Nope. Not their war against Christmas; but their war against our military:
The Obama administration is withholding hundreds, perhaps even thousands of photographs showing the U.S. government’s brutal treatment of detainees, meaning that revelations about detainee abuse could well continue, possibly compounding the outrage generated by the Senate “torture report” now in the public eye.
Some photos show American troops posing with corpses; others depict U.S. forces holding guns to people’s heads or simulating forced sodomization. All of them could be released to the public, depending on how a federal judge in New York rules—and how hard the government fights to appeal. The government has a Friday deadline to submit to that judge its evidence for why it thinks each individual photograph should continue to be kept hidden away.
The photographs are part of a collection of thousands of images from 203 investigations into detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan and represent one of the last known secret troves of evidence of detainee abuse. While the photos represent disturbing images from the Bush administration’s watch, it is the Obama administration that has allowed them to remain buried—all with the help of a willing Congress.
The president may have entered office promising a new era of transparency—and was even prepared to release at least 21 of the photos in 2009. But Obama pulled back at the last minute at the urging of his top commander in Iraq, who worried the graphic images could generate a backlash against U.S. troops.
“We’re not dismissive of the fact that some people could react badly to the publishing of the photographs,” said the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer, the lead lawyer in a decade-long legal dispute with the government over the photos. But this does not mean, he continued, that there should be a “massive heckler’s veto that terrorist organizations can wield over the public’s right to know.”
“The public has a right to know what happened in these military detention facilities,” Jaffer added, “in the same way it has a right to know about what happened at the CIA black sites.”
The Daily Beast notes that in 2009, al-Maliki warned that “Baghdad will burn” if these photos were released. But now with American (semi)withdrawals in Iraq and Afghanistan:
today, five years later, there are less than a tenth that number serving in those two countries. And while U.S. officials warned about reprisal attacks in response to the “torture report” and other documentation of American atrocities, that backlash has so far failed to materialize.
Abuses and atrocities are not right and bring shame and dishonor to our country. We know they’ve occurred. We’ve acknowledged that these incidents have occurred (203 investigations into alleged mistreatment of detainees, according to the Daily Beast). We’ve reprimanded, prosecuted, and court-martialed our own over substantiated cases. Of what good does it serve anyone except America’s enemies and those with a morbid abuse fetish and those with a political self-loathing of our country in releasing these photos, at this time in history? We know abuses have occurred. Releasing photos and reawakening the memories of abu Ghraib (from 10 years ago) only picks at a national scab and reignites the fevered imaginings of Islamist ire. They will not look at us and think to themselves, “America is a moral nation for releasing torture photos.”
And liberals like Greg still wonder why Jose Rodriguez (who had the legal authority to do so) had foresight and acted unilaterally in destroying 92 CIA video tapes of Zubaydah and al-Nashiri’s interrogation sessions?
Has there ever been another country that has done more moral hand-wringing and navel-gazing than ours? As if the wrongful abuses that have happened in OIF and OEF and in the GWoT are unique to America and our recent conflicts and not something pandemic to human history, in all wars and throughout all of human history?
What is unique in the annals of human history is the extent to which we western countries are willing to go in self-flagellation.
It is not Dick Cheney, John Yoo, Jose Rodriguez, Michael Hayden (current whipping boy of the torture alarmist left, who wasn’t CIA Director until May 2006 when the CIA program was temporarily suspended- and essentially ended by Dec 2007), and other Bush boogiemen who have “harmed America’s moral standing in the eyes of the world”. It is the hyperbolic hysteria and comparisons to the Khmer Rouge, Spanish Inquisition, Japanese WWII officers; the distortions and partisan howling over findings in a deeply lopsided Report that represents the weight of governmental authority because it came from the desk of a U.S. lawmaker:
These false comparisons shoot across the world on the internet and 24 hour cable news, and are taken as fact by millions. And then the same critics who spread these lies blame the CIA for undermining America’s moral standing.
-Marc Thiessen, Courting Disaster, pg 141
There are real problems with the CIA and its history. However, all the Feinstein “Torture” Report does is feed into the conspiratorial villainous nonsense that so many in the anti-American universe embrace. It confirms their worst wild imaginations.
And now it’s apparently time to throw our military under the bus and drive over them, yet again.