Thursday, May 14, 2009

Transparency we can believe i -- wait what?

The never-subtle Mr. Fish.

From The New York Times:

President Obama is seeking to block the release of photographs depicting American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, an administration official said Wednesday.

The president's decision marks a sharp reversal from a decision made last month by the Pentagon, which reached a deal with the American Civil Liberties Union to release photographs showing incidents at Abu Gharib and a half-dozen other prisons.

"Last week, the president met with his legal team and told them that he did not feel comfortable with the release of the D.O.D. photos because he believes their release would endanger our troops," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "And because he believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court."

Mr. Obama advised his top military commanders about his decision in a meeting on Tuesday at the White House. Several military officials had argued against the immediate release of the photographs, saying such action could harm American troops in the field.

I object to this on two grounds:

- First, I believe in openness and transparency in government. Apparently the ACLU and the Pentagon, which voluntarily agreed to release the photos, do, too.

- Second, wouldn't this abuse have all occurred under the last Administration? We could use the photos to say we aren't going to hide the awful stuff that happened, but that under the new President this sort of thing won't happen again and we once again stand by our values. That sounds like it would actually undercut terrorist recruitment.

Now, it seems like we're just content with hiding our skeletons in their closets, not coming clean about them. That isn't going to help win the public opinion war one bit.


JMP said...

Apropos your featuring of Mr. Fish. Policy just a'int his strong suit either. Not to blame him though. It's a silly cartoon. But hey, You wanted to feature him.

So contrary to the information presented:

1.) There IS an active plan for universal health care. Reports now tell us that it's due to be introduced this Summer.

2.) No one then or now had or has any 'idea' about what to do about Iraq. This is why we should not have broken it & warred upon it.

3.) Both Obama & the JCS are on record as being against any unilateral 'strike' on Iran. By anyone. And in recent days this has also been conveyed to the new Israeli PM.

4.) Yes, Obama's more or less been fairly consistent on the 'gay marriage' deal.

5.) He is also presenting a very strong front to try and get the peace process started in the ME. And yes, the Israeli's do notice the difference. Even if you don't.

6.) 'Bringing fresh charisma to doomsday' is all about politics. The normal warp & woof of everyday life as it were. It is ever thus.

7.) And no, the ACLU is not now, nor has it ever been one in the same as the Government. And really should not be. Each have their own interests to advance & protect. The issue on the photos will be litigated, as it should be. Perhaps we might learn a lot from the entire process. JMP

Zaid at UGA said...

I think there's more or less a plan to get private insurance to more people, I wouldn't call it universal healthcare until I see it.