be some innocents among them.

– Of course it happened, and I’m not talking about all the prisoners nor do I support these actions, and there could be some innocents among them, but I doubt it.

– Then why do you say such a thing?

– Because these events have taken more attention than they should.

– I agree but there should be an investigation on this. There are other pictures that were shown lately, and there are talks about others that will be shown in the near future.

– Yes, but what happened cannot represent more than 1% of the truth.

– Oh I really hope there would be no more than that.

– No, that’s not what I meant. What I’m saying is that these events are the exception and not the rule.

– How do you know that!? I must say I agree with your presumption, but I don’t have a proof, and I never thought you’d be interested in such issue!

– I was there for a whole month!

– In Abu-Gharib!? What were you doing there!?

– It was part of my training! Did you forget that!? I know you skipped that at Saddam’s time, but how could you forget that?

– Yes, but I thought that with the American troops there, the system must have been changed.

– No it’s still the same. We still have to do a month there.

– So tell me what did you see there? How’s the situation of the prisoners? Did you see any abuse? Do they get proper medical care? (I was excited to see someone who was actually there, and he was a friend!)

– Hey, slow down! I’ll tell you what I know. First of all, the prisoners are divided into two groups; the ordinary criminals and the political ones. I used to visit the ordinary criminals during every shift, and after that, the guards would bring anyone who has a complaint to me at the prison’s hospital.

– What about the ‘political’ ones?

– I’m not allowed to go to their camps, but when one of them feels ill, the guards bring him to me.

– Are the guards all Americans?

– No, the American soldiers with the IP watch over and take care of the ordinary criminals, but no one except the Americans is allowed to get near the political ones.

– How are the medical supplies in the prison?

– Not very great, but certainly better from what it was on Saddam’s times. However my work is mainly at night, but in the morning the supplies are usually better.

– How many doctors, beside you, were there?

– There was an American doctor, who’s always their (His name is Eric, a very nice guy, he and I became friends very fast), and other Iraqi doctors with whom I shared the work, and in the morning, there are always some Iraqi senior doctors; surgeons, physicians… etc.

– Why do you say they are very well treated?

– They are fed much better than they get at their homes. I mean they eat the same stuff we eat, and it’s pretty good; eggs, cheese, milk and tea, meat, bread and vegetables, everything! And that happened every day, and a good quality too.

– Are they allowed to smoke? (I asked this because at Saddam’s times, it was a crime to smoke in prison and anyone caught while doing this would be punished severely).

– Yes, but they are given only two cigarettes every day.

– What else? How often are they allowed to take a bath? (This may sound strange to some people, but my friend understood my question. We knew from those who spent sometime in Saddam’s prisons, and survived, that they were allowed to take a shower only once every 2-3 weeks.)

– Anytime they want! There are bathrooms next to each hall.

– Is it the same with the ‘political’ prisoners?

– I never went there, but I suppose it’s the same because they were always clean when they came to the hospital, and their clothes were always clean too.

– How often do they shave? (I remember a friend who spent 45 days in prison at Saddam’s times had told me that the guards would inspect their beards every day to see if they were shaved properly, and those who were not, would be punished according to the guards’ mood. He also told me that they were of course not allowed to have any shaving razors or machines and would face an even worse punishment in case they found some of these on one of the prisoners. So basically all the prisoners had to smuggle razors, which cost a lot, shave in secrecy and then get rid of the razor immediately! That friend wasn’t even a political prisoner; he was arrested for having a satellite receiver dish in his house!)

– I’m not sure, from what I saw, it seemed that there was a barber visiting them frequently, because they had different hair cuts, some of them shaved their beards others kept them or left what was on their chins only. I mean it seemed that they had the haircut they desired!

– Yes but what about the way they are treated? And how did you find American soldiers in general?

– I’ll tell you about that; first let me tell you that I was surprised with their politeness. Whenever they come to the hospital, they would take of their helmets and show great respect and they either call me Sir or doctor. As for the way they treat the prisoners, they never handcuff anyone of those, political or else, when they bring them for examination and treatment unless I ask them to do so if I know that a particular prisoner is aggressive, and I never saw them beat a prisoner and rarely did one of them use an offensive language with a prisoner.

One of those times, a member of the American MP brought one of the prisoners, who was complaining from a headache, but when I tried to take history from him he said to me “doctor, I had a problem with my partner (he was a homosexual) I’m not Ok and I need a morphine or at least a valium injection” when I told him I can’t do that, he was outraged, swore at me and at the Americans and threatened me. I told the soldier about that, and he said “Ok Sir, just please translate to him what I’m going to say.” I agreed and he said to him “I want you to apologize to the doctor and I want your word as a man that you’ll behave and will never say such things again” and the convict told him he has his word!!

Another incidence I remember was when one of the soldiers brought a young prisoner to the hospital. The boy needed admission but the soldier said he’s not comfortable with leaving the young boy (he was about 18) with those old criminals and wanted to keep him in the isolation room to protect him. I told him that this is not allowed according to the Red Cross regulations. He turned around and saw the paramedics’ room and asked me if he can keep him there, and I told him I couldn’t. The soldier turned to a locked door and asked me about it. I said to him “It’s an extra ward that is almost deserted but I don’t have the keys, as the director of the hospital keeps them with him.” The soldier grew restless, and then he brought some tools, broke that door, fixed it, put a new lock, put the boy inside and then locked the door and gave me the key!


– Did you witness any aggressiveness from American soldiers?

– Only once. There was a guy who is a troublemaker. He was abnormally aggressive and hated Americans so much. One of those days the soldiers were delivering lunch and he took the soup pot that was still hot and threw it at one of the guards. The guard avoided it and the other guards caught the convict and one of them used an irritant spray that causes sever itching, and then they brought the prisoner to me to treat him.

– So you think that these events are isolated?

– As far as I know and from what I’ve seen, I’m sure that they are isolated.

– But couldn’t it be true that there were abusive actions at those times that the prisoners were afraid to tell you about?

– Are you serious!? These criminals, and I mean both types tell me all about there ‘adventures and bravery.’ Some of them told me how they killed an American soldier or burned a humvee, and in their circumstances this equals a confession! Do you think they would’ve been abused and remained silent and not tell me at least!? No, I don’t think any of this happened during the time I was there. It seemed that this happened to a very small group of whom I met no one during that month.

– Can you tell me anything about those ‘political’ prisoners? Are they Islamists, Ba’athists or what?

– Islamists?? I don't care what they call themselves, but they are thugs, they swear all the time, and most of them are addicts or homosexuals or both. Still very few of them looked educated.

– Ah, that makes them close to Ba’athists. Do you think there are innocents among them?

– There could be. Some of them say they are and others boast in front of me, as I said, telling the crimes they committed in details. Of course I’m not naive enough to blindly believe either.

– Are they allowed to get outside, and how often? Do they have fans or air coolers inside their halls?

- Of course they are! Even you still compare this to what it used to be at Saddam’s times and there’s absolutely no comparison. They play volleyball or basketball everyday, and they have fans in their halls.

– Do they have sport suits?

– No, it’s much better than Saddam’s days but it’s still a prison and not the Sheraton. They use the same clothes but I’ve seen them wearing train shoes when they play.

– Are they allowed to read?

– Yes, I’ve seen the ordinary criminals read, and I believe the political are allowed too, because I remember one of them asking me to tell one of the American soldiers that he wanted his book that one of the soldiers had borrowed from him.

– So, you believe there’s a lot of clamor here?

– As you said these things are unaccepted but I’m sure that they are isolated and they are just very few exceptions that need to be dealt with, but definitely not the rule. The rule is kindness, care and respect that most of these thugs don’t deserve, and that I have seen by my own eyes. However I still don't understand why did this happen.

– I agree with you, only it’s not about the criminals, it’s about the few innocents who could suffer without any guilt and it’s about us; those who try to build a new Iraq. We can’t allow ourselves to be like them and we can’t go back to those dark times.

As for “why”; I must say that these few exceptions happen everywhere, only in good society they can be exposed and dealt with fast, while in corrupted regimes, it may take decades for such atrocities to be exposed which encourage the evil people to go on, and exceptions become the rule.

What happened in Abu-Gharib should be a lesson for us, Iraqis, above all. It showed how justice functions in a democratic society. We should study this lesson carefully, since sooner or later we'll be left alone and it will be our responsibility to deal with such atrocities, as these will never cease to happen.


–By Ali.

Bob W. said...

ObamaNation,

I like your "about me" page, nice agitprop! It must make you smile when people say they know exactly where that photo of "you" was taken!

The whole flyfishing thing is a little agitprop of my own; I am trying to signal that I am a moderate who knows something about the military and current events - oh yeah, and that I like to catch fish on a fly rod. Go figure. It seems to be working. . .

MadisonMan said...

I think it's foolish to liberate Iraqis from Saddam and then not get rid of notorious symbols of the past regime. You call that symbolism and so do I. I also call it part of the war to win over the minds of the civilian population of the occupied country.

Michael McNeil: Start your own blog.

Dinner: Pancakes and strawberries.

Michael McNeil said...

I have my own blog. As far as ceasing to post here is concerned, I'd accept such a note from Althouse, but not from you.

AJ Lynch said...

Michael:

Thanks for the firsthand, accurate background on the goings on at Abu Graib. Too bad, the cocksuckers at the NYT would not find and publish this truth.

[I think Mad Man may have been paying you a compliment but I could be wrong].

AJ Lynch said...

What do you know - I almost had bacon & eggs for dinner!

John Lynch said...

Might as well release them now... they exist, it happened, and they're going to come out long, long before this war is over. Abu Ghraib is already in the news again, so delaying release is just going to increase the total amount of coverage, because this is going to keep coming up.

Again, they should have released them in 2004. Then we wouldn't be talking about it five years later.

Bob W. said...

Since they've already waited this long, why not wait until we redeploy everyone? That way, they can release ALL of the detainee abuse photos, including the ones that have not yet occurred.

I believe that some of these pics are from as recently as late last year, John Lynch, so if the government HAD released all of the photos they had back in 2004, they would likely have been sued by the ACLU to release the photos they accrued after that point; hence my argument to wait until the end until we release them, inflaming the world after everyone is safely home.

Although "the end" is probably never. . .

ElcubanitoKC said...

MadisonMan said...

I think it's foolish to liberate Iraqis from Saddam and then not get rid of notorious symbols of the past regime. You call that symbolism and so do I. I also call it part of the war to win over the minds of the civilian population of the occupied country.

[...]
7:48 PM
.

Agreed. It should have gone the way of Saddam's statues. However, would you have been happy if the US government had spent more money building a new one?

Methadras said...

"Minzo said...

"The Left will be enraged at missing an opportunity to besmirch this country further."

Do you honestly believe that what is actually motivating the left is 'besmirching' America?"

That is on aspect of the Leftist agenda. If really can't see that then I'm not sure what you want to see or do see. Of course the Left wants to besmirch this country. To tear it down in the eyes of the global community, to bring it to it's knees so that it will be on par with every other 2nd and 3rd world crap hole. That way America's exceptionalism will be snuffed out and no longer will be an issue for being blamed for all the worlds problems because they will have it all problems redistributed equally. The left hates what this country stands for, so why do you think they fight so hard to tear it down? They use all the populist excuses in the name of democratic transparency when they are nothing but the orchestrators of wanting a more perfect socialist union.

This is just another attack against the American bulwark. A hole in the dike if you will that they don't anyone to come around and stick their fingers in. So yes, I honestly do believe their intent to besmirch this great country as another attempt to tear its reputation down further and I won't stand for it.

Methadras said...

" Freder Frederson said...

disgusting, just disgusting. There is no legal or constitutional reason not to release them.

I would like Ann to provide one.

Hint: embarrassment to the government is not a legitimate reason to withhold a document."

This is why you are a unmitigated fool. It isn't about the government. It's about the reputation of the people that represent this government. Namely us. You and me. Maybe you want to see your country embarrassed in the eyes of the world, but the real question that needs to be asked is, why do you want to see them released. What do you or your leftist brethren have to gain from them other than finding solidarity with other like minded ilk who will use it as a threadbare excuse to denigrate this country further? What is your reason? I want to know.

Methadras said...

"Freder Frederson said...

I thought you were proud of what we had done. What is the problem with releasing the photos and letting the terrorists know what they are in for if they fuck with us?

Either torture is effective and will discourage terrorists or it will give our enemies cause to hate us more and cause even more terrorism. You can't have it both ways."

How do you know what I'm proud of you simpleton? Have I ever here or anywhere else that I am proud of torture? Ever? I haven't and I wouldn't. First of all it's not about having it both ways. It's about the understanding of what is defined as torture. Waterboarding isn't torture and I won't rehash the argument anymore. This is what I believe and this is what I will stand on.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing to be gained from releasing pictures to satiate the curiosities and to inflame the enemies of this country. And again, I will ask you, why do you want to see the photos and what will you gain by their release?

Methadras said...

"The Exalted said...

Fen,

The disgusting acts displayed in the photos of Abu Gharaib released to date were mostly authorized by Rumsfeld: nudity, dogs, stress positions, humiliation.

Freder is exactly right: the abuse at Abu Gharaib directly flowed from the authorized torture at Gitmo."

You've basically described a frat house initiation ceremony. If nudity was torture then I guess strip searches in prisons are too. If having a dog bark in your face, then I guess K-9 units are torture too. If being put in a stress position for lengthy periods of time are torture then you might as well outlaw being handcuffed, yoga, martial arts, weight lifting and any number of activities that do this very thing. And if humiliation was torture then... well, shit you might as well arrest the globe. Your arguments are childish. This little bit of Presidential/ACLU drama is nothing more than Kabuki.

Methadras said...

"Freder Frederson said...

I thought there was no downside to torture. Now you are saying that it might cause problems if our enemies see pictures of people being tortured.

I'm so confused."

It's not that hard to confuse someone like you that is perpetually confused. It's been prove that waterboarding extracts actionable intelligence data. Verifiable and useable. It may require more than one application as proven by it's use on KSM. Letting others know how that intelligence was derived is counter-productive to it's application, which allow the enemy to try and counter it or in this case to entice even more retaliation. This is why you are so easily confused.

Methadras said...

"UWS guy said...

Right wingers demanded torture of our enemies and the price is dead soldiers.

How many extra road side bombs were worth the waterboards, the ceiling shackles, the hypothermia?

Republicans can go fuck themselves for putting our troops in extra harm."

And if no one knew about the interrogation techniques that we employed would your faux indignation be non-existent? Fuck you and your pompous, phony stance. Throwing the excuse that our soldiers became more susceptible to extra harm because of the release of prisoner abuse information. If you hadn't know, if none of us had known this wouldn't be a discussion we would be having. But now that we do know, oh well, you puff up your chest and beat it like a drum at the horror of it all. You are no different than a wailing arab woman who rends her hair out and tears at her clothes when folly and sorrow befalls her. Only it's a show for all to see at how her misery is greater than the woman next to her doing the same thing. All for show.

Daryl said...

Thank you, Dick Cheney, for talking some sense into our stupid, immature president.

AJ Lynch said...

Daryl:

I'd love to see the media ask Obama "Have you changed your position after hearing Dick Cheney's objections over the weekend?"

MadisonMan said...

However, would you have been happy if the US government had spent more money building a new one?

I would recognize the necessity of it. That's not gonna make me happy or unhappy. And it's -- what -- $1 Million at most? That's a millionth of what the war has cost so far and would have been a very very wise investment.

ryanbiddulph said...

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

The Exalted said...

Methadras said...

You've basically described a frat house initiation ceremony
i'm not sure what fraternity's hell week includes repeated and continual assault, repeated and continual sexual assault, and forced nudity for months on end, but it sure wasn't mine or any that i've heard of. you also might take note that fraternities are, uh, voluntary associations, whereas those detained at abu gharaib were there rather involuntarily, for months on end, without charges, and often without notice to their families.

anyhow, so you'd be fine with your son or daughter experiencing what happened at abu gharaib? you're in the 1% minority of mouthbreathers who weren't outraged by those photographs?

Methadras said...

"The Exalted said...

Methadras said...

You've basically described a frat house initiation ceremonyi'm not sure what fraternity's hell week includes repeated and continual assault, repeated and continual sexual assault, and forced nudity for months on end, but it sure wasn't mine or any that i've heard of. you also might take note that fraternities are, uh, voluntary associations, whereas those detained at abu gharaib were there rather involuntarily, for months on end, without charges, and often without notice to their families.

anyhow, so you'd be fine with your son or daughter experiencing what happened at abu gharaib? you're in the 1% minority of mouthbreathers who weren't outraged by those photographs?"

Mouthbreather. Yeah, I've noticed that rancid little term being bandied about by the shallow thinker like you. First of all, I was annoyed by the original photos as they were released. Know why? Because I say them for what they were. Morons acting like morons that tarnished the excellent and professional work of the hundreds more that worked near, around, and where associated with Abu Gharaib. However, I also recognized the photos of the depictions of the types of activities in them as strictly not torture. Humiliation, you bet, but I don't consider humiliation torture either. These pictures where meant to embarrass the administration and they did. Your bankrupt ilk got what they wanted and we reaped the unintended consequences of your disgusting gratification.

I wasn't comparing the distinctions of choice of fraternity initiation rituals with what went on in that prison as conducted by those fools, but the recognition that one is voluntary vs. involuntary is obvious, and yet even with fraternity initiations, pledges will voluntarily submit, consistently to that type of treatment and in some cases to the point of death. Therefore the distinctions aren't that different. But I thought illustrating the what constitutes torture vs. what isn't should have been an easy enough parallel for you to surmise. I guess your surface fluff thinking didn't bridge that gap. Not my fault in this case.

I'm not going to play your moral equivocation game. There are millions of people in prison in the US that do just fine, pay their time for their crimes, get out, and move on. Some abuses occur, most are unreported. I'm sure other horrors of prison life go unnoticed. That is life. Deal with it. Your comparatives are childish.

Eric said...

Do you honestly believe that what is actually motivating the left is 'besmirching' America?

Sure. Because otherwise it means y'all are just kinda dense. And everyone knows a story is no good without a good villain. I mean, Moonraker is no good if Drax is just stupid. The hero only shines when the bad guy is intelligent but has bad intentions!