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Obama says releasing detainee abuse photos would endanger U.S. troops

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Boys and girls, the word for today is "flip-flopper". Can you say "flip-flopper"?

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seems like a good flip flop as he felt the troops safety was more important & rightly so.

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To the Republican/conservative backers of former president bush, the biggest failure in U.S. presidential history, Obama can do no right.

An immature attitude, at best.

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It's not a "flip-flop" to change your mind after thinking deeply and considering all the angles of a decision. It's called wise decision-making.

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Obama is one smart dude.

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Boys and girls, the word for today is "responsibility". It's where a government makes a decision, and after that they get a flow of advice from experts that shows it had further implications than realised, and said government doesn't have it's head so far up it's proverbial that it is strong enough to change it's decision for the good of everyone involved.

Of course, some see this as a weakness and would rather the government continue on with a silly decision despite all the best advice to the contrary, putting lives at risk and causing problems it would take years to fix. Imagine if the previous administration had "flip-flopped" over Iraq, then thousands of lives would have been saved and we wouldn't have had the mess over there that we had...

Now, if you want to criticise, you should criticise the original decision that they now realise is wrong. That decision is fair game. :)

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I'm sure if it were photos of people doing something to Americans it would be a different story.

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badreligion: It's not a "flip-flop" to change your mind after thinking deeply and considering all the angles of a decision. It's called wise decision-making.

He did not say he "would think about open government". He promised. Going back on a promise is to flip-flop. If he wants freedom from such criticism in the future, I suggest he NOT make promises BEFORE thinking deeply and considering all angles.

jinjapan: seems like a good flip flop as he felt the troops safety was more important & rightly so.

I don't think so. I don't think will have any noticeable effect on the troops either way.

But if he is so worried about it, why not drop leaflets over Afghanistan containing photos of U.S. troops building hospitals and kissing babies, instead of covering up the truth? I don't think enough Talibani have access to computers that they are even going to see the new torture pictures anyway.

Obama is over-riding a court decision and going back on his own word on the basis of what amounts to superstition and paranoia.

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The phrase of today is "listening to those smarter than you." Obama made the first remark on his own, inexperienced, accord, and then changed it after listening to those who would actually be effected by his decision. Let's hope he keeps this quality.

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America - and by extension the entire free world - are lucky that former VP and Sec of Defense Dick Cheney has gotten to Obama these last few weeks.

It's obvious: Dickster is in Obama's kitchen; he's rattling the pots and pans. Rookie president is getting flustered.

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Have to agree with likeitis on this one. This is what I hate about politics. These talking heads, GW, Obama, whoever, say they are going to do one thing and then do the other after having a little heart-to-heart with opinion pollsters. If you say you are going to do something you should carry it through.

On the other hand, I don't know whether or not the general public could handle the truth regarding such cases of abuse. If you think back to the Vietnam War, one thing that contributed to average Americans thinking that the war was "bad" was the images of little kids running down the streets of Vietnam with their skin on fire (napalm). This was something that many people had not thought about prior to seeing it on the news. This time around, however, I wonder how many people will loose their appetites if they open up their morning newspapers and find such photos on page 3. Moreover, as the President has pointed out, any photos of abuse of muslim individuals is not going to win the US any friends in certain Islamic countries.

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I agree with likeitis on this one; calling it 'wise-decision making' while it might be wise for the US military to save face, does not excuse going back a concrete promise.

minus one point for Obama.

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timorborder: Moreover, as the President has pointed out, any photos of abuse of muslim individuals is not going to win the US any friends in certain Islamic countries.

Which is why the next picture you show should depict the torturer sitting in a courtroom in handcuffs. And the next one, the same torturer in a prison cell. And the next picture, soldiers building hospitals and kissing babies.

Obama's waffling is going to be more dangerous than the torture photos. Like his waffling on Guantanamo.

I think this whitewashing can be used against us just as much as a display of the photos. So might as well be forthright, publish the pics, and be DEAD CLEAR that we reject torture and regret that that ever happened.

But this. This is like telling a lie to hide another lie. It becomes a proof in itself about what America is about. I would like America to be about truth and justice and openness. I am not getting my wish.

donkusai: Imagine if the previous administration had "flip-flopped" over Iraq, then thousands of lives would have been saved and we wouldn't have had the mess over there that we had...

Apples and oranges. Naturally, you stop a war when you have no proof that its necessary. But blocking pics when you have no proof its necessary, just a gut feeling? Completely different.

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I would play the "we made a mistake but we are learning" card on this one, instead of Bart Simpson's "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, can't prove anything!" card.

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"photos showing U.S. troops abusing prisoners"

How about photos showing those prisoners lobbing off people's heads?

"we made a mistake but we are learning"

Well, Obama IS the president who needs on-the-job training.

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Which is why the next picture you show should depict the torturer sitting in a courtroom in handcuffs. And the next one, the same torturer in a prison cell. And the next picture, soldiers building hospitals and kissing babies

Hearts and minds, eh? Good if you can get it too work. Then again, certain interest groups both in the United States and in Islamic countries like things just the way they are. Even the liberal media in the Middle East (Al Jazeera) knows that it enjoys better ratings if it paints Uncle Sam as the "Great Satan" (got to love the rhetoric). On the other hand, I don't know how a new Operation Warm and Fuzzy would be portrayed in the media. Conspiracy theorists would come out of the woodwork like crazy. Meanwhile, what would the reaction be of the right wing back in the US? That serial-deferment-obtaining former VP who can't shoot straight and his chickenhawk brother-in-arms would be all over the airwaves.

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Just on the point of showing photos of torturers in handcuffs, etc., I question if this is enough.

One thing that has long worried me about the conduct and punishment of military personnel is perceptions of justice. When one of ours is killed, etc. everyone expects that the perps will receive the death penalty if caught. On the other hand, when our troops do something as equally horrific (murder and rape of civilians, etc.), they get their day in court and, if found guilty, receive a relatively light sentence in humane surroundings (think back to Mai Lai in South Vietnam). This hypocrisy does not sit well with countries being occupied. If you are serious about hearts and minds, there should be some uniformity. The clowns at Abu Ghraib (the so-called "soldiers") should have all gone down for life without parole, pregnant or not. Other service people who have participated in unwarranted killings of civvies should be treated the same as they would be in a US civilian court of law, either lock them up and throw away the key or execute them.

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Sarge: How about photos showing those prisoners lobbing off people's heads?

via photoshop???

Well, Obama IS the president who needs on-the-job training.

When it comes to dealing with the mistakes of the former administration, every president does.

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I was waiting for the time when Obama the Lier King would start to align with the Bush administration and Republican thinking. He's on a good start here.

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I suggest he NOT make promises BEFORE thinking deeply and considering all angles." Then he wouldn't be an American Politician! You are right though, but that is not how it works in American politics.

However, IMO, I think he is going back on this and we will hear less about this now that it is out that Nancy Pelosi knew well what was going on.

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Growin more Dubya by the day.

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winning hearts and minds...well, I for one, think showing those photos sure as heck aren't going to win anything. And I feel the same way those who would be effected by them, which is why I say drop the whole idea of winning hearts and minds. They hated us before there were any talk or idea of Gitmo, they hated us before the war, they hated us from the day one.

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teleprompter: "Growin more Dubya by the day."

In other words, you're starting to like him and support him more, now that you've dubbed him corrupt and a liar.

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The problem with going 180 on this promise is this: by saying, "We have photos but we won't show them because they will endanger the troops" you are admitting that you have some pretty dangerous stuff. You don't NEED to show it -- you already have by admitting it. Now if he get pressured even more and decides to release the photos in the end, it's ANOTHER flip-flop. He should have just kept his word for open government and released them. He's screwed on this issue now.

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In other words, you're starting to like him and support him more, now that you've dubbed him corrupt and a liar.

What I am starting to like is the increasing prospects of Obama's presidency (and the evolving position on terror) becoming one long, four-year 'teaching moment' for the Left.

Be a good student now.

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Photos won't be released. Seems prisoners won't either.

The Obama administration is weighing plans to detain some terror suspects on U.S. soil -- indefinitely and without trial -- as part of a plan to retool military commission trials that were conducted for prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The proposal being floated with members of Congress is another indication of President Barack Obama's struggles to establish his counter-terrorism policies, balancing security concerns against attempts to alter Bush-administration practices he has harshly criticized.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124223286506515765.html

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one long, four-year 'teaching moment' for the Left.

What exactly are we supposed to be learning? Let's say the photos are released and some heinous revenge type killing of US troops in the field takes place. Of course the Right would jump in and point out, "The Libs just don't understand how heathen these hajis are, even when this happens."

We have been in Afghanistan close to eight years now. The situation there appears to be close to disastrous. Yet when we went in, the assistance of our NATO allies was rejected dismissively on the grounds "they will just slow us down."

So how is this winning? We've drained our treasury to support the "war on terror" and had to lower the standards of those inducted into the armed forces repeatedly just to get boots on the ground.

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Which is why I say drop the whole idea of winning hearts and minds.

This is one point of view, it reminds me of an NBC lecture I once attended back in the day, the basic premise of the lecturer was "Nuke 'em until they glow in the dark," which I thought was a rather reactionary foreign policy stance. It makes me laugh thinking about it now. Can you imagine if some politican or military commander said something like that now?

Anyway, although taking a hard line against enemy combatants, etc., is a good thing within the terms provided for under SOPs, etc., I don't think that it is a wise decision to publicize materials such as abuse photos. This is not just because it might impact the safety of allied service people serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. These people are big and tough enough to roll with the punches. They don't need their hands held by the folks back home. Also as a service person, to a certain extent you have to accept that your life is forfeit if the enemy captures you. On the other hand, going around with your head up your axse believing that captors will be nice is a serious delusion.

At the same time, I don't think it is good thing to give up on hearts and minds. Strong-arming people only goes so far before you start to see people pushing back (in this case joining the ranks of OBL's merry band). No matter what we do, we don't want to get into a situation where the actions of the good guys (us) are helping recruitment of bad guys.

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the basic premise of the lecturer was "Nuke 'em until they glow in the dark," which I thought was a rather reactionary foreign policy stance. It makes me laugh thinking about it now. Can you imagine if some politican or military commander said something like that now?

The problem is we have the ability to project "overwhelming force" which makes other states loath to tangle with us. But obviously we can't do so here and hence are stuck fighting a guerrilla war that we are ill-equipped to win. The Karzai government is hopeless. But as we learned in Vietnam the hard way, any leader who succeeds him won't be a whole lot better.

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Out of curiousity I wanted to see the pictures, but I understand why Obama doesn't want them released right now. They'll get released. This stuff always does.

Obama's lieing, as you call it, may be saving American lives. george bush's lies cost us American lives. < :-)

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One huge problem with the governments installed in Iraq and Afghanistan is that they lack credibility. Karzai and his cabal lack legitimacy among their own people. By no means can Karzai be compared with Ahmad Shah Massoud, who before his death offered an effective foil to the clowns from the Taliban.

Meanwhile in Iraq, the current administration most well known quality is that they all spent the Saddam years in exile. This fact alone tends to undercut their credibility with the man on the street. Indeed, the administrations in both countries cannot shake off the image that they are little more than puppet regimes of Uncle Sam. Also, initally supporting shysters like Ahmed Chalabi in Iraq has not helped either.

Talking about Vietnam, the US certainly installed some real characters as leaders in Siagon. There was Diem and his wife the so-called "Dragon Lady" who were both Catholics in a country with strong buddhist traditions (anyone for a BBQ) and their also was another guy who had a perchant for riding boots and top-gun jackets. Losers one and all.

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teleprompter: "...one long, four-year 'teaching moment' for the Left."

Your country -- in particular Republicans -- learned that politics like that which you spew on here daily never work, and were taught that lesson in the election. More importantly, many OTHER Republicans didn't even vote for their own party. They learned far more from Obama's inept predecessor and the all-but-defunct Republican party than Obama's little flip-flop here. Deal with it... your party lost.

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I agree with liketits. Be damned if the photos will end up whipping the fundies into a frenzy and endanger the lives of more Americans around the globe. I mean, it's not like the troops are having a hard time picking up the pieces of bush co's disaterous foreign policy.

Heh, I'm surprised to see the radical left in a frenzy about this - I'd have thought it would have been their counter-parts job to shriek at Obama for flip-flpping, especially since they're desperately hoping for him to fail...

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Interrogation my definition is abusive. Pictures of someone in your face is abusive. It is not only the troops who will be targeted for revenge from misperceived conceptions driven by the liberal media.

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Look like it's not just Obama's cage that Dick Cheney is a-rattlin'.

Hoooooooaaaaaaahhhhhh! Gissome, Deadeye!

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Uhm......tele me old lad - methinks you're fantasizing just a little.

8% dick has left the building. He is irrelevant. Sorry to break the news to ya.

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Hate to rattle your cage, but the Dickster is anything but a deadeye! Of course if he had not had multiple deferments during Vietnam and instead fronted up and done his service, he would probably have learned weapons handling and still have healthy hunting buddies to go shooting with down in Texas. More importantly from a national security perspective, the arguments he puts forward might have an iota of legitimacy. As Mad points out, the Dickster has wll and left the building, and may at some time in the future come to shopping mall near you.

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"some time in the future come to shopping mall near you."

You mean it can actually leave it's un-disclosed location?

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Heh. As often as Obama now changes his mind how can anyone be 'guilty' (as they say in Europe?) of hoping he 'fails' ?

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"how can anyone be 'guilty' (as they say in Europe?) of hoping he 'fails' ?"

By openly saying "I hope he fails". As you, and your boy rush limbaugh have already done.

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One would think Obama woulda thought of that before he made the decision to release the photos.

This once again shows the level of inexperience and/or incompetence he has as the "leader" of the United States.

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Hey Timo, I said nothing about nuking anyone. I said that I think taking this winning the hearts and minds of people who don't like us is not a good idea. Kind of like chasing up a girl knowing full well that she ain't gonna get with you. You're wasting your time. I say we should first take care ourselves first, other people will follow and they either jump with us or they don't. But going far out of your way to win the heart of people who hate you is ridiculous. Would you like to have republican friends? No, of course you wouldn't because they believe in a different ideology than you. Same here.

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Obama says releasing detainee abuse photos would endanger U.S. troops

President Obama's grasp of the obvious is refreshing, I must admit.

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"President Obama's grasp of the obvious is refreshing, I must admit."

Indeed. It's also refreshing he is actually listening to commanders on the ground, rather than bush co's sacking of generals that wouldn't toe the line.

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sailwind: "Obama says releasing detainee abuse photos would endanger U.S. troops"

How is saying you have the photos and that you refuse to release them BECAUSE they will endanger troops not endangering them as well?

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How is saying you have the photos and that you refuse to release them BECAUSE they will endanger troops not endangering them as well?

Agreed, Obama sure was pretty dumb in that department, but good to see his on the job training is progressing nicely though he might have really endangered some oh his troops in the process till he gets up to speed.

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"they will endanger troops not endangering them as well?"

Easy - the imagery won't be there and more importantly, it won't be instantly splattered across the arab street. You remeber the stampedes over a Koran getting flushed down the toilet with the provocative title "a load of shiite"?

The turban bomb cartoons?

Nah - I think it's irresponsible to release them at this point in time. The radical left making such an issue over not releasing them in my opinion is counter-productive to their cause as the actual abuse itself is getting lost amidst all this.

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How is saying you have the photos and that you refuse to release them BECAUSE they will endanger troops not endangering them as well?" Maybe he shouldn't have said to being with. I don't know of anytime when public opinion dictated how a war is suppose to go than this.

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Indeed, by saying the photos if released would endanger the American troops and casually dropping references to Abu Grahib in the same statement makes a powerful image in itself, along the lines of "there is no need to see the photos to know what they contain, from Obama's words," for example. "Not sensational" is a poor choice of words, too - it sounds dismissive after admitting the photos could "further inflame anti-American opinion." Anyway, that article was an interesting read.

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"Obama sure was pretty dumb in that department"

Obviously I'm trying to take into consideration your radical election thumping biterness, Sailwind, but in all fairness President Obama's pledge fpr transparency all came about becuase of the shenanigans of the last administration. The fumbling about at the beginning of the Iraq fiasco, and the death among US troops due to the bush Whitehouse stategies is enough to remove both legs from all the arguments of you die-hard bush suporter/Obama detractors.

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Obviously I'm trying to take into consideration your radical election thumping biterness, Sailwind, but in all fairness President Obama's pledge fpr transparency all came about becuase of the shenanigans of the last administration.

What makes you think I'm bitter? I'm glad Bush and Co. is history and retired, good riddance. It's you and the rest of the usuals on J.T that just can't seem to let go of it and I also include the radical right in that statement. I'm talking about Obama and his bad call in the first place he took without taking in consideration the absolute most important part of his job, keeping the American people safe and that includes his Military.

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I don't know of anytime when public opinion dictated how a war is suppose to go than this.

The American War in Vietnam ring any bells? Public opinion has been a greater defining factor ever since, including this (these) war(s).

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"that just can't seem to let go of it and I also include the radical right in that statement."

I'm sorry but since the election you've been shoulder to shoulder with 'em.

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I was against going into Afghanistan with intent on tossing out the Taliban and rebuilding (getting bin and getting out would have been ok). I was against going into Iraq for any reason. Want to know why? Well one reason was because a crapload of my countrymen would die in a Vietnamesque quaqmire, that's one reason why. And a crapload have died, haven't they? I got a cousin in Iraq FYI, and he should not be there and no American soldier should be there.

And here you are worried that a few pictures piled on top of the nasty ones already released from Abu Graib could get a few more soldiers killed? What a joke man! Its these damned wars getting the lion's share of American servicemen killed. But so many were so eager to go in, so by God, I am going to demand they do it right since they got their way. I am freaking embarrassed enough by this whole episode as it is. If my patriotism seems a little lacking, you can blame the war nuts I have to share America with and their seven years of fumbling the ball, and now thinking a few pictures are going to change the whole face of this debacle.

Frankly, its the patriotism of the gung ho who wanted these wars so damn bad that should be questioned, particulary with regard to Iraq. America would not be so soiled if they had just wiped their bottoms with the flag. So many of those yahoos did not give a crap about America then. All they cared about was having a war, like it was going to be some freaking picnic.

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Just sign an executive order against the release of the pics on the grounds of national security.

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Madverts: Easy - the imagery won't be there and more importantly, it won't be instantly splattered across the arab street. You remeber the stampedes over a Koran getting flushed down the toilet with the provocative title "a load of shiite"?

While it is true the true imagery won't be there, there is still the fact we are covering up information and undermining our claims to be an open democracy. Either choice has a bad effect, just a different bad effect. I would much rather people have their little fits now, so that later when they settle down, they can realize that it was AMERICA that had the balls to show the world their own dirty laundry and clean it up by themselves.

Instead, what we will get is a creeping loathing that will only continue in the long run, and terrorist recruiters having tangible proof that we say one thing and do another while having no intention to rectify the situation.

And like I said, after Abu Graib, I don't think the effect is going be all that big for releasing similar pictures. At least these won't have a guy giving the thumbs up over a corpse, will they?

And what is more, this cat is pretty much out of the bag. All they got to do now is reprint the Abu Graib pictures with this story.

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"I would much rather people have their little fits now, so that later when they settle down"

The trouble is they don't settle down. The lid might go back on the dustbin, but it's still ready to explode again....

...the fact that the US has been open about the abuses un-deniable. Why should the picutres be in the public domain anyway?

If a rapist films himself torturing and raping his victim, should people be demanding to see the images?

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sailwind: "What makes you think I'm bitter? I'm glad Bush and Co. is history and retired, good riddance. It's you and the rest of the usuals on J.T that just can't seem to let go of it and I also include the radical right in that statement."

You were often defending bush and co. tooth and nail along with foolish statements by sarge, pasquinade, Lunch Meat, etc. Not always, which I give you credit for, but very, very often, and in particular in cases of war and the debacle in Iraq. Now, you can't very well forget that the current situation is a result of past administration, as is the case with Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. When did these pictures and abuses take place? Saying you can no longer discuss bush/cheney and the lot simply because they are out of office would be like sitting in the ashes of Hiroshima or the aftermath of WWII German and saying you cannot speak about Imperial Japan or Nazi Germany because it's YOUR problem now and they are 'out of office'.

What's more, you take it so far as to stretch the very definition of 'denial'. The other day you were on the Cheney/Limbaugh post telling people who commented on Cheney that they had 'BSD' and 'reminding' them that bush and cheney were out of office (even to people like SushiSake, who didn't mention bush in his comment).

In the case of who made the decision in the White House on this issue, I agree that limiting criticism of the DECISION to Obama is fine and dandy, but we're also talking about torture and other acts that took place on the previous administrations watch, with perhaps their approval, and in any case in a war they started, and you CANNOT take that out of the equation.

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Madverts: "Easy - the imagery won't be there and more importantly, it won't be instantly splattered across the arab street. You remeber the stampedes over a Koran getting flushed down the toilet with the provocative title "a load of shiite"?"

I'm somewhat surprised I have to give you a little what's up as to how the human mind often works. You see, if someone were to come up to me and say that they promised they would always tell/show me if something bad were happening in my family (by a family member), then they said to me, "Look, I have pictures of a family member doing something that could endanger their lives, but I just can't show/tell you", you can bet your high horse my mind is going to run rampant and paint just about the worse possible pictures/scenarios ever -- and I've got a VERY good imagination.

If/when word of this gets out in the Muslim world their could well be outrage any way, and all the more because there are references to torture and Abu Gharab and a president saying that he just can't show the pictures because it will endanger lives. Unless of course you're suggesting others have no imagination.

Where it WILL perhaps help protect people is in the very short run -- where if the images were released they would be disseminated MUCH more quickly than simply the fact that there are such pictures (by word of mouth).

Anyway, I find it interesting that you have separated everyone on this site as either radical left or radical right, with yourself in the middle. Aside from teleprompter, oneforall, and Texas Aggie, as well as a couple of posters trolling, I don't see any real 'radical' statements at all. Posting your comment "Heh, I'm surprised to see the radical left in a frenzy about this" is a bit odd coming off comments simply disagreeing with Obama on this issue (hardly a frenzy). Okay, perhaps Sushi's initial post (in reaction to someone else's) was a bit much, but hey.

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Endanger?

How naive do you have to be to think the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Abu Sayyaf Group, Abu Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Ansar al-Islam, Armed Islamic Group, Army of Ansar al-Sunna, East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Islamic Movement of Central Asia, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Jemaah Islamiyah, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad ETC. ETC. actually differentiate between American soldiers and any other infidel in a military uniform (or not in uniform, for that matter) ?

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"Anyway, I find it interesting that you have separated everyone on this site as either radical left or radical right, with yourself in the middle"

That's because an inordenant amount of posters here often are at such extremes. I was particularly surprised with likeitis's venom in the first few posts.

I simply don't agree with you about showing these images. Again, why should the images be shown - they're a crime, that some poor sods have had to endure. Photo's from regular criminal cases where people endured similar abuses probaby wouldn't be releaed to the public domain.

And as the article rightly states, "When photos emerged in 2004 from the infamous U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, showing grinning American soldiers posing with detainees — some of the prisoners naked, some being held on leashes — the pictures caused a huge anti-American backlash around the globe, particularly in the Muslim world."

The people demanding thse photo's also have agenda.....just like the rest of us.

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Agreed, Obama sure was pretty dumb in that department, but good to see his on the job training is progressing nicely...

In his favor, he's immensely teachable. So much so that it amazes me how much some people seem to wax nostalgic over the boundless ignorance and arrogance of his predecessor.

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In his favor, he's immensely teachable.

And Cheney is doing a great job.

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Meanwhile, the DU folks are in full meltdown mode:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu...mesg_id=3874920

Ah, there's nothin' quite like the smell of burnin' liberals in the morning.

I'm luvin'it.

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"And Cheney is doing a great job."

Wow, the scope of Denial get's better. Heh, but I like to see pride in someone who before being ejected from the Whitehouse, had an 8% approval rating.

And let's hope dick won't be teaching the president how to shoot.

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Looks like Pelosi cornered Obama and said: "I had full knowledge of what was going on back then and was OK with it, you idiot. What are you trying to do? Destroy the Democrat Party?"

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Madverts: If a rapist films himself torturing and raping his victim, should people be demanding to see the images?

No. But the jury better watch. Guess who is the jury when the government is the accused.

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Madverts: The trouble is they don't settle down.

I can only take that to mean that you agree with me that Iraq and Afghanistan are both collosal wastes of time, money, and lives, and that we should withdraw from both immediately and never should have gone to Iraq, and not to Afghanistan in the capacity we did.

And once that is done, it will be safer for them, so one less reason to withold the pics.

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I just want to say that, criticize Obama as I do, this is still a lot easier to swallow than half the crap Bush and Co. pulled. Still quite happy to have Obama by comparison, even over where I think McCain would be right now.

Also (and I think another poster reflected this) this might be from Obama's new general in charge. It might have been a condition to taking the job. If it was, I can tell you I would be a whole lot more comfortable if that fact were relayed to us. Because otherwise, I am thinking Obama got suckered.

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"I can only take that to mean that you agree with me that Iraq and Afghanistan are both collosal wastes of time, money, and lives,"

Iraq I disagreed with for two main reasons. The first and fore-most was because it was a money-grubbing exercise for Bush Co. The second was that it would open a can of worms in a world region known for its' instability - but, that had a secular dictator squashing the fundies, albiet anyone else he felt threatened by. Afghanistan, the reasons for beng there and the overall mission is different. I supported NATO action there after the events of 9/11.

"and that we should withdraw from both immediately and never should have gone to Iraq"

Obama voted against Iraq. Now he's picking up the pieces.....leaving "immediately" would cause a catastrophe in my humble opinion, and I'l glad he once again back-tracked, flip-flopped or whatever euphomism you want to use, after recognizing the difficulties.

He's done the same thing here regarding these images. Despite the obvious fact I'm in agreement with him, I commend anyone who can look at the situation, decide he was wrong and act accordingly. I reckon you have to be a big man to back-track when you are the President of the United States.

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"I can only take that to mean that you agree with me that Iraq and Afghanistan are both collosal wastes of time, money, and lives,"

Iraq I disagreed with for two main reasons. The first and fore-most was because it was a money-grubbing exercise for Bush Co. The second was that it would open a can of worms in a world region known for its' instability - but, that had a secular dictator squashing the fundies, albiet anyone else he felt threatened by. Afghanistan, the reasons for beng there and the overall mission is different. I supported NATO action there after the events of 9/11.

"and that we should withdraw from both immediately and never should have gone to Iraq"

Obama voted against Iraq. Now he's picking up the pieces.....leaving "immediately" would cause a catastrophe in my humble opinion, and I'l glad he once again back-tracked, flip-flopped or whatever euphomism you want to use, after recognizing the difficulties.

He's done the same thing here regarding these images. Despite the obvious fact I'm in agreement with him, I commend anyone who can look at the situation, decide he was wrong and act accordingly. I reckon you have to be a big man to back-track when you are the President of the United States.

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Pictures have already been released.....no need to add more of the same. If no pictures had ever been released then it would be a different story, but that's not the case.

If they want to run pictures then show some of US troops doing good things in Iraq. I could probably sketch out most of the Abu Ghraib pictures from memory after seeing them so many times but I can't think of a single time I saw a picture of a US soldier helping someone in Iraq in the mainstream media. I'm assuming the same goes for the Arab media. If people don't like it they can cry a river. The positive/negative ratio of images from Iraq is already about as close to 0 as it can be. You'll just have to find a way to be happy about that.

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likeitis: I can only take that to mean that you agree with me that Iraq and Afghanistan are both collosal wastes of time

Do you need someone to be a partner in this conversation so you don't end up talking to yourself?

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As Obama's now finding out liberalism is all about unicorns, rainbows and gumdrop rivers until reality becomes part of the equation.

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Obama says releasing detainee abuse photos would endanger U.S. troops

-- This week.

Remember, this guy's already got a track record of changing his mind.

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the pictures would “further inflame anti-American opinion”

Bbbut.... the international left, the MSM and the democrats all said global anti-American sentiment ended at noon, Jan. 20th.

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bamboohat: you should re-read & read again your own advice. then follow it, to the letter. for too long, you have been ignoring the advice of your betters. your comments are inexplicably lacking in sense, rhyme or even reason. maybe mr. obama can sit you down one day, and teach you some valuable life lessons that your parents never thought to. or maybe mr. bush could teach you some similar lessons. whoever, whenever. just so long as you learn a lesson.

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Whether the photos are released or not, the damage has been done. Americans are hated in Iraq and Afghanistan. As long as America continues those wars expect American soldiers to get killed.

Release of the photos might have the opposite effect. It may be taken as atonement.

But the military brass who don't want the photos released are not worried so much about the lives of grunts as they are about the image of the US military.

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TexasAggie: As Obama's now finding out liberalism is all about unicorns, rainbows and gumdrop rivers until reality becomes part of the equation.

That is interesting. Perhaps you could give us a scientifically tabulated estimate of the excess American deaths and injuries releasing the pictures will result in?

We are dealing with unprovables with regard to that. What is not in question is that democratic ideals are being undermined.

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likeitis at 10:45a: "via photoshop?"

No, via photos taken of the scumbags who would torture and kill you without hesistation or remorse, wiseguy.

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Sarge: "Well, Obama IS the president who needs on-the-job training"

likeitis ( whatever ): "Whe it comes to dealing with the mistakes of the former admnistration, every president does"

George W. Bush didn't need OJT to deal with the mistakes of the Clinton administration. But Obama woud have needed OJT no matter who was the previous president - he's the least qualified president in history.

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One would think Obama woulda thought of that before he made the decision to release the photos.

Did GWB think before he rejected the assistance of our NATO allies almost eight years ago? Eight years???? Did he "flip flop" when he tried to get them to send more troops? "Oh, no, you said we would just slow you down."

One wonders if GWB was even aware of the Soviet's decade long occupation of Afghanistan, backing a government that had no more control than Karzai does. They went home and the empire collapsed.

Despite having used torture (and photographed victims), by the look of things in Afghanistan we can hardly claim victory is "in sight."

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Be a good student now.

Anyone who cannot list learning objectives has no business claiming to be an educator. The lesson here is that the the United States deviates from the Powell Doctrine, study up on it please, at it's own risk.

Afghanistan is Exhibit A of what can happen in a guerrilla war. Each year the opium harvest, which occurs in April, is bigger than the year before. That gives the Taliban, and whoever else, access to a whole lotta cash.

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Sarge: No, via photos taken of the scumbags who would torture and kill you without hesistation or remorse, wiseguy.

So they are in U.S. custody? If not, you might find Photoshop to be a very useful program. You can use it to put the heads of the guys in U.S. custody onto the other guys who are...wait a minute...did you say "would" torture and kill me? I thought we were talking about actual crimes committed.

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Madverts and Likeitis,

You both make really compelling arguments regarding whether or not the photos should be released.

Because none of us have seen the photos (obviously), we're all forced to speculate on their contents. What I believe is the photos show abuses greater than what was seen in the first set of Abu Ghraib photos, prompting Pres. Obama to reconsider showing the last administration's handiwork.

IF that is the case, then I believe you are both partially correct and Pres. Obama is, once again, in a lose/lose situation.

If the photos are of abuses that are more horrific than the previously released photos, then obviously releasing them would put our troops in greater danger. However, greater abuses of prisoners means greater human rights violations, facilitating the need for trials so that justice may be done.

Obviously, Pres. Obama, unlike the last administration, does not want to needlessly put our troops further in harm's way however, to protect them, justice suffers, and that too, will fuel hatred toward America.

So...it's another catch-22 that the President has inherited from wpe. Were I in his situation, I'd likely not release them to the public or the media, but would put together a bi-partisan panel, who would work with the Justice Dept. to determine if charges are warranted and if so, how far up the chain-of-command those charges should go.

The silver lining to all of this is that it appears Americans are seeing now, first hand, that neo-conservatives, given the reigns of power, dick-up everything they touch and are too selfish to weild the reigns of authority. Hopefully, it is a lesson that sticks.

superlib,

The positive/negative ratio of images from Iraq is already about as close to 0 as it can be.

You're kidding, right? I'll grant you, there are more negative photos out there than positive, but they are mostly the same pictures regurgitated over and over. But...they are in the majority.

However..."as close to 0 as it can be."...Oh come on. That's just flat out not true.

Taka

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And Cheney is doing a great job.

It's always good to learn from a major blunder(er), isn't it?

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George W. Bush didn't need OJT to deal with the mistakes of the Clinton administration.

True. He was "working hard" to create his own mistakes.

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George W. Bush didn't need OJT to deal with the mistakes of the Clinton administration.

hahaha, nah, he just phoned his daddy and asked how best to do things. look how that went...

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to determine if charges are warranted and if so, how far up the chain-of-command those charges should go.

We know how far up they went under GWB, no higher than Lynndie England.

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Taka,

"Were I in his situation, I'd likely not release them to the public or the media, but would put together a bi-partisan panel, who would work with the Justice Dept. to determine if charges are warranted and if so, how far up the chain-of-command those charges should go."

That pretty much sums up how the matter should be dealt with. It isn't a partisan matter in the first place, it's a criminal matter - where politics should be firmly put aside for justice.

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We don't need to see the photos. What is the point other than to sell more tabloids? I think it is pretty clear what the ex-govt of USA stood for, and now, nothing has changed with Obama as coach. But, it is easy to pick on America, and for those of you know me...Zionism. This issue should widen, and not highlight America, it must focus on all the other torturers and human rights abusers. We can start with Japan's "confession" trial system, cross the water to the land-grab protesters of China, after traveling either through Laos or Vietnam, and pop into Burma. If we choose to head towards Bagram via N. Korea, we can...

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This issue should widen, and not highlight America, it must focus on all the other torturers and human rights abusers. We can start with Japan's "confession" trial system, cross the water to the land-grab protesters of China, after traveling either through Laos or Vietnam, and pop into Burma. If we choose to head towards Bagram via N. Korea, we can...

We're hardly in a position to criticize others. I mean, Condi's "violence never solves anything" to the Chinese last year fell kinda flat, don't ya think?

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Betzee,

To be fair, it went higher than lynndie england. She was an E-3. (Then) Staff Sgt. frederick was the highest ranking person (E-6) to be convicted of a crime there.

No officers were convicted of any wrong doing (which doesn't explain their lack of situational awareness) and no CIA agents were tried.

Taka

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Were I in his situation, I'd likely not release them to the public or the media, but would put together a bi-partisan panel, who would work with the Justice Dept. to determine if charges are warranted and if so, how far up the chain-of-command those charges should go

I agree, hold Bush responsible for his crappy decision. Boy, he's a gift that keeps on giving isn't he.

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To be fair, it went higher than lynndie england. She was an E-3. (Then) Staff Sgt. frederick was the highest ranking person (E-6) to be convicted of a crime there.

I know. But those charged were not in a position to defend themselves, officers would be.

Those abuses occurred during a period when US troop casualties were increasing, which was a political problem for an administration that claimed "we'll be greeted as liberators." The "employees" at Abu Graib were instructed to "get rough" to get intel. Not Lynndie England, but others have been charged for following orders as they understood them.

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taka13: "The silver lining to all of this is that it appears Americans are seeing now, first hand, that neo-conservatives, given the reigns [reins] of power, dick-up [sic] everything they touch and are too selfish to weild [wield] the reigns [reins] of authority. Hopefully, it is a lesson that sticks."

No, what we Americans have seen over the last few weeks is former Vice President, Sec. of Defense, and WH Chief of Staff Dick Cheney bringing to bear his considerable experience in matters of defense and national security and doing for America (and the free world) invaluable, long overdue work: he has magisterially schooled our arrogant rookie president.

Those with eyes to see and ears to hear have also had to admit to themselves that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a pathological liar, and one who will casually play politics with our national security if she thinks it will bring her more power.

teleprompter

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No, what we Americans have seen over the last few weeks is former Vice President, Sec. of Defense, and WH Chief of Staff dick cheney bringing to bear his considerable experience in matters of defense and national security and doing for America (and the free world) invaluable, long overdue work: he has magisterially schooled our arrogant rookie president.

Really? That's what's happening? Imagine that.

My surprise stems from the fact, that over the last few weeks, Pres. Obama's overall approval ratings have improved and republican strategists and Congressmen have publically stated a desire for dick to go back into hiding in his undisclosed bunker.

Taka

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It would seem that Obama is finding out that reality sucks. Of course if Gitmo had never existed then he wouldn't have the problem but it's not as simple as it sounds on the campaign trail, is it?

If the US had never moved away from due process of law to torture then life would be a lot simpler right now. I wonder if Cheney has ever heard about Nuremburg. Maybe he and Pelosi and the rest of the hypocrites should take a little fact finding tour there.

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ca1ic0cat,

If the US had never moved away from due process of law to torture then life would be a lot simpler right now. I wonder if cheney has ever heard about Nuremburg. Maybe he and Pelosi and the rest of the hypocrites should take a little fact finding tour there.

I agree 100%. Can we make that ticket 1 way, with a lay-over in Spain, perhaps?

Taka

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This is becoming a pattern with Obama: level an accusation and threaten to do something about it and then poof! Back completely off of it.

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If Obama would stop to think, the mind that the photos have influenced is his own.

I believe that the military is worried less about the effect of the photos on the Muslim world--whose hearts and minds we are not exactly winning over at present--than about the effect on Americans and on the citizens of the NATO countries who are helping us.

What ultimately put the kabosh on the Vietnam war was not the ineffectiveness of 2,000,000 dead Vietnamese or the greater-than-WW2-ordinance bombing of Laos and Cambodia but the extreme unpopularity of the war at home and the growing anti-military sentiment.

I believe that the military is most anxious to avoid this and I believe Obama has capitulated. I think it's good to be able to change your mind, but here I think he is changing it from weakness and not from strength. Americans should be able to continue to vote on the war and that vote does not take place exclusively in Congress but also through the workings of a free press.

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No, what we Americans have seen over the last few weeks is former Vice President, Sec. of Defense, and WH Chief of Staff Dick Cheney bringing to bear his considerable experience in matters of defense and national security and doing for America (and the free world) invaluable, long overdue work: he has magisterially schooled our arrogant rookie president.

Rookie president? You must mean GWB. He was the one who gave undue weight to the opinions of some of those with long resumes, like Donald Rumsfeld ("it could last six weeks or six months") and Dick Cheney ("we will be greeted as liberators") in an effort to go down in the history books as the president who brought democracy to the Arab Middle East.

There was another wise man, whose relevant experience trumped that of either the VP or the Secy of Defense. That would be Colin Powell, who famously observed "you break it and you own it." In some ways, the focus on the use of torture, though welcome, enables us to avoid acknowledging the 800-pound gorilla in the room, namely what have we accomplished in Afghanistan after nearly eight years? Obama will be under pressure to define the mission. And "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to face them here" isn't going to cut it.

As for torture, I think proponents take pleasure in imagining sticking it to bad guys in a painful and personal way. John McCain, incidentally, was against it before he was for it. The base let him know, gotta toe the line on this (and everything else). His personal experience counted for zilch.

I have yet to hear any professional claim torture gets worthwhile results. On the contrary, they feel it doesn't. You can get somebody to confess, whether it's truthful or not, but not fill in the details of how the organization works which is crucial to disabling it. We know it was used at Gitmo to establish a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. You want that confirmed? No problemo....

Colin Powell's cautionary words should have been heeded. Contrary to some of the dismissive posters here, the military is very worried about the rising number of suicides. It's understandable the commanders in the field don't want the photos released which would increase the danger on troops who've already sacrificed to complete repeated deployments. Yet "national security" cannot be used to hide official wrong doing. It appears that is the case here.

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Sezwho and Betzee, excellent posts! But since you did not reduce that into one or two sentence blurbs, I am afraid you exceeded the attention span of most conservative posters here. You need to make it shorter, hopefully make it rhyme, add a wordplay or buzzword, and conclude with a rhythmic "Ra! Ra! Ra!" or its just not going to stick. Who needs logic when there is cheerleading to do? Too much scientific left brain where conservatives want more artistic (autistic?) right brain.

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He used us!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/13/731059/-Obama-Makes-Terrible-Mistake-by-Not-Releasing-Pictures

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Teleprompter, rather than just take yet another opportunity to bash Obama, do you think you could tell us where you stand on releasing the pics in one of your little sound bytes? For or against buddy?

And did you feel the same when Bush was prez? Or no?

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There is no doubt that he will release them in is never-ending quest to brown-nose the muslim world. This current hesitation dance is just meant to give him an excuse. Looky here, the courts did it, I didn´t!

It is pathetic to see how the press falls for it, again.

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After all Barack Obama's done to hurt America in his first hunnert days, I wonder what the real story is behind this latest mess. I know it's not about 'endangerin' US troops'.

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We can only assume that if the photos were of foreign fighters abusing US Troops in captivity then they'd be all over the Fox network alongf with a jingoistic song and dance..

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Naw, there are no troops in custody. If they catch any, they immediately cut off their heads on camera to use as propaganda against the US.

Rookie president? You must mean GWB. He was the one who gave undue weight to the opinions of some of those with long resumes, like Donald Rumsfeld ("it could last six weeks or six months") and Dick Cheney ("we will be greeted as liberators") in an effort to go down in the history books as the president who brought democracy to the Arab Middle East.

No, he meant Obama. A man with the least policy experience ever elected. That doesn't mean he can't pick good people, and learn on the job. It just means Obama has no previous experience governing anything besides a community organization. Though of course speaking for myself, I see very little that he has done good in the first 100 days, and a lot that he has done bad. Still, since his disastrous "apologize for America" tour in Europe and the Middle East, there haven't been any major foreign policy screwups yet. Thats a good sign at least.

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