Tortured Politics

by digby

Liz Cheney is taking credit for forcing Obama to block the release of the remaining Abu Ghraib photos, which shows that this is a political issue as much as anything else. The administration will succeed in putting off the inevitable, but it's highly likely that the Supreme Court will not overturn the two lower courts and require release of the photos, thus endangering the troops at a later date. But, it won't happen in the middle of a contentious and fluid debate over torture that could result in serious investigations. And that is what this is all about.

As Greg Sargent writes:

So Liz Cheney is claiming victory, and clearly, this will only embolden the Cheneys to keep up the assaults.

By saying that he has now concluded that releasing the photos would endanger the troops, Obama is reinforcing the idea that he was originally prepared to do something that would endanger the troops, and only reversed himself after conservatives called him out on it. Whatever the merits of Obama’s decision, its political impact is that it lets the Cheneys continue to frame the ongoing debate, and to continue casting a full torture accounting as a threat to our national security.

It seems to me that by this logic, the impending release of the CIA Inspector General's Report is going to endanger national security as well. Certainly one could argue that the release of the OLC memos made the country less safe and that's what Cheney and the boys have argued from the minute they were released. Once you capitulate to the idea that transparency about what our government did in the GWOT is dangerous to our troops and our national security, you have lost the argument.