June 12, 2009

Detainee abuse photos - what is wrong with these people?

Nancy Pelosi - Barney Frank - Jerry Nadler

As has been reported for the last week or so, there are a group of Democrats in Congress that support the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) request for release of additional photographs showing detainee abuse at the Abu Ghurayb prison in Iraq.

The leaders of the pack are the three cowards illustrated above - yes, cowards. They are not principled enough to stand up to their extreme left wing supporters. Their latest tactic to get the photos out is to remove a Senate provision in the supplemental funding bill for the war that specifically prohibits the release of the photos.

I am at a loss as to why this small group wants these photos made public. Anyone who has served in the Middle East or the larger Muslim world knows what the immediate effect will be. The photos will once again inflame those extremists who do not like America, the West, Christians, "Crusaders" - whatever they define us as. It will rekindle the hatred that we saw after the initial batch of photos came out in 2004, along with renewed attacks on not only American troops, but American interests in the region as well.

A majority of the public (and of the U.S. Senate) does not want these photos made public. President Obama has also stated that he does not want them released. Earlier, the President - courageously - blocked the release of these same photos, ordering his administration to appeal a federal judge's ruling in favor of the ACLU request for the release of the photos. The matter will eventually end up in the Supreme Court unless the President issues an executive order classifying the photos.

Based on my years of experience in the intelligence community dealing with classified information, I doubt these photos meet the strict regulatory requirements to be classified as national security information - however, the President's authority to classify them will likely prevail in any litigation.

The arguments that the people have a right to know about the extent of abuse, that there is really nothing new in the photos, etc. are all meaningless. What matters is the damage that will be caused, the increased danger to our troops already fighting an ideologically driven enemy. This feeds right into their belief system. Young Islamists being trained in the madrasah's in Yemen and Pakistan will have this fed to them as justification for jihad against the Americans.

This is a no-brainer. Pelosi, Frank and Nadler - your actions, if successful, will place American troops at increased risk. Since I can't find any evidence that any of you have worn the uniform of my country, I could try to explain this to you from the perspective of one who has. But why would you listen to me? You certainly are not listening to the military commanders whose troops will bear the brunt of your cowardice - Generals Dave Petraeus and Ray Odierno.

Bottom line: This is dangerous. There will be increased attacks on our troops. More men and women in our armed forces will die.

What is wrong with you people?