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View Diary: Why they shouldn't release the photos (108 comments)

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  •  I have considered these victims, and the future (0+ / 0-)

    victims, including Americans. And I conclude that it is necessary to make sure everyone is aware of the actions taken in our name to stop future actions.  

    This must be brought into the sunlight.  

    Let me tell you about some past pictoral documentation of crimes.

    Lynchings
    Gas Chambers
    Tienamen Square
    Shooting a child in Vietnam War
    Katrina until Bush shown DVD
    Hosing of Civil Rights Activists
    Emmitt Till
    John Lewis being beaten
    Rwandan Genocide
    Dogs attacking civil rights leaders
    Rodney King being beaten

    So I reject your argument that pictures of victims necessarily being inconsequential.  On the contrary, in many cases, it is the very demonstration of photographic evidence that is the catalyst for governmental action.  We currently have psychopaths downgrading torture, making it more likely in the future.  It is critical that this view not take hold in the general public, and pictures, heavily redacted, or even vivid descriptions from a government source in special cases are likely critical in this case.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." - President Barack Obama, April 5, 2009

    by justmy2 on Thu May 28, 2009 at 01:17:20 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I lived through the history you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robinswing

      have cited above except the WW11 era. Which is why I did not mention it in my comment. I can tell you, having been there, photos stopped none of it.

      All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

      by amazinggrace on Thu May 28, 2009 at 02:48:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's agree that the pictures did not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        amazinggrace

        stop these crimes immediately.

        Would you agree that the pictures were catalyst for the eventual results?

        Could the Civil Rights Act been passed without the pictures?  Would the Vietnam War have stopped without public opinion changing (many state that was the key reason, do you disagree?)?  I am positive Bush would not have acted without video.

        If your argument is that pictures have no impact, we will have to agree to disagree.  However, I think you severly underestimate their impact, or you do not want to disagree with the Administration which is understandable in a sense.  If pictures are meaningless, I would ask you why pictures of coffins coming into Dover were not allowed for 5 years?

        "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." - President Barack Obama, April 5, 2009

        by justmy2 on Thu May 28, 2009 at 03:04:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciated your well thought out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          justmy2

          well documented comments enough to leave my office computer & crank up my home computer to reply to you. I do not underestimate the impact of these images. On the contrary I understand quite well. The photographic documentation of the atricities, mistakes & inequities perpetrated throughout the history of this country have value in historical context. Did they bend the arch of justice at the time? It is my contention, as well as experience they did not. The photos of Emmett Till's broken & beaten body was diplayed in white barber shops & watering holes throughout the south. Civil rights workers being knocked down by fire hoses & chased by dogs were laughted at & derided.The trajectory was changed by the active participation of African Americans against the inequities of this society. I applaud your optimism that the publication of these photos will bring about the neccessary public outcry, but I am more jaded & less sure of the outcome. This is the experience of my generation, but it warms my heart that your generation feels otherwise. My generation has had to rely upon the law for any justice.I think here at Kos we feel that all citizens of this country possess a sense of right & wrong, a moral imperitive that will lead them to do the right thing. My experience tells me not. I ask that you be a little patient with our President to do the right thing & prosecute these offenders within the law. If the pictures are ever published, in retrospect they will add to the documentation of crimes punished, inequeties righted,& the moral imperitive restored. Thank you for this discusson & keep fighting the good fight.

           

          All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

          by amazinggrace on Thu May 28, 2009 at 03:45:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A very thoughtful response...thanks (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            amazinggrace

            Well, you assumed that I was not part of my generation, but I will give you that one (but not as far removed as you may think ;).  It is nice to see the broad diversity of demographics on the site though.

            Did they bend the arch of justice at the time? It is my contention, as well as experience they did not.

            I can honestly state that this is a point of view that I have not been exposed to.  It is interesting to read how these media events affected you and your perception of their ultimate impact.  

            Do you think that your view is the minority view, or due you think that the impact of those pictures were overstated once they were documented?  If so, what do you think was the reason?

            I will admit that I do believe that transparency is the cure, but not a vaccine, to address these issues.  But there is no doubt the vigilance is incredibly important.  We can never let our guards down.  It is the reason that you see the jewish community fight so hard at even the hint of antisemitism.  There is no gray.

            My generation has had to rely upon the law for any justice.I think here at Kos we feel that all citizens of this country possess a sense of right & wrong, a moral imperitive that will lead them to do the right thing. My experience tells me not. I ask that you be a little patient with our President to do the right thing & prosecute these offenders within the law.

            I plead guilty.  I do believe that given the opportunity the majority of people will reach the appropriate moral conclusions, but it is not automatic.  I will also tell you that the vast, vast majority of us pushing back on this in contrast to the President's current position still strongly approve of the President in the aggregate.  As a matter of fact, I was polled by Gallup last Friday and I couldn't have been more positive (granted, they didn't ask any torture questions).  

            Many of us, including myself, are willing to be patient.  However, we are concerned that there will be no prosecutions.  The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.  Obama compromised on FISA.  He has shown deference to Joe Lieberman.  He has stated that now is the time for reflection not retribution.  All of these lead me to believe that a prosecution is not currently in the offing. (not to mention the lack of leaks and the infinite blabbering by potential defendants which is unusual if you think an investigation is possible).  Do we really think Obama is ready to take on the Conservative and Washington establishment.  It is political suicide.  

            However, I do believe that he is willing to change course, if we the people provide him with the appropriate political cover.  

            Put simply, I think not pushing back when appropriate against the President goes against his wishes.  I distinctly remember him saying that "we are the ones we are waiting for".  He needs us in some cases to "allow" him to do the right thing.  I have no illusion that he is not getting an all out assault from the right and many career military and intelligence professional against prosecutions, primarily to protect themselves.  I strongly believe we have to push from the left (although I don't think war crimes prosecution is a liberal issue, but that is another story) to provide him with political cover.  He wants it.  He has made this clear.  He even reversed himself.  It couldn't be clearer.  Let's make him do it. Now is not the time to let off of the gas, in deference to the President.  We all know what the right thing to do is.  Let's do it.

            In any event, I appreciate your the eloquent response.  We may not fully agree on the path forward, but at least we can agree on our ultimate destination.

            "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." - President Barack Obama, April 5, 2009

            by justmy2 on Thu May 28, 2009 at 04:18:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hindsight is 20/20 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              justmy2

              I cannot speak for a majority, I can only state opinion based on what I know & disussions with my peers, anything else is purely conjecture.This nation has come along way, but we still have along way to go. I know that when a group of people are villified in this country, when they are portrayed to be less than human, any injustice, indignities, or breech of the law is considered justified. After 9/11 the Muslim community as a whole was portrayed as such.They were considered different, less God like, a threat to both the American way of life, as well as an abomination against God. I have seen African Americans, Vietnamese& with the nomination of Sonia Sotemayer, Hispanics portrayed as a threat to the American culture & way of life. The "Other".When you represent any group of people as less than human, the outcome is always the same, humiliation, degredation & yes torture. Years of witnessing this behavior in this country has shaped & molded my views.I believe that as a Black man, in this country Barack Obama understands this better than many may think. I am also aware that after 8 years of the Bush administation there is question as to how thing should be conducted & in what jurisdiction these issues fall. In my mind this is a Justice Dept. issue, to be investigated & litigated within the legal system. We all recognize the right thing to do, however I believe the pressure should be on the judicial system. Barack Obama is cleaning up a lot of shit since the circus left town & I beleive he has left this issue in the hands of Eric Holder.It has been four months to address & correct what has happened over 8 years.I am willing to allow the strategy to play out. If we do not see either action or results in the immediate future I will be right there with you when we make our voices heard in Washington. Look for me, I'll be the attractive black lady with the gray hair. Peace be with you,take care.

               

              i  

              All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. Thomas Jefferson

              by amazinggrace on Thu May 28, 2009 at 06:09:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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