May 13, 2004

Pictures of Abuse

Ah-ha . . . the boyfriend and I were just debating this one last night: He thinks I'm advocating a Watergate-style cover-up; I think you can't cover up something that the Secretary of Defense has already bluntly disclosed in Congressional hearings. What we could do is consider the threat to American lives that releasing further photos might increase, as journalists were advised to do during World War II. (Aside: How many modern-day Democrats have forgotten Roosevelt's Office of Censorship?)

My position is, I think, a simple one:

(1) We already know there are additional photos and videotapes of further abuse in Iraqi prisons. This is not news.

(2) We already know the effects of the initial release of such photos in the region.

(3) Any further disclosures, therefore, will only serve to inflame opinion against Operation Iraqi Freedom, both at home and abroad.

One thing I should add is that I was not, initially, against CBS's decision to publish the first set of photos. I've considered this over and over again, and I guess I can say I come down on the side of CBS here--though just barely. Anyone who's had dealings with the government, or who's worked for them, knows that their natural state is inertia. I'm not against the press sometimes giving bureaucracy a swift kick in the ass. In fact, I'm normally all for it.

But war is not a normal situation.

(Meanwhile, if I've incorrectly characterized my boyfriend's position on this, I'm sure he'll clarify it all on his blog sometime.)

Posted by Ilyka at May 13, 2004 09:53 PM in news

What is he doing on Blog*Spot? Get him over to Munuviana.

Posted by: Jim at May 14, 2004 11:00 AM