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No Debate

Thursday, May. 14, 2009 3:54 AM

The Pentagon had proposed releasing further images from the Abu Ghraib interrogations later this month. Only now, President Obama is hedging - saying those images may endanger our troops in the Middle East. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, never one to stand tough when he can fold, agrees.

But perhaps the shock value of the photos - showing just how far we've fallen - is what is needed to rouse us from our complacency. Instead, we're being treated to the Cheney Family Singers and their feeble justifications for torture, the media doesn't seem to give a shit that the 'debate' over torture is entirely false, and 'keeping America safe' is another whale of a myth. (That last part should be evident - we don't market cars on some magical ability to avoid accidents or cause the accident to happen to someone else, we tout the responsiveness and control, the durability and the features that protect you and your passengers when an accident happens.)

If you can't even bring yourself to look at the photos, and there hasn't been much progress in the way of prosecuting the architects of this debacle, we can only conclude that there's no intent to do so. Or, at the least, it's the same stupidity that plagued Major League Baseball over steroid use - denial by the metric assload, but no end of fallout from this as notable players are exposed.

I mean, really - what are we protecting? Dick Cheney's worthless hide? George W. Bush's 'legacy'? A war launched on false pretenses?

If the photos of torture will serve only to inflame our enemies, perhaps we should have considered our strategy more carefully - not from a viewpoint of conciliatory behavior, but from the simple math: it provokes the enemy, provides propaganda that allows them to recruit future members, and places our troops at unnecessary risk. Where is the benefit? What security did we gain for the enormous tradeoff? Stop one plot only to have the enemy double or triple their numbers?

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