Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obama Changes His Mind - No To Release of Guantanamo Photo’s – Court to Decide – Dick Cheney’s Points on National Security Taken to Heart

Barack Obama with Dick Cheney - photo cfnews13

In a stunning reversal of policy, President Obama has decided to block the release of photographs of alleged abuse of terrorists (enemy combatants) at Guantanamo Bay. The decision on Wednesday, as reported by the New York Times, reverses his previous decision not to block the release of the photographs. In doing so, the President has made a smart decision – regardless of some critics who point out that the Courts will be left with the decision, and any anger from the left will be aimed at the Courts rather than the President and his administration. An AP analysis suggests that the administrations claim of finding a new legal argument for preventing the release of the photographs is false; and that the reversal is merely political, aimed at protecting the President from the angry left. That said, the President’s decision, based on national security issues, as noted by Press Secretary Gibbs, shows a level of understanding of the scope of the global impact of the war on terror that appeared to be previously absent. One may also give credit to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who in recent weeks has kept up a continual assault on the administration, specifically hammering home the dangers of releasing said photographs. Cheney, who is not the most outspoken individual, had ratcheted up the criticism to unprecedented heights – one must assume that given Cheney’s background, motivation for the barrage was based on national security, not party affiliation. It's all possibly relative that DNA played a factor and similar decisions can be seen coming out of the Administration should Cheney, once again, be as vocally aggressive on issues of National Security..

Obama’s initial decision to approve the release of the photographs was a sticking point with Senate Republicans, and rightly so. The release of photographs from Abu Ghraib prison produced a backlash across the Middle East, and further placed an additional threat on U.S. forces in the field. Regardless f the fact, that by global standards of torture, the Abu Ghraib photographs were rather benign, they were a rallying point for the left, and those militant Islamic groups who would grasp at any straw as an excuse to attack the U.S. and its interests. Although, not armed with a crystal ball, one must imagine that any photographs of Guantanamo detainees being “tortured”, would be equally or less benign that those from the Iraqi Prison, given the fact that prisoners at Guantanamo are treated exceptionally well compared to those held in U.S. prisons (where, it can be argued, life behind bars in the U.S., although restraining offers amenities that would not be found outside the U.S.).

In reversing his decision, the President, regardless of any alleged motive, moves to protect American Troops and, as a bonus, serves to remove a possible Al Qaeda/Taliban recruiting tool as well as angering those on the fringe (Daily Kos) who see Presidents decision as “illegal” . However, in a recent Rasmussen Poll regarding the release of detainees from Guantanamo, 75% of those polled, objected to detainees being moved to the U.S. Homeland. It is not a stretch to imagine that a high percentage would also object to the release of said photographs. Therefore, Obama has moved to the center right on this particular issue, which is indicative of the majority of the American voting bloc, regardless of Party affiliation. Although one can well imagine that the New York Times editorial board will be somewhat disappointed, as its constant drumbeat of “horror” over Abu Ghraib, kept the “controversy” in the public arena for months on end the decision will set well with the majority of the American Public.

1 comment:

What Is Cash Gifting said...

I applaud the president on this move.

What good would release of the photos do to anybody? The troops would be punished and our reputation would take a serious hit. These photos would be degrading to the people of the Middle East where most of these prisoners hailed from. It would have been a lose-lose situation.

This is one of the first moves where I support the president 100%.


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