showing alleged abuse of prisoners in detention facilities in
Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I want to emphasize that these photos
that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational,
especially when compared to the images we remember from Abu Ghraib,”
the president said on the South Lawn of the White House. “But they do
represent conduct that didn’t conform with the Army manual.”
Obama said the publication of the photos would not add any additional
benefit to investigations being carried out into detainee abuse — and
could put future inquires at risk.
consequence of releasing them, I believe, would further flame
anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger. … I
fear the publication of these photos may only have a chilling effect on
future investigations of detainee abuse,” Obama said.
I’ll say to this president what I would have said to the last one. Do you really think they don’t know what we’re doing? I’ll grant you they haven’t seen images, not the new ones, anyway, but since when was proof of monstrosity ever required to turn someone, something, somewhere, into a monster to frighten children? Do you really think keeping back the photos will keep back the hatred of America that power-hungry lunatics use to subvert poor and desperate people and turn them to violence? Do you really think this is going to make any difference at all?
Do you really think that, having seen proof after proof after proof in the past eight years that we are not remotely who we say we are that a bunch of new photos will be the straw that breaks it? I’m taking your argument at face value here, Mr. President, do you really believe this is how it works? That having heard there are terrible photos of terrible things, terrorists will only react and use such information if they actually see the photos released? You think this isn’t already in the recruiting brochure, that they’re holding the printing pending artwork? Seriously? Not for nothing, but if American commanders were so concerned about the consequences of images of brutality getting out, they might have worked a little harder to make sure that a) there was no brutality and b) people weren’t taking snapshots of it like they were at fucking Disneyland.
I ask this in the face of all the experts with their expert knowledge, I ask this because to a girl with a web site who doesn’t consider herself exceptionally intelligent or anything this is a really, really, really incredible argument to ask the American people to swallow. Maybe you’re making it in all sincerity. I don’t really care. It’s a bullshit argument and it’s insulting to all of us. I say this as someone who voted for you. I say this as someone who voted for you and fully expected to be disappointed by you, many times, and I expected to tell you so, loudly and often, because that’s how this works. In some cases you’ve done better than I would have hoped, in some cases you’ve done worse. This isn’t me saying OH WOE IS ME I WUZ BETRAYED BY DEMOCRAT SOCIALIST JESUS. This is me saying, you blew this fucking call.
Al Qaeda may not need proof of our perfidy to use our misdeeds against us; those predisposed to hate us may not need proof to be enraged. America needs proof of what’s been done because our national capacity for self-delusion has not yet reached its zenith, and until you shove something in our faces a thousand times we’re pretty damn happy to pretend it doesn’t exist. America needs proof because until we see it we don’t believe it, and we need to believe this if we’re ever to stop it from happening again. You’re not in the job of protecting people from the consequences of their country’s history, you’re in the business of serving this country, and we need to see what happened. Do you really think the Taliban are the ones that need the proof?