Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Old Man Withers!

Checking my email after writing the post above (this post is being time stamped prior in order to follow), I noticed the usual news blurbs on the side of the page. Among the usual American Idol updates and grim economic results, was a healine that caught my eye: "Obama Seeks to Block Release of Abuse Photos." Folks, you can't make this stuff up. Here are some excerpts from the AP article, reprinted from Yahoo! News:

  • "President Barack Obama declared Wednesday he would try to block the court-ordered release of photos showing U.S. troops abusing prisoners, abruptly reversing his position out of concern the pictures would "further inflame anti-American opinion" and endanger U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan...

  • The White House had said last month it would not oppose the release of dozens of photos from military investigations of alleged misconduct...

  • "This is not a situation in which the Pentagon has concealed or sought to justify inappropriate action," Obama said of the photos. "In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger."

  • The Justice Department filed a notice of its new position on the release, including that it was considering an appeal with the Supreme Court...

  • Spokesman Robert Gibbs said release of the new batch of photos from the Pentagon cases would merely "provide, in some ways, a sensationalistic portion of that investigation."

  • "The decision to not release the photographs makes a mockery of President Obama's promise of transparency and accountability," said ACLU attorney Amrit Singh, who had argued and won the case in question before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. "It is essential that these photographs be released so that the public can examine for itself the full scale and scope of prisoner abuse that was conducted in its name."

  • Human Rights Watch called the decision a blow to transparency and accountability... On Capitol Hill, Republicans welcomed the change, however.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have officially entered the United States of Bizarro World.

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