Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 14: Obama Had No Choice On Photos

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Someday, the full photographic record of torture of prisoners by U.S. military personnel should be released.

Now is not the time, however.

President Barack Obama is right in listening to the concerns of military leaders in gauging the effect the release of the photos will have on the safety of troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Arab countries.

Obama's intentions were good in his initial wish to release the photos. The full record of abuse needs to come out at some point.

That is happening with printed records of what has happened.

Photos are another story. Even in this age of YouTube, we still know the power of pictures to move and motivate - and incite to anger or riot in some parts of the Muslim world. Sadly, there are cases in which cooler heads cannot yet prevail in those areas. And those areas are overseen by American and allied military personnel who are vulnerable.

So Obama's intentions are equally good - and necessary - here. He may ultimately lose in the courts. But as Commander-in-Chief, he has done his duty.

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