- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2009



I’m really disappointed about President Obama’s decision to block the court-ordered release of photos showing U.S. troops abusing prisoners. He claimed that the release would “further inflame anti-American opinion.” Yes, it might inflame some anti-American opinion in the short term, but in the long term it would show the world that we are a nation of integrity, we don’t cover up criminal activity, and we are serious about stopping torture. Torture is something America did, and it is not going to go away if we ignore it.

In particular, I was offended by Mr. Obama’s statement that Abu Ghraib had already been dealt with, saying that “the individuals who were involved have been identified, and appropriate actions have been taken.” Mr. Obama went on to claim that the abuses were committed by “a small number of individuals.” What Mr. Obama doesn’t get is that torture was ordered by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, who is still arguing that tortue is legal and that America is unsafe without it.

When Americans elected Mr. Obama, I thought we were electing a leader. He campaigned as a man who opposed the war in Iraq and who believed that change doesn’t come from Washington but to Washington. Now Mr. Obama is Washington, and Washington insiders want to sweep our national sins under the rug.

Torture is like hiding a rotting corpse in your basement. At some point you have to drag it out and get rid of it.


San Bruno, Calif.

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