Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Obama Reverses Position on Detainee Photos

Today’s announcement by President Obama that he will have the Justice Department appeal a court ruling which would release photographs showing claimed mistreatment of terrorists by U.S. troops is one decision I do support. By this act President Obama has reluctantly shown real leadership. He could have easily followed calls by the radical left-wing of his party and ignored the additional damage that would be done by the release of the photographs.

In fact whatever damage to our reputation and incitement of radical Islamic forces that has already occurred has been due to a multiyear campaign by these same liberal activists. It was the single-minded obsession of the left to dig out and give great publicity to a rather small number of evens that occurred mainly for the purpose of damaging the Bush administration. They have been totally mindless of the potential consequences to our troops and to the degree it would damage cooperation with other countries in these efforts.

President Obama himself been a part of this previously when he declassified the interrogation techniques that the CIA used against just a few key terrorist leaders. By spelling out just how limited the measures were, he showed the entire world our fundamental weakness. Now potential future terrorists can be reasonably sure that as long as they are in the hands of Americans there is little we can do to make them talk. In fact if the same restrictions were in place and we had the common sense not to talk about them, the fear of what we might do could prove effective without actually resulting to harsh measures.

So today’s decision seems a little out of character. One can only hope that this shows some growth in office. However, I’m not too optimistic but let’s give the man his due for now.