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Obama Plays Catch And Release With Photos

Written by | May 14th, 2009

Who Cares About The Question

There aren’t many things that get me wound up like someone who cannot make up their mind about something. No, I am not talking about someone who delays an answer to a question or gives the ubiquitous answer “I don’t care” or “whatever you think”, especially when the question is of little consequence, like “What do you want for dinner?” or “Do you want to go to the movie theater?”. What I am talking about is the kind of failed decision making that we see, especially in elected leaders when they take one stand, many times in a very public and forthright manner, but at same time in the future, change their view so radically that it makes your head spin.

Good, Bad and Indifferent

I have seen people asked what they think of a particular subject, sometimes it is a politically charged topic while others are so insignificant that it makes me wonder why anyone would care. Recently on a television entertainment show, the question was brought up about a particular hollywood type, the value of an estate and how much cash one might be required to pay in a divorce settlement. As far as I am concerned, this is one of those questions where I am quite ambivalent. I recognize that there are a vast number of people who have wrapped themselves in a cloak of hollywoodism and live life vicariously through the lives of these very public figures, I just don’t happen to be one. I could care less, i.e. I am indifferent as to the answer one might get from this question. Of course, being a Philadelphia Flyers fan, I might get a little more animated when people ask me what I think of the Bruins or the Rangers, but then again, in the big scheme of things, these questions should realistically be listed in the “indifferent” column, mostly because they are a question of opinion and not of prime importance (sorry John, the truth is after all, “the truth”).

Then we have those decisions that we all certainly should be able to determine that they are either good or bad. Take for example a recent report of a man impersonating a federal agent who bypassed airport security and reportedly carried a loaded firearm onto the plane and into the cockpit. His decision to not only break the law to circumvent security was not only stupid, his subsequent action of duplicating it on a return trip indicates to this writer that he has an especially hard time making good, and dare I say rational, decisions. But then what do we expect from people who have something to hide?

What Do You Want To Eat

I don’t care who you are, this is an especially egregious question. You may as well ask about my level of euphoria when puppies are killed. The answer will always be the same … that is there isn’t any valid answer. I may want to eat a bug or perhaps a polar bear, and regardless of my answer, someone, somewhere, will be offended or put off by my insensitivity to their feelings. Seriously though, I once had a sister-in-law that would without exception, vomit every time someone would kill a bug. Now I am not the squeamish type, but I was made more sick by her reaction than that of the initial act, which brings me to the original point.

Own Your Decisions

I am a firm believer that whatever decisions you make will ultimately exhonorate or condemn the decision maker. If I make the decision to run a red light or decide to ignore a stop sign, the resulting damage to myself and others will be a telling tale on my character. Regardless of what intentions I had with regards to making a poor decision, the fact that the decision adversely affects others should be a clue as to the quality of the decision being made. The fact that Obama decided to release the photos of terror suspects under interrogation and/or reportedly being tortured and then his subsequent 180 to a position of vehemently arguing for the concealment of such photos, gives me pause to consider the possible off-the-cuff decision making painfully apparent in the Whitehouse and Oval Office. This obvious flip flop has visions of John Kerry flittering about in my mind. So Obama was for releasing the photos before he was against releasing them. It sounds too much like just another politician trying to satisfy everyone and in the end creating enemies from all walks of life. This is a no win situation politically, however, since the greater good must be served, and I believe the protection of Americans is of more importance than the protection of radical terrorists, I applaud this change of heart and pray that Obama will own this decision, not because it is his, but because it is the best decision under the circumstances.

Incidently, I agree with the latest stance made by the Oval Office regarding the release of photos and this is why. If these photos are released, they could very well incite further hatred and disdain for the American people in the world community. That being said, one must wonder what led to the original decision, without the benefit of insider information, all we can do is speculate … and since that is all that I can do, given my Whitehouse press pass hasn’t been approved or processed for that matter, I’ll speculate on the reasons.

Why We Won’t See The Photos

Much has been said about the release of the documents surrounding the reported torture of terrorists, some of it lacks any credible source, while alot of it is based in sound facts and is supported by the documents themselves. Initially we learned that “enhanced interrogations” were used on terrorist suspects and many were outraged. The moral superiority of these outraged people encited the administration to release hundreds of documents that showed how terrorists were subjected to “torture”, however, the opposition countered that there were hundreds of documents that prove the safety of Americans would have been compromised had vital information not been obtained from these terrorists. The counter claim, which had little to do with the rebuttal was that they would release photos showing that the “torture” was evident and ultimately the Whitehouse decided to allow the former administration to be subjected to an official inquiry and determination over whether we would see them tried as war criminals under the Geneva Convention.

Now the CIA doesn’t like its internal operations to be meddled in by self serving politicians, so they released documents that implicate Pelosi, among other politicians in the waterboarding fiasco. Among the politicians are many high ranking Democrats, and since the documents are prima fascia evidence of their knowledge of “EIT”s and combined with the fact that they didn’t say anything or attempt to stop them leads me to believe that the sudden change of heart by the administration was designed quell a political backlash on themselves. The Democrats know that 2010 will be a key year that could spell the end of their free reign in Washington and if losing full control of Congress is the outcome of prosecuting Bush-era officials, then they likely would seek to stop the proceedings, after all, these are self serving politicians we are talking about. However, the Democrat leadership is betting on one thing; that is the historically short memory of their constituents. Unfortunately for them, the GOP and their mascot are well known for the length they can retain knowledge … and a year doesn’t seem that long.

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2 thoughts on “Obama Plays Catch And Release With Photos

  1. markross

    K,
    Insightful post! I barely know where to start…

    Well, let me start by saying, we are all human, and indecision at times is natural, however, it does drive me nuts (when it involves me) when people are perpetually indecisive.  I do not believe that people should make life or death decisions right away, but I do believe, for their own sake, that it is best to come to a decision, sooner rather then later, and go for it. For most of us, there is usually a chance to reverse course if you find that you are on the wrong road, but for people like a president or a military leader, the wrong decision can be the difference between life and death.

    That being said, I do also believe that someone behind the scenes is pressuring Barack Obama to release these photos, for the sake of tearing down the prior administration. If this truly is the case, then that really does disturb me, and should disturb most Americans, as it not only could jeopardize all of our lives, but it will also set a  very bad precedent for all presidents to come. I am also glad that the president has made the right decision, and I do also believe that those photos would incite potential violence.

    As you know, I am one that believes that we did act in haste by going into Iraq, and have always felt that we could have achieved the same goals with our intelligence community, and this is why we have already had the bi-partisan, 911 Commission; and the results are published in a book, for everyone who so desires to read it. The former administration even recognized that it was faulty intelligence that lead us into Iraq; so we “should” use lessons learned, and move forward, rather then looking backward.

    In regards to Nancy Pelosi, I do believe that her goal is to tear down The Bush Administration, and appease some in her party, a constituency of people, and some billionaire financiers like George Soros and his crony pals. I do believe that she is way beyond naive, and borderline dangerous by making such a public spectacle of our nation’s security.

    In all fairness, as a Congresswoman, she certainly has the right to ask questions, setup committees, or whatever, if it is in an attempt to bring us all together, get on the same page, learn from mistakes made, then move forward. Sadly, that is not the case, and it has become exceedingly apparent that she is just looking for some sort of political retribution; now that she has gone well over the line by basically calling an intelligence community liars, she has first lost any credibility that she had left, and will likely pay dearly politically.

    Again, there was a right way and a wrong way to find out facts, but I do believe that most of this country will not tolerate this approach; and though I had totally disagreed with the president for releasing those prior documents, I am glad to see that he is taken the proper approach in not releasing these photos.

    Perhaps, in another ten or twenty years, it may be OK to look back and re-examine these things, but for heaven’s sake, we are not even ten years past 911; and sadly, I hear so many of these democrats talking about how The Bush Administration did all of these evil things, but I hear very few seeming to recall that the terrorism attack on 911 is what got us to this point, not George Bush.

    I can not even imagine what they would be saying, had we been attacked again; perhaps they would say, “why didn’t George Bush do more to protect us?”
    I think that these people really need to wise up, and consider how to continue keeping this country safe, rather then spending their days trying to figure out how to handcuff our intelligence community, and attempt to disgrace ex-presidents.

    If this thing moves forward, then I would agree that we need to spill the whole can of beans and get down to the bottom of it; then once and for all, we can see precisely what measures truly kept this country safe, and who knew what.

    I just pray that we are not hit again, while these people are up there playing games with our nation’s security.

    Mark

    Reply
  2. markross

    After 911, so many were saying that we did not have enough human intelligence during The Clinton years, and that was part of what made us vulnerable; then after 911, we built up the human intelligence community again. However, thanks to decisions that many of The ranking Democrats are now making, and things that are being said, our intelligence community will likely be too reserved to make any tough decisions going forward.

    In my opinion, that is the bigger issue, and that is where our security can be compromised.

    Nancy Pelosi, and “possibly” the president, have already proven that they are willing to throw The CIA under the bus, and that is indeed, very sad, as well as dangerous.

    Mark

    Reply

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