Bloggers React to Detainee Photos Decision

Reactions to President Obama's detainee-photos decision were mixed: Republican lawmakers uniformly praised the decision, and, on the web, conservatives alternately praised Obama for making the right call and accused him of political expediency, promise-breaking, and taking an unrealistic stance in the first place. On the left, bloggers said it's more important to break with Bush policies than to keep the photos hidden from view, while the tone of some critics was bitter and disappointed.

Obama, for his part, defended the decision by saying the photos could put U.S. soldiers at greater risk; he did say, however, that he had made it clear to military officials that detainee abuse would not be tolerated.

On the left...

TPM's David Kurtz calls the decision "very lame": "Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is on TV now defending the move with what I have to say is an extremely lame rationale. He doesn't look like he's convinced even himself."

Firedoglake's Gregg Levine takes issue with the logic behind the decision: "it isn't the photos; it is the acts themselves that put US troops in danger. The abuse is widely known among Iraqis, and those inclined to act don't need photographic evidence as justification."

As does TAPPED's Adam Serwer: "The public interest in seeing what was done in their name, in my view, trumps the government's right to obscure it's own wrongdoing."

Crooks and Liars' David Niewert poses Obama as a defender of Cheney: "they'll now be using up their political capital to defend Dick Cheney and his merry band of torturers. Now, that's a lovely prospect, isn't it?"

Jameel Jaffer, the chief ACLU lawyer who argued for the photos' release, says Obama went back on his administration's commitments: "It is inconsistent not only with commitments the Obama administration has made to us and to the courts but inconsistent with the promise of transparency that President Obama has repeated so many times"

Daily Kos's mcjoan says the decision won't necessary protect American soldiers: "It's just as arguable that Al Qaeda and any other terrorist organization will be able to recruit if President Obama doesn't make a clean break with and repudiation of Bush/Cheney policies as it is that these photos will do further damage."


On the right...

RedState's Moe Lane mocks Obama for breaking a promise: "As Jim Geraghty notes, all of Obama's promises come with an expiration date. All of them."

Gateway Pundit calls it a political move: "Obama already looked weak and doesn't have a very respectable record on national defense so this was the right political move"

contentions' Jennifer Rubin calls it "an overwhelmingly positive sign that the president is subject to persuasion and reason and that those defending the country by placing their own lives on the line carry more sway than ideological extremists in the Justice Department."

Kathryn Jean Lopez calls it "the right decision."

Michelle Malkin says Obama's promises couldn't be sustained: "Reality bites the White House in the ass, again."

The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb says Obama rebuked "elements on the left that would expose the president to political danger, and the troops to mortal danger, only to see the last administration implicated in any kind of abuse." and that "The president should be praised for resisting those elements even as his actions also serve his own self-interest."

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In