Dear Mr. President, torture photos

/ 13 May 2009

I am disappointed with you today, Mr. President. I love so much of what you stand for, but today you stood between the American people and our full understanding of what our government can do if we don’t pay attention. Today you decided not to release the remaining pictures of the torture we inflicted on our prisoners in Iraq. Please reconsider.

I understand your desire to move us beyond recrimination, to protect us from international rebuke, to protect our soldiers from retribution. Your reasons are honorable. But you are wrong. We have already committed these acts, we should make sure we rub our own faces in our dishonorable behavior in every way we can. How else will we, as a people, learn the importance of vigilance? Our friends around the world already know how awfully behaved, being open about our sins is the best possible signal we can send that we have accepted responsibility for our actions. Doesn’t hiding evidence of our dark hour just prove that we still feel we can avoid the full cost of our errors? Those who condoned this activity and hid it from public view should be treated as war criminals and brought to justice. Is there any other way to defend our precious constitution?

All you have done with today’s action is postpone our day of reckoning a little bit longer. I am so proud of your administration, of what you are building in my government. But I must say, today I am ashamed all over again of my America, of our cowardice and our lack of faith in our friends around the world. Your action has brought on that shame.

Please: consider openness. Consider letting the light of the world shine on our dark decade. Let us pay the price now and be part of building a better world as the century moves on.


Update: a very interesting analysis by Anderew Sullivan. Let’s hope he’s right.

Be the first to comment