He promised transparency, but for many President Obama’s decision not to release photographs documenting the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan by US military personnel has gone against the pledges of his campaign trail . He fears a serious backlash against American troops despite saying only last month that he would not oppose the release of the photos. Has he done the right thing? Or is there a limit to transparency?
The left are livid at President Obama for attemping to cover up the attrocities of the Bush campaign. “This may be the most Bushian thing Obama has done ….I think it betrays a naivete about what the Iraqis already know about detainee abuse” said one blogger.
“The troops can’t be used as a fig leaf to break a promise” is the view at TPM Cafe. And this article feels that the President is just playing a political game, attempting to minimize damage with the Muslim world just before his trip the Egypt this month.
But the President is not without support.
“Torture is torture” blogs Nick Sloan – we know it happened so why do we need more photos? Haven’t the staff involved already been punished? And according to Judith Miller, some photos are not worth a thousand words.
By not releasing the photos, has he not just increased the curiousity surrounding them? Has the President just added to the propoganda value of the images ?