Danger To Our Country

by digby

Come on. The administration is now refusing to release the remaining Abu Ghraib pictures because they have the potential to cause harm to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? Really?

It seems to me that we should probably get them out of a war zone, then. Talk about dangerous. Why, last I heard they are getting shot at every day over there.

But this really takes the cake. In fact, I'm sorry to say that it reaches Fleischeresque levels of fatuousness:

Reporter: Was he pressured by the military?

Gibbs: No, in fact his decision was brought up yesterday with general Odierno at the end of the meeting General Odierno and Ambassador Hill had with the president and the president informed General Odierno of his decision. Obviously, there was certianly concern throughout the process. By folks concerned about the harm that could be caused by their release.

Reporter: (gibberish)

Gibbs: I think they have. But I would also say the president believes a couple of other things. Understand that the existence of these investigations are, and I don't know the exact address, but they on the DOD web site, the president believes that the release of these photos will also provide a disincentive for detainee abuse investigation. The photos don't denote the existence of the investigations, they are simply part of the potential evidence in the cases that have been finished since 2004. But if in each of these instances, somebody looking into detainee abuse takes evidentiary photos in a case that's eventually concluded, this could provide a tremendous disincentive to take those photos and investigate abuse.

Apparently, the logic is that the military will refuse to investigate criminal behavior if there is any chance that pictures of such criminal behavior could be made public. So we simply won't make pictures of it public anymore.

I have to say that between the CIA threatening to let the country be attacked if they are punished for torture and the military threatening not to investigate war crimes if they are made public, I'm beginning to have some doubts about the honor, integrity and commitment to the rule of law by a large swathe of the American government. Perhaps someone should look into that.

Update: Gibbs keeps saying that the president believes that nothing will be added by people seeing the photos of detainee abuse that was previously investigated. I guess we'll just have to take his word for that.

And I'm sure these pictures couldn't possibly add to the clamor for new investigations, so there's no need to go there.

Update II:

Inflammatory Now
"The president strongly believes that the release of these photos, particularly at this time, would
only serve the purpose of inflaming the thea-
ters of war, jeopardizing U.S. forces ..."
– U.S. official, today

Inflammatory Then
"[Release of photos] could only further inflame
and possibly incite unnecessary violence in
the world and would endanger our
military men and women ..."
– U.S. official, February 15, 2006

Update III

Who care about a bunch of DFHs, anyway.