There were so many thoughts and views about the bad decision yesterday from the Obama White House regarding the torture photos. I was rather surprised at the volume, and weight of the rationale here on this blog from readers. Once it started there was a constant and genuine need to talk about this matter. Americans are concerned about the President’s decision, and rightfully so.
But there was also a lot of talk on the cable channels, and as such I found a link with lots of those voices included. The one that stands out for me is Jonathon Turley. I love the guy for his logic and calm when dissecting a story, and helping the nation better understand an issue. I think he is right in what he said yesterday. I made that comment bold in the following link.
“World News” and “Evening News” both led with Pres. Obama‘s reversal on detainee photos. “Nightly News” led with the hearings on the Buffalo plane crash.
Obama announced 5/13 that he will not release hundreds of photos potentially showing U.S. military members abusing prisoners.
ABC’s Stephanopoulos, on what changed: “The White House argues that first of all, the president did realize he could make new legal arguments. The second is, these commanders came in hard on the president. … They said, you are harming our troops. The president was convinced by this argument.”
More Stephanopoulos: “But what I think you see here is that there has been a tension between the president’s desire for a clean break from the past and his continuing responsibilities as commander in chief. He’s siding increasingly with his responsibilities as commander in chief” (“World News,” 5/13).
CBS’ Plante: “Candidate Obama pushed for full disclosure. President Obama has decided that there are times when transparency is a tough call” (“Evening News,” 5/13).
GW prof. Jonathan Turley: “What President Obama is saying today is diametrically against the federal law. And if he succeeds, instead of having a transparent government, he would create this opaque government. … It’s an incredibly dark moment for civil libertarians. It’s just more evidence that this administration is becoming the greatest bait and switch in history. Then, you know, he’s morphing into his predecessor” (“Rachel Maddow Show,” MSNBC, 5/13).
CNN’s Henry: “You know something really strange is happening here at the White House when Republicans like Mitch McConnell are praising the president and liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union is ripping him apart” (“Situation Room,” 5/13).
More after the jump, including interrogation hearings.
FNC’s Hannity: “I, Sean Hannity, agree with President Obama. He did the right thing” (“Hannity,” 5/13).
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA): “I have a bit of a hard time with this decision, but I would accept it for a temporary pause in the release for one primary reason. He’s been dealt a very weak hand on Pakistan. … I remember how the Danish newspapers published those photographs that were insulting to the Islamic faith. I would accept that at this precarious time for national security, not for the protection of our troops — because our troops were already in endangered by the notices that we did torture — but rather not to inflame a very precarious situation.”
More Sestak: “But just like I believe there needs to be an exit strategy measuring success and failures and benchmarks for Afghanistan, there should be an exit strategy for the release of these eventually, because only then can we hold up a mirror to ourselves and once again say, that’s not who we are. We are better than that” (“Ed Show,” MSNBC, 5/13).
New York Times’ Zeleny: “They really know that, once these photos were released — at least that was their fear — that this would spread and would, of course, be broadcast in media there and it would simply give another reason to oppose and to stand against what American troops are trying to do there” (“NewsHour,” PBS, 5/13).
Conservative radio talk show host Monica Crowley: “On its face, it looks like a good move. It looks like he’s protecting American soldiers. But if we are to believe what he said today, that he’s concerned about the inflammatory effect that these photos would have in the Muslim world and on American citizens around the world, then why didn’t he make this argument weeks ago? Why didn’t he nip this thing in the bud from the beginning?”
More Crowley: “I think his Hamlet-like indecision of how to handle this has actually made this decision worse. … What you have going on in the Muslim world today is an endless conversation about what is in those photos that must be so bad that even the liberal American president didn’t want to release them. … Now you have the imaginations running wild across the world as to what is in those photographs” (“O’Reilly Factor,” FNC, 5/13).
CNN’s Borger: “The president changed his mind. And he’s allowed to do that. I don’t think, politically, anybody would hold this against him, because he made the decision not to hand over propaganda to our enemies. … But the question I want to know is if there were questions from the generals, why didn’t the secretary of Defense, Mr. Gates, talk to the president about that sooner so it didn’t look like they were flip-flopping here?” (“Situation Room,” 5/13).