While Obama promised us a new era of openness, his administration has already made its first appeal to national security in order to justify secrecy. This is, of course, about the photos showing American troops subjecting prisoners to abuse.
Initially, Obama said that he would not oppose the release of the photographs. However, he reversed his position and has decided to block the court-ordered release of these images.
The main reason given for this reversal is that the release of the images would be a threat to national security. The argument for this is that these images would cause outrage and anger around the world, thus increasing the likelihood that American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be attacked. Presumably, there is also concern that the anger generated by such photos would also put civilians at risk.
On one hand, this is a reasonable concern. Images of grossly immoral behavior would certainly shock and anger people. Also, those who are inclined towards revenge (or who are looking for an excuse for violence) might be motivated to attack Americans because of these images. Obviously, something that could cause American deaths should be avoided.
On the other hand, there are reasons to release the photos. First, it seems unlikely that people will be even more motivated to attack Americans simply because of some photos. Unless these photos show actions that go beyond those in already released photos, I doubt that the images would provide any more than a slight propaganda advantage as the images cause people to remember the crimes we committed. People who are already motivated to kill us will, obviously enough, keep on trying. Those who are not will most likely not be pushed over the edge.
Second, the court has already ordered the release of the photos. While Obama has the right to oppose their release, he should respect the rule of law.
Third, chosing to keep the photos secret could damage the reputation of the Obama administration and thus, ironically, lead to greater trouble in the world. Obama promised America and the world that he would respect the rule of law, that he would run a transparent administration, and that there would be accountability. If he goes back on this and starts playing what many will see as the old Bush game, then he will hurt America’s newly improved image in the world. This could create far more harm than releasing the photos.
As such, the photos should be released. They should be released to prove to the world the following:
First, America is ruled by law and we follow our own laws. Second, our President keeps his word. Third, we accept responsibility for our misdeeds. Fourth, we correct our misdeeds rather than concealing them. Fifth, that we respect the rest of the world enough to believe that they will also respect us when we do what is right. Sixth, that we are not ruled by fear, but by what is right.
Naturally, the truth of these claims might be doubted by some. Or by many.
I think he did this for self preservation. He wants to look good but he owns this war now. He likes America to look bad but he is the face. This will ultimately reflect on him not matter how many times he acts like a coward and blames a previous administration. This can only be done for so long. One can treat the American public as dunces and keep repeating I inherited this and I inherited that. We all knew these problems when he was running. If he didn’t want to take on the responsibility then he should not have applied for the job.
Michael LaBossiere says
I don’t think he wants America to look bad. Obama is not as bad as the right would make him out to be. Nor is he as divine as the left would love him to be. He’s a competent, intelligent, moderate politician.
I don’t think he’s doing that badly on the foreign stuff. His domestic policy though…
This was the right choice–and a surprising one. And the Left will never forgive him for it.
On his “show” today El Rushbo*, the massive mouth, excoriated Obama, saying he should have simply issued an executive order preventing the release of the material and that the courts should not be part of the process. I disagree, and I believe Obama does,too, else he would have pursued that route.
His current decision is one way to get the Supreme Court to weigh in on at least one aspect of the torture issue. And perhaps along the way the SC can give some guidance to Congress concerning any legislation that may be crafted to deal with similar situations.
Also, I think that release of the materials could nudge some people “over the edge.” By definition, fanatics exist beyond the fringe. All of our political parties have their fringe elements–even those parties that are already fringe-bound. Fanatics-in-waiting (And I’m assuming here that not all fanatics are “natural born fanatics”) exist just this side of the edge, where they ripen,becoming more and more easilly convinced that this or that political cartoon or novel or ill-chosen word is a given sign that some evil or another must be eliminated for the glory of (You name the god).
Speaking of gods, but off subject: Rush,and his followers, from the beginning of this economic crisis, have been calling for the bankruptcies of failing financial institutions, auto makers, etc. opining that anything, anything, anything, is better than the government owning and running these entities. Let the free markets clear out the losers. Today the same pompous tub was complaining that, because Chrysler in bankruptcy will be closing hundreds of dealerships, Chrysler owners and potential customers will not have access to service and products. Perhaps someone should remind Rushbots that, if Chrysler would be allowed to fail, all Chrysler dealerships would close.
So it would seem that RL et alia reject nationalization (where far more dealerships would likely survive),they reject outright failure (loss of all dealerships) and they reject the route this bankruptcy is likely to take. Is there another choice that I’m missing here?
Michael LaBossiere says
While some little thing could trigger someone on the edge, I think we need to consider what would be most likely to happen. I don’t think the images would provide a big push for attacks. But, I am not an expert on the relevant psychology-perhaps releasing the photos would cause a significant killing frenzy to occur.
Rush is not known for his consistency. He does know how to work his audience, though.
“Rush is not known for his consistency.” that is an awful vague statement. Sort of like me saying Obama doesn’t like America. 🙂
Obama has done nothing but belittle America on his foreign tours and talks of ‘remaking’ America. Take it for what it’s worth but just like his wife he didn’t seem proud of america before he became President.
“On his “show” today El Rushbo*, the massive mouth, excoriated Obama, saying he should have simply issued an executive order preventing the release of the material and that the courts should not be part of the process. I disagree, and I believe Obama does,too, else he would have pursued that route.”
If you were actually listening to the show, which obviously you were not, then you would have realized what he really said. You need to check your sources. He said that if Obama really did not want the photos to get out then he would have issued an executive order. His point was that he was playing both sides. He wants the photos out and know they eventually will because the court will say so. Just you watch. Obama wants to talk out both sides of his mouth. He certainly isn’t dumb but get your info right biomass2 because I will call you on it just as you would me.
What? Someone taking Limbaugh out of context? NO!
Remember this one?
The “phony soldier” statements that Rush never made. I was listening and Congress led by who? NANCY PELOSI–tried to make him say he was sorry. He sold the letter on ebay for a record amount and donated it to charity.
“He said that if Obama really did not want the photos to get out then he would have issued an executive order.”
“…saying he should have simply issued an executive order preventing the release of the material and that the courts should not be part of the process.”
Funny. I ‘was’ listening, and at one point he said what I said he said. At another he said what you say he said. As he blustered for nearly 10 minutes on the subject—between the few overwhelmingly “screened” calls he receives and the massive run of commercials—he did what he often does: He let his bullsh*t get in the way of clarity (Maybe he does that intentionally–so he can have it both ways?).
I heard him the day the unscreened ex-Marine called in. The true Rush Limbaugh came through on that day.
Right biomass. I heard it too. His history of supporting our troops is well recorded. The history of you Libs not supporting us is also well recorded.
No the photos should not be released. All this is is car-wreck interest at this point.
The same people who “must” see these photos are the same ones who stood for hours hoping to catch a glimpse of the old lady’s body parts my coworkers were shoveling into a body bag after a big truck ran her over.
AGAIN. NONE OF THIS IS NEW. WATERBOARDING. GITMO–NONE OF IT.
It’s time for revenge for the Left. I knew this would drive them absolutely bonkers. I’m glad to see it.
Mike, we already know that the original images of Gitmo were used to enrage the Sunni muslims in Iraq. Fallujah followed. CARTOONS cause the extremists to kill! The people responsible for this have been held accountable. What else do we want? We just want to see–that’s what. It’s like porn now. We can be voyeurs. The terrorists that planned the 9-11 attacks haven’t even been prosecuted yet, but our own when they do wrong are brought to justice. Individuals may hide their wrongs, but we as a nation do not.
There may be no “killing frenzy”, but how many US Soldiers would have to die as a result of this for it to be a bad choice? I don’t think any extremists will be motivated to kill as a result of NOT releasing the photos. As for our credibility, I can tell you that most who think America is the font of all evil, will never be swayed.
We must move on. We have shown that our system works, even when feckless and bored individuals do not. We try and we have standards. The terrorists have no standards. Those in Europe don’t try either. They criticize. The sharp shoot. But they rarely fix. When has Europe–whom so many seem to worry doesn’t like us–fixed anything in the world of late? When have they really helped the oppressed? They want to talk about things like this all day, but they would just as soon see the oppressed die; I’ve had enough conversations with Germans to know this. They want to erase the horrible memories of what they’re own people did only 50 years ago by comparing Bush to Hitler. They really do this.
Michael LaBossiere says
It isn’t time to move on quite yet. While I do admit that some folks who want to see the images are mere voyeurs and that some crazy folks might be inspired to do crazy things, I think that this images need to be part of the public record. This would show that we admit our errors rather than hiding them in the shadows. Making these images public would, I think, help us move on-get it all out into the sun rather than leaving it to fester in the shadows.
Well then, we should prepare to see the pictures printed on fliers and handed out to uneducated, jobless youths in Palestine and Pakistan. They can tape the photos to the bomb vests.
The very fact that the photos still exist shows we admit our mistakes. Otherwise, they’d have been shredded and denied.
Well, if they do make the photos public are we ready to do what needs to be done? What next after when the violence escalates around the world?
And none of this is nearly as bad as what the Jihadists are doing. Suicide bombers will walk up to American Soldiers who have crowds of children around them. Kill every single child. They could wait until the soldiers stopped passing out candy and toys and then kill only the soldiers, but they don’t. It’s not a big enough score for Allah. Instead they eviscerate their future.
This is all another smoke and mirror show by the Left. They’re avoiding the real problems by showing me some that we’ve already dealt with. They should be hunting for those who plan the death of children. Who try to bring entire nations into anarchy and chaos, so they can reform it into a hell ruled by men who are afraid of women.
These are the real issues. I’m sorry people (who violated every Army Value by doing what they did) put underwear on dudes heads. I’m sorry they were in a naked human pile like a prison frat party. They could have only prayed for such good treatment in their own countries.
The people who did this have been imprisoned, fired and demoted. They have been publicly condemned. They must live the rest of their lives knowing that somewhere, there was an American soldier killed because a dead-ender with no job or knowledge of the world decided he’d rather die for Allah than live to make the world a better place. And that he was motivated by pictures of the Abu Graib mistreatment.
That’s enough. If people’s lives weren’t endanger, I would have no problem with it. Let the GDSers cook up all the conspiracies their cannabis-ruined brains can come up with.
“Speaking of gods, but off subject: Rush,and his followers, from the beginning of this economic crisis, have been calling for the bankruptcies of failing financial institutions, auto makers, etc. opining that anything, anything, anything, is better than the government owning and running these entities. Let the free markets clear out the losers. Today the same pompous tub was complaining that, because Chrysler in bankruptcy will be closing hundreds of dealerships, Chrysler owners and potential customers will not have access to service and products. Perhaps someone should remind Rushbots that, if Chrysler would be allowed to fail, all Chrysler dealerships would close.”
Again his point was that Obama was calling the shots which will make it ultimately fail anyway. They could have just saved the money and let it fail. The failure he talks about is ‘Chapter 11’ and when the company emerges it can shed its dead-weight labor Unions and move on. Did all of the bailout money help? Was it a failure Biomass2? I think I was saying months ago that throwing money at the problem was not going to help. Unions and goverment fiddling were the reasons why they were failing. How is more of the same going to help? Ford has had the least of both and are doing the best. What more proof do you need?
Did Mr Oxycontin/3 divorces say that Obama was to blame for the loss of “thousands” of dealerships (GM and Chrysler) or didn’t he? Did he or did he not claim that that loss was a bad thing? He did. He did. You can tell me what you “thought” he meant, but sorry, I’m far from convinced.
“Unions and government fiddling were the reasons why they were failing.”
You’ve gotta be kidding! Those companies were also failing in large part because they couldn’t design reliable cars–period. I know you probably would look down your nose at Consumer Reports, but many people use it as a reference when car shopping. I can tell you from experience that Toyota and Honda and now occasionally FORD appear consistenly at the top of consumer reliability reports. Unions and the government didn’t design year after year of unrealible crap and put it on the market.
GM and Chrysler depended on a captive audience of WWII and Korean War buyers. One simply did not buy a product made in Japan or Korea. Unfortunately, many of those buyers–my dad, my wife’s uncle, her adoptive father— died before well-paid decision making corporate execs at GM and Chrysler knew what hit’em. Thus, if GM didn’t have trucks, they’d have nuthin.(Though I hear the new Impala is good–too little too late.) And if Chrysler didn’t have Jeeps they’d have less than nuthin’.
“They could have just saved the money and let it fail.”
If GM and/or Chrysler had gone into bankruptcy before the bailout, can you or El-Bo (doesn’t know his *hole from his . . .)guarantee–except from a purely partisan/ideological pov– that even more dealerships and parts manufacturers would not have gone out of business? Can you say with certainty (leaving aside ideology) that the “bailout” money was wasted? That it has not and will not save money?
Suddenly biomass is anti-drug and concerned about the sanctity of marriage!
It all comes down to personal attacks with Libs. Their true nature comes out. 🙂 I’m sure your life has been perfect and you have made every perfect choice possible.
“If GM and/or Chrysler had gone into bankruptcy before the bailout, can you or El-Bo (doesn’t know his *hole from his . . .)guarantee–except from a purely partisan/ideological pov– that even more dealerships and parts manufacturers would not have gone out of business? Can you say with certainty (leaving aside ideology) that the “bailout” money was wasted? That it has not and will not save money?”
I can tell you what has happened which has been an absolute failure and if it doesn’t change they will fail without tax payer money propping them up for a very-very-long time.
…and the two top selling vehicles in the US for many years are what? Oh yeah, two American Automaker truck models. I’m not sure what your point is. Profits are not as good because of management and union costs but are you trying to tell me Japan sells more vehicles here? Try again.
Capitalism didnt create this problem, too much government intervention did. These companies would have died off long ago otherwise.
Wait until Obama has to face the teachers’ unions. It’s gonna get ugly…
Michael LaBossiere says
The (former) Big Three’s woes are the result of a combination of factors. However, Magus is correct to point a finger towards government bailouts as being one factor. As some economists have argued, if people think that they have a safety net, they will tend to come to rely on it. The past government support of automakers helped lead their executives to be less inclined to do what it would take to remain competitive. So, they slid behind the non-American companies and have been behind them ever sense.
The folks in the government do encourage business to be less responsible by providing them with such support. Of course, the companies try to get the money, thus contributing to their own problems. But, the executives seem to do well for themselves. They are smart capitalists: get as much as you can by looking out for yourself.
I’m for smart and ethical capitalism. We should be brutal to companies that break the law and at the same time encourage growth and industry.
“Suddenly biomass is anti-drug and concerned about the sanctity of marriage!”
Suddenly when wasn’t I? I’m pro legal drug use–always have been. Rush hasn’t. And here’s a related question mag: Which more effectively promotes the “sanctity of marriage”: a homosexual marriage lasting 50 years or OxyLimbo divorcing three times?
mag—“The history of you Libs not supporting us is also well recorded.”
That’s pure partisan BS. I could insert “Cons” in that sentence, find plenty of examples,and it would still be partisan squat.
Perhaps you should hear ElBoBo demean an ex-marine caller:
Nice, a caller that acts like an ass. Are you sure he was really an ex-marine? This proves what, that Rush can get upset? I don’t get it.
Nice. . . finally a Limbaugh caller who wasn’t screened. You get to hear one of those once every, say, 15 years. And this one proves that he can’t respond to such a call. If you were able to listen to the entire call, not just the cuts provided here, you’ll remember that Bo had practically no response until he finally had the caller cut off. Then he set off on a rant that the caller had no opportunity to respond to.
“Are you sure he was really an ex-marine?” Are you sure of the identity of any of Limbaugh’s bots?
How’s this for a twisted perspective on reality: “I don’t know of anybody who ever died from torture.” Look for some context in the piece that indicates he’s restricting that claim in ANY way to waterboarding. He simply flat-out says that he doesn’t know of “ANYBODY who ever died of torture.” Well, maybe he is that ignorant. I wonder if John McCain encountered a few people who died of torture?
By the way, Olbermann is definitely an angry individual.
Tru dat. I wonder why?
And Limbaugh is a “harmless” (He’s more dangerous to the Republican Party than ever.) and “lovable” (Ask his three wives. ) “little fuzzball” (He’s a ball of something, all right, but I’m pretty sure it ain’t fuzz.).
There’s no anger in his final rant on the video above. All love and honey. . . .
Wrong, most people leaving the Republican party are conservatives so how is he so dangerous to the Republican party again?
OK–watching it now. Keith Olbermann has already subtracted from the credibility.
Next: The ex-marine starts the fight. He calls Rush a brainwashed Nazi. The man completely embarrasses himself and my Army by calling Rush a Nazi. What an insult to the immolated Jews. I couldn’t care less what the guy was. He was wrong to do that. I don’t call anyone nazis or fascists–except for the people who enjoy blowing children up: Islamo-fascists. Oh yeah–and enviro-nazis for making bombs and killing people.
Then he does the usual: “I’m really a conservative.” I wrote a blog on Libs that do this.
All the guy did was sound like some old angry guy from Brooklyn.
For all the flak Rush gets, people rarely actually tell me specific things that he says that are wrong. They don’t like his tone, that’s all. They love Jimmy Carter’s though; he sounds like he’d let you have sex with his wife and then say he was sorry because her wig fell off.
As for a gay marriage lasting 50 years: We know that’s never happened in the US since gay marriage has only in the last few years been legalized in some states.
Should we talk about the rate of drug abuse amongst the gay community? Or that statistically the average gay man in San Francisco will have sex with 500 partners and will die at the average age of 45 years?
“I wrote a blog on Libs that do this.”
What a coincidence! I wrote a response once on Republicans who pretend to be Democrats.
“. . .people rarely actually tell me specific things that he says that are wrong.”
Rush:”I don’t know of anybody who ever died from torture.”
Do you think he’s right or wrong? Has he been that sheltered? I know, he did miss the war that McCain was tortured in. Think McCain knows of anyone who ever died of torture? For political reasons would he ever admit it if he did? Is Rush lying?
“As for a gay marriage lasting 50 years: We know that’s never happened in the US. . . .” That, you surely know, was a hypothetical question. As with his limited knowledge of torture victims, Rush has probably never known anybody who has survived a heterosexual marriage let alone a homosexual one.
The very fact that one or many lengthy gay marriages cannot be studied–must be considered only in the hypothetical–cannot be ruled out as an important reason why the life expectancy of gay men is so short (though I would like to see some documentation of the claims you make in your last sentence).
“It all comes down to personal attacks with Libs.”. . . Un-huh.
So how personal did Limbaugh get with the ex-marine? One only has to tune in once every week or so to hear personal attacks escape Rushy’s nicotine-stained lips. The man’s a cesspool of ad hominem attacks. Of course, when challenged, he and his followers say it’s all in fun.
Put the shoe on the other foot—let someone tweak the Tub a bit—then miracle of miracles it’s not funny anymore.
Well, if the shoe fits you can wear it.
Michael LaBossiere says
Rush relies heavily on slanters and fallacies. He most likely knows just what they are but is obviously well aware of their rhetorical power. It would be interesting to see him actually argue in the logical sense of the term.
“Wrong, most people leaving the Republican party are conservatives so how is he so dangerous to the Republican party again?”
I’ll leave it to you to fix/untwist your question and tell me how it is ‘not’ bad for the Republican Party to lose conservatives.
Is this a philosophy blog or a crude version of Crossfire?
Dunno. I was just over at crookedtimber.org looking for some advice on how to make a coffee table out of a twisted piece of found wood. Instead all I saw was a bunch of academics (some of them philosophers!) discussing everything from climate change to David Brooks to Romulans.
But what’re you gonna do? Life’s a bi*ch.
Michael LaBossiere says
Actually, I can help you with that.
If you are using the wood as the support for the table, then it has to have enough up twists to support the table surface properly. If you are using a wooden table, use wood screws to hold it in place. If glass, then you could use a glue (clear drying) or hope that it will stay in place. I’ve seen and helped make a few driftwood tables. Here is commercial site that sells them: http://www.alldriftwoodfurniture.com/
If you are making the twisted wood into the table surface, you’ll need to plane the surface. A saw is the obvious bet. 🙂 Some local wood sellers might also cut it for you.
Here are some visual guides: http://rusticwooddesigns.com/Rustic_Wood_Benches_Barstools_and_Garden_Benches_pine_log_laurel_rhododendron_hickory.shtml
magus71: “I’m for smart and ethical capitalism.”
Me, too. I would posit that “ethical capitalism” is not a partisan issue(i.e– Historical research would likely uncover proportionately as many unethical liberals as conservatives as libertarians, etc.)I would also claim that history has shown us that man has a natural propensity to act in unethical ways when exposed to money and power and must, therefore be controlled–regulated, if you prefer. There are several systems that may supply this regulation–the family, the church, the government, (others?) , but–my opinion–the first two, in this world, are not far ranging enough to be effective.
Also, for capitalism to be ethical, it’s not enough to punish the “evildoers”, because experience tells us there is no bottom to the “evildoer” barrel. And punishing one obviously does not deter another. Ken Lay killed himself. And giving Kozlowski 8+ years hasn’t deterred future corporate crooks. Magus, we could be ultimately brutal to companies and individuals, and it won’t deter corruption; the Chinese execute their corrupt executives yet corruption is rampant there
For capitalism to avoid ultimate failure the vast/ vast majority of the players in the system must comport themselves ethically, else the system will break. We’ve seen the effect just one Maddoff, one Enron, one WorldCom, one AIG can have on the market and on confidence in the capitalist system. After-the-fact punishment has and will fail. Perhaps more effective regulation will succeed? If both approaches fail, what is the alternative?
Capitalism, perhaps , but ethical capitalism–most definitely not.
I’ve got a 1 3/4 year old grandson. I’m looking for a unique and practical present for his upcoming birthday. What’re the chances I could get something like this
constructed primarily of driftwood?
Michael LaBossiere says
I’m sure somebody would make something like that. I can see that my post was a bit ambiguous: while I have helped make some, I don’t have any association with the company I linked to. I just linked to show the images.
But, if you can get the driftwood, it would be easy enough to make it. I’d say you’d want three pieces: something large and solid for the base and two curved pieces for the handles. Wood screws to hold it together and anything pointy trimmed and sanded.
I know just the spot in Maine to easily find lots of driftwood. Haven’t seen much in Florida; but I go to the sandy beaches here. Small, uninhabited coves seem to be the best for driftwood-the pieces seem to pile up there.
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