Pull the other one.
Pres. Obama's getting cold feet about releasing long-withheld images of U.S. torture. [Update: Decision made.] The excuse he gives insults our intelligence:
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters yesterday that President Obama has "great concern" about the impact that releasing the photos would have on soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Asked whether the Justice Department's decision might be reversed, Gibbs declined to reaffirm the government's intentions."Great concern about the impact on troops?" Brotha, puhleeze. He's worried about the impact on the U.S. public, half of which is already far more interested in accountability for torture than he is, and the other half unwilling or unable to conceive of U.S. torture unless shown pictures.
He's worried about the impact on the Senate confirmation of Lt.Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who led a network of torture and assassination squads in Iraq until last year, as commander in Afghanistan. Many members of McChrystal's dirty-war task forces are still in the field in both countries, and probably Pakistan. They were told by Army JAGs that the abuse and torture of prisoners was legal, given a directive that said they were allowed to use torture techniques forbidden to regular soldiers, assured repeatedly that they'd be protected by higher-ups from being held responsible for their actions, and when a little investigative heat was applied, managed to scuttle it by the convenient destruction of computer files.
It's sickening to see Obama try to justify illegal secrecy by hiding behind the troops in just the way Bush used to do. It's even more appalling to see him not only do nothing to hold torture commanders accountable, but promote them.
Update: 1:00 pm, 14 May - Guest poster Neel Krishnaswami at Unqualified Offerings wonders if the connection between the photos and McChrystal is even more direct.
Update 2: 1:05 pm, 14 May - Revised and expanded version cross-posted at A Tiny Revolution.