Friday, June 12, 2009

Obama Finds Allies in Graham, Lieberman, and O'Reilly on Suppression of Detainee Photos

President Obama has some interesting supporters who agree with his decision to block the release additional photos of detainee abuse by U.S. forces.

Last night on The O'Reilly Factor , host Bill O'Reilly and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) praised Obama for his commitment to keep these photos under lock and key. Graham and Lieberman are trying to push through the Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009 that would ban the release of any photo between 9/11/01 and 1/22/09 that would "endanger the troops". The Senators and O'Reilly also took the time to chide those on the "far-left" for not caring about the lives of U.S. troops because of their advocacy for the release of these photos. Watch:

If we are going to ban photos, then Glenn Greenwald questions why we don't just suppress evidence of civlian deaths in Afghanistan when they occur. After all, information that the United States kills and maims civilians could be used as a recruiting tool that would "endanger the troops" right? Greenwald:

Using the standard that is now so accepted across the political spectrum in Washington -- information that will inflame anti-American sentiment should be suppressed rather than disclosed so at to not endanger our troops -- isn't it better if we just cover-up, rather than learn the truth about, the civilian deaths we caused in Afghanistan? After all, news reports of dead Afghan women and children at the hands of American bombs obviously inflame anti-American sentiment and Endanger Our Troops at least as much as the disclosure of some additional torture photos would. By the prevailing reasoning of Washington, shouldn't we want our government to hide the truth about what we did -- lest anti-American anger and the risk of attack on Our Troops increase? Isn't that the noble anti-transparency principle we're now endorsing?

The people who are killed by the airstrikes are just as dead. Thus, there's no value in transparency for its own sake. What's the point of our knowing as citizens the truth about what happened and learning the evidence that proves it? All that would do is put our Troops in danger.

Who cares about actual accountability, let's just suppress evidence of all mistakes made by the U.S. in the name of national security and call it a day. Out of sight, out of mind.

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