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May 14th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Release alleged detainee abuse photos?

ALT TEXT

The president has seen the photos and said they're not particularly sensational compared to images from Abu Ghraib. (Photo by Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama says he doesn't want to release alleged prison abuse photos because it could affect the safety of U.S. troops overseas and "inflame anti-American opinion."

And it wouldn't exactly be the best timing for the president himself, who is scheduled to soon go to Egypt and address the Muslim world.

Nonetheless, the decision is a reversal for the White House - which last month said it had no problem with the Pentagon releasing hundreds of pictures of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But after hearing concerns from military commanders, the president says releasing these images could have a "chilling effect" on further investigations of detainee abuses - without adding to the understanding of past abuses.

Mr. Obama, who has seen the photos, says they're not "particularly sensational" when compared to the images from Abu Ghraib. And he repeated that any future abuse is unacceptable and won't be tolerated.

Needless to say, the decision isn't sitting too well with many of his liberal supporters. Some groups are accusing President Obama of violating his promises of openness and transparency; and of sounding just like the Bush administration when it comes to claims of secrecy.

Democrats were split - some backing the president's decision, while others think he should release the photos. Meanwhile top Republicans applauded President Obama.

It's unclear what will happen, but the matter could wind up in the Supreme Court, since two lower federal courts have ordered the pictures be released.

Here’s my question to you: Should the alleged detainee abuse photos be released?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Sean from California writes:

President Obama is doing the right thing, Jack. By not releasing the photos, he's putting the decision into the hands of the court. The court can then order the photos released and President Obama can be clear of having to take yet another hit from the likes of McConnell and Boehner.

Ray from Lakewood, Colorado writes:

As a security expert in the I.T. arena, we follow like gospel the fundamental idea that "security through obscurity never works." Examples abound of people trying to protect the masses by hiding information and examples abound of why it almost always fails to meet that goal. The way to get problems solved is to publicize them, not hide them.

Deb from Arizona writes:

As long as they also show the photos of the people who had to jump from the World Trade Center, of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers and Pentagon, of the people who were on all the flights that crashed, etc. Then I don’t have a problem with the torture photos. I’m sure that most people would say to you that these people were not tortured enough.

J. writes:

Yes, otherwise we will die the death of a thousand cuts, as the situation drags on. Exposing the situation to the light of day will allow it to be put behind us.

Wanda from Mississippi writes:

Lou Dobbs’ poll last night said 87% of the audience was against the photos being displayed. I have no problem with that. But the notion that only a small group of people are to blame is simply not true. We know Cheney is not shooting his mouth off for fun. He's scared of going to jail.

Judi writes:

No. Why are we always second guessing the president? Give him a break. And while I'm ranting, I wish we'd stop taking those ideologue positions of liberal and conservative views on everything.

P.S. – I'm a radical liberal Democrat myself but pledge to give that up right now.


Filed under: Guantanamo Bay
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Eric

    I think that, initially, the President was interested in full disclosure to the American people. However, after conferring with military officials in the know and hearing of the possible repercussions, he changed his mind. To me, this is another sign that, for the first time in many years (8, to be exact), we have a President who thinks before he acts. AND, he is not afraid to change his mind on anything. This is a very positive sign for our country. If the President says the pictures should not be released then they should NOT be released. Nuff said.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  2. debinaz

    as long as they show the photos of the people that had to jump from the world trade centers along with them..the photos of the planes crashing in to the world trade centers , the pentagon etc...show all of the people that were on all the flights that crashed and then i dont have a problem with the torture photos...im sure that most people would say to you that these scum bags were not tortured enough....

    May 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  3. Roy - Chicago

    Although I am all for free speech and transparancy...I agree with Obama on this one. Abuse of prisoners under the BUSH administration is so disturbing, it could cause ripples of anti-American sentiment in non-friendly nations that the election of President Obama finally started to allieviate the last few months.

    Make no mistake, this is Obama trying to do damage control for a BUSH fiasco.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  4. Peg from NY

    No. We have seen enough. The news is bad/sad enough. Time to move on and away from this "stuff".

    May 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  5. Mark, Bradenton, FL

    After the Bush years I think we are entitled to see what our government is doing. Obama is a fraud. He will ruin this country for good. I voted for him and vowed never to vote again because they all lie.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  6. Ken from Colorado

    Jack,
    Yes they should. What happened to the tranparency Obama was supposed to bring to the White House? I want to know if it really was a few bad apples involved in torture or are these pictures going to show that torture was more pervasive and was employed as a general policy. Now Pelosi is saying that the CIA lied to her about the torture techniques that were used. The veil of transparency in the Obama administration is starting to get darker and darker. Sounds like their hasn't been a change from the old administration to me.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  7. ED in RI

    Jack;
    The prisoner abuse photos should absolutely be made public. Let the people who voted twice for Bush/Cheney, see how indecent this administration was, not only with it's incompetent conduct of the Iraq war, but using "stiff-armed" techniques to allow these "not-alledged" policies to represent this country to world opinion.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  8. Kim - Blair, NE

    I agree with the president as far as not releasing the photos to the public. However, they should be seen by the powers that be in order to continue towards punishing those in command at the time these horrible things happened.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  9. anthony.....NJ

    President Obama caved into the generals and put transperancy on the backshelf. The whole issue is moot since the Supreme Court will overturn it. Our new, young and somewhat impressionable president is going through a learning curve like all his predecessors.
    Barack is nobody's fool and will be way ahead of the curve in the future unlike George W. whose learning curve was upside down.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  10. wanda j brown

    Lou Dobbs poll last nite said 87% of the audience are against the photos being displayed. I have no problem with that. But the notion that only a small group of people are to blame is simply not true. we
    know cheney is not shooting his mouth off for fun. He's scared of going to jail and mad because he can't make anymore $$$$$.

    Wanda
    Mississippi

    May 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  11. Jean B

    First release the memos that show thousands of good AMericans lives were saved !
    This ADM is so wishy washy I'd rather have the leadership of the local Grade School.
    Obama made a political decision, however his lack of ability to grasp the facts up front will bring him down "before he can bring down the USA" !
    Jean B
    WI

    May 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  12. Chad Silvey

    Yes. Torture is illegal. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and the commanders on the ground who gave the order should be prosecuted for war crimes. They have immeasurably tarnished America's reputation world wide, which makes every single American LESS safe. The extreme right can try to spin this any way they want to, but the vast majority of anti-American sentiment in the world that leads to terror attacks in the first place are a direct result of this kind of irresponsible abuse of power. The damage they caused will take generations to repair.

    Akron, Ohio

    May 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  13. Brian

    Hi Jack,
    I think they should not be released. At least not yet. If the only reason the people want the photos released is to punish those who are responsible then I see no reason why we cant have have them viewed by the people it matters to most. Judges, defense attorneys, and prosecutors. There is no reason why I should have the "need" to see these photos. We all know what was done over there (by we, I mean civilians). We don't need to see the pictures for proof.

    Thanks,
    Brian – Jersey City, NJ

    May 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  14. Tom in NC

    Yes, of course the photos should be released. Obama is doing exactly the wrong thing by caving in to political pressure. His argument for not releasing the photos is extremely weak. He is beginning to sound a lot like Bush, and Robert Gibb's ridiculous and convoluted rationalizations were disturbingly reminiscent of the obfuscation of Alberto Gonzalez.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  15. Dee in sunny (and dry) Florida

    Wouldn't releasing those photos and allowing the media to have a field day simply result in more "torture" for those detainees to whom the photos themselves are repugnant?

    I think by now we ALL pretty well know what went on, and if not a verbal description should suffice.

    If there is someone who does not know what the advanced interrogation techniques we used were, just ask some Vietnam Vets. Ask John McCain! They can tell us, in graphic detail, what constitutes torture. We do not have to subject the detainees to public humiliation any more than they already have been!

    May 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  16. Stephen in PA

    The release of these photos would only go farther to reinforce what we already know. It was wrong. Gained us nothing and puts our troops in a bad light. If they would help prove how 'un-right' the previous administration was, without hurting our troops, then yes release them. Rats usually run from bright lites.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  17. Terry from Illinois

    Jack,
    No, our young soldiers are in harms way and why put them in more danger???
    I agree with Obama !!!

    May 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  18. Marie Ontario

    The only reason the photos should be released to the public is to show Americans what really happened and to build a case for prosecuting those who were responsible for any crimes that were committed regardless of what political affiliation they might have.

    If Obama is adamant on forgiving anyone who committed a crime in this mess by looking forward and not back then he should do the same for every criminal now in prison if they promise not to do it again.

    The white collar criminal shouldn't receive any better treatment than does the blue collar criminal don't you agree?

    May 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  19. EBJ in metro Houston

    Jack I wonder if the far right and Republicans will find a way to to be critics of this Obama decision since most of them didn't want the photos released either. So far I've only seen Sen McCain approve of the decision from the GOP. The others will probably say nothing if it can't be no. I approve of it also. What is the point and what would it prove to show these pictures? Maybe after all has settled down more but not now and especially not on the Memorial Day holiday.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  20. Sherman L. McClesky

    Not if our military commanders insists that these photos be withheld from the public.

    Remember, it is the president's job as "Commander and Chief" to do what is best for our troops and our national security. If the best minds within our military says that our troops' safety and our national security could be compromised by the release of these photos, then the president must block the photos' release even if it pains him to do so.

    It takes a very special president to set aside his beliefs in order to make a decision that is best for our country; fortunately for us, we just happen to have a very special president right now in Barack Obama.

    Sherman L. McClesky
    Chattanooga, TN

    May 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  21. Carla in Fayetteville Ark

    They should be released to Congressional committees investigating this travesty.A complete report should be made public(a la 9/11 Commission Report).Cheney and the rest of the culprits are mainly interested in CYA-not our soldiers' welfare so much.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  22. Linda in Arizona

    I'm conflicted on this subject. On the one hand, if it pleases republicans, it can't be right, and I'm against it, whatever it is. I have also heard that Obama wants to keep the pictures out of sight because they could add to the support for investigating and prosecuting the bush administration, and he "doesn't want to look back". That makes me mad as hell. However, I agree it would be damaging in many ways here and abroad if they are made public, and could reverberate on our troops. Also, I don't want any more hideous torture images stuck in my mind for the rest of my days. I'm more upset that they tortured people for the sole purpose of dummying up phony connections between al-Qaida and Saddam, and illegally invading Iraq than I am about the torture itself. My opinion is that if President Obama said it was okay to release them 3 weeks ago, he should stand by his original decision, and release them. Of course, he can't do it now. More bumbling from the administration, unfortunately.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  23. Peter from VA

    Jack,

    No way. POTUS shouldn't have catered to his left of center buddies to release the memos in the first place which has now lead to the photo problem. Now he has to deal with the fallout of the EITs vs torture debate and watch the Congress get distracted from the budget process. What is left behind in the story is that the photos are part of a FIA lawsuit and its likely it will be played out in court not via Executive Order.

    Peter

    May 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  24. pete in ny

    Good decision regardless of the reason. Obama showed that he can stand on his own and support the military.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  25. Marie from Houston, TX

    Why not? People have the right to know how and if inhuman the detainees being treated. The others know exactly what the US military has done so it is just an excuse but that sends a message to generals there that one day some one will show the world your doings so treat the prisoners as the United Nations and Red Cross say you should not like ANIMALS ! We don't want ur children to be treated the same way if and when they are captured, do we?
    Marie- Houston

    May 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  26. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    We don’t need to show all our cards before the hand is over. President Obama is doing the proper thing by retaining these pictures, especially if we want to go after the criminals who occupied the White House for the last eight years just as much as we’re now putting John Demjanjuk on trial for crimes he purportedly committed over 50 years ago in the Ukraine.

    Any more release of information will give these murdering sociopaths all the evidence they need to claim a mistrial for pre-trial publicity.

    Bush, Cheney et al belong behind bars for the rest of their days. Let’s hold our cards until we need to play them – in court..

    May 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  27. Denise

    Yes, these photos should be released, but at the appropriate time - not when we still have soldiers in those countries already in harm's way and not when President Obama is in the process of trying to reestablish diplomacy and repair relationships with the Muslim world. They should be released into court as part of evidence once an official investigation of the past administration's abuse of power starts. It'is already widely known that these abuses occurred from the earlier releases of photos and memos. No new information is to be gained from releasing yet another set of torture photos and the inevitable sensationalization of this visual evidence by the media would only reignite rage against the US among millions worldwide just as we are trying to recover our standing in the world.

    Wash DC

    May 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  28. Bob Torrance

    Only about 12 Americans were convicted of abusing prisoners. I’ve been wondering for years just how many of our people are actually identifiable in all the photos. I believe it’s far more than the number who were tried, and I want everyone’s testimony. I’m certain this would lead us to the very top.

    May 14, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  29. Bob Torrance

    Yes, I commented 75 minutes ago, but it's still "awaiting moderation."
    Only about 12 Americans were convicted of abusing prisoners. I’ve been wondering for years just how many of our people are actually identifiable in all the photos. I believe it’s far more than the number who were tried, and I want everyone’s testimony. I’m certain this would lead us to the very top.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  30. Remo .............. Austin, Texas

    Jack,
    Ol' Quick Draw President Obama is soon realizing that things aren't always black and white! It was one thing to snipe at some decisions from the past, and make quick and seemingly ready ones from the Oval office.
    ..Now don't get me wrong I was no fan of Mr. Bush, but there is a chance of probability that there were a few things that he might have gotten right. Maybe this will give the Democrats and Republicans pause to think things over a little bit more than Blue or Red doctrine.
    ..Mr. Obama may be facing more challenges in his "Second Hundred Days" then he once thought. With national security, and the best interest of our critically overworked troops at stake, perhaps silence on matters is best until he fully understands the implications, and what the role of Commander in Chief truly entails. It could be possible that the office could be losing it's luster and we're starting to see a dull shine.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  31. aaron

    yes. If Obama wants to be "transperent", don't hide the things that makes us look bad, and just show the good things. We have had that for the last 8 years, time to stop it.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  32. Bill N

    To what purpose should we release the photos? The best practice would be to let sleeping dogs lie. The orignal photos created a big fuss and a lot of damage to our reputation. The furor (around the world) has more or less died down. We saw that people tortured other people why do we have to see that "they tortured them even more" what's the freekin point? Tell the ACLU to have a little concerns for the American Civil Liberties and just bugg out. Leave it alone. Just go hide your head or soething. Enough is enough.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  33. Marilyn, Oklahoma

    Release the photos. The rest of the world needs to see this country confront its worst behavior and how we correct it, or else we will never again have the moral standing to condemn any other country for its own evil behavior.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  34. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    Whether we release the pictures or not, most of the world views us as power-hungry autocrats, bent on conquering the world and that we'll violate any and all international laws to do it. George W. Bush and Co. basically set us all back hundreds of years in our previous attempts to abolish barbaric practices.

    As we've witnessed with the reaction to the Mohammed cartoons, we think these people are still living about 1500 years behind us. We've proven to them that we're no different.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  35. Phil-North Central Washington

    We already have enough "publicly released" photos to prove prison abuse. Need we more for the public to view? I'm a liberal but agree with the military commanders and Secretary Gates that more publicly released photos of prison abuse would put our military at more risk than they already are.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  36. Micah from Woodland, California

    I must say I'm split on the subject too, Jack. On the one hand I want there to be justice and have those who abused these detainees tried for war crimes, but on the other I worry that such a release would have a negative effect on the Middle East's already fragile outlook on the U.S. and result in more attacks on our troops. It's a frustrating situation, in other words. I think it should go to the Supreme Court, personally. Also, the Obama administration promised openness and transparity. Going back on his word isn't going to reflect well with his supporters. It's quite the mess!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  37. Mike Fagan, Slidell, LA

    Give them to the ACLU and let the ACLU release them. Then the blame for releasing them to the public goes to the ACLU, not the White House and they will be in compliance with the court order.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  38. Julie Austin, TX

    Honestly, what good does it really do to see these photos?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  39. Karl from SF, CA

    No, we have seen enough torture pictures and the reaction to them by the radicals in the Middle East. Listen to our Generals over there. The security of our troops is far more important. We don’t need to be that “transparent”. It is time to move on and put the Bush administration on trial for the war crimes that produced those pictures. Keep them as evidence, as if Cheney’s too numerous confessions aren’t enough already.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  40. Marilyn in Raleigh

    I like having a president who can listen to information presented to him and change his opinion when necessary. Therefore, even though I'm usually labeled as "liberal" I support his decision.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  41. Joe

    The soldiers followed their orders and the release of those photos would only ensure they were prosecuted in the court of public opinion. Not releasing these photos does not somehow make our government more opaque – we know abuse occured. We've seen photos before. Releasing these photos will help no one.

    Joe
    Miami Beach, FL

    May 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  42. Warren

    Jack, as one who has family fighting there NO, anything that could make the slightest difference in the protection of the troops has to be our priority.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  43. Zolicon

    Yes absoultely they should be released. it is time that we take secrecy out of the governments business

    Zolicon

    May 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  44. Hilda

    NO!!! Releasing these photos will only multiply the animosity we have around the world.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  45. Judi romaine

    No – why are we always second guessing the Prez? Give him a break – and while I'm ranting, I wish we'd stop taking those ideologue positions of liberal and conservative views on EVERYTHING (PS I'm a radical liberal dem myself but pledge to give that up right now!) judi

    May 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  46. Sean in California

    President Obama is doing the right thing, Jack. By not releasing the photos, he's putting the decision into the hands of the court. The court can then order the photos released and President Obama can be clear of having to take yet another hit from the likes of McConnell and Boehner who are bound to be talking to your breathless colleague, Wolf, at every opportunity they can find.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  47. Maxine-Arlington Heights, IL.

    Yes I do think they should be released because the "Republicans" never disclosed any pictures at all. That these pictures would be quite graphic is an understatement, but it would show how the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld White House really operated. No one would have to speculate anymore.

    I do not think President Obama is flip-flopping.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  48. Ray in Lakewood, CO

    As a security expert in the IT arena, we follow like gospel the fundamental idea that "Security through obscurity never works." Examples abound of people trying to protect the masses by hiding information and examples abound of why it almost always fails to meet that goal. The way to get problems solved is to publicize them, not hide them.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  49. Mike

    I agree Jack, I don't want these pictures released either. If any pictures should be released, they are the pictures of the poor souls who jumped from the Twin Towers to their deaths by the hands of foreign terrorists on 911. This would remind the world of what we are up against.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  50. Lisa

    Finally a President who is willing to change his opinion when faced with an intelligent argument....the US does not need additional negative publicity....

    May 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  51. Kathy Brallier

    No, they should not be released. We need to keep our military safe and the country doesn't need any more negativity.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  52. Matt from billings, MT

    I think Obama has a valid point, so therefore I think they should not, but the United States military must start cracking down on these cases of abuse. I think Obama's stance against waterboarding means nothing if other forms of abuse are happening right under his nose.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  53. Jon from Tempe, Az

    It is one thing to be tortured and it is another thing that is even worse to be tortured in public. Showing these photos and humiliating the people would do yet another wrong. This is an action we should definitly avoid.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  54. peggy Williams Johnson

    On the outside as a candidate is different than when you are the president. Obama, unlike the former president, has listened to his advisors. Once more he listend to reasonable advice and now has done what he feels is best for our country and our troops. Unless you sit in the oval office, and few have, I think we should just support his decision.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  55. Joe, San Antonio TX

    Look im as liberal as they come, but considering the circumstances, and despite what the president has said, he's better off keeping the photos out of the public arena, or at least until a later date, no need to tick anyone off

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  56. Chuck Harvey

    Nothing worthwhile to be gained by releasing them. Maybe much to be lost. No contest.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  57. Dennis

    Oh course he should. If you want to be open and transparent than show the Muslim world you are an honest and trustworthy partner in the desire for peace in the world. I think they will respect him for that. This has to come out so we can move on. If not the Muslim world will just think they have another Bush/Cheney on our hands, dishonest and deceitful.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  58. Josie

    Obama is sounding/acting more and more like Bush every day and that worries me. What happened to the transparency Obama vowed to maintain? No matter what the consequences, the detainees abuse photos should be released. Let the chips fall where they may. If he continues on this Bush path, I will never again cast a vote for anyone running for office. that's a promise!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  59. boxer girl in iowa

    The photos should not be released. Personally I've seen enough of these and it does not help our cause. Leave the past in the past.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  60. James the Curmudgeon

    I don't care. I don't want to see them. We've seen enough of them.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  61. Tony IL

    Jack,
    What can come from releasing the abuse photos? Absolutely nothing, except to use the photos to prosecute the lawyers involved with the scandal. This is an example of more waste of taxpayer money. Let's move on people and not put ourselves in this situation again.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  62. Sean

    I can understand why people want to see these photos as I believe all information should be shared with the general public. However, what good can really come of these pictures? We know what they depict, we know how they will make Americans feel and we know all too well how they will make those with anti-American agendas feel. Freedom of information is important, but sometimes we need to consider the consequences.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  63. Robert Brown

    By no means should these photos be released. Obama made a wise decision in this matter.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  64. Kevin Irby

    There is a time and a place for these photos to be released. They must be released at some point in the future for history's sake, but now is not the time.

    Harrisonburg, VA

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  65. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    For the Safety of our overseas Troops, i would say "NO".

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  66. Kathi W

    I absolutely concur with the president not to release the pictures. It is bad enough he released the information regarding the water boarding. That endangered our troops enough...There is no way he should release the pictures!!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  67. LARRY

    It is deja vu all over again. The President trumps the Courts and the rule of law goes out the window in the name of National Security. Is it better for the Arab world to know there were terrible things done and we are hiding them? These things were done in my name and I want the pictures.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  68. Jonathan Lawrence

    Jack:

    People talk about the transparency of the Obama Administration. They are openly admitting there was further abuse beyond what we already know of. Why do we need to see photos of the actual abuse. I don't think its necessary to see photos, unless the public needs to be further desensitized for disturbing imagery.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  69. Barbara

    Usually I'm all for transparency, but I'm more for keeping our troops safe so, no, I don't think the photos should be released just now – maybe later. Of course the Dems are against Obama's decision and the Republicans are for it – it happened under Bush's watch!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  70. dan - detroit, MI

    I think he's making the right decision. It's important to be open and transparent, but releasing the photos would be focusing the negative attention in the wrong place. The troops who engaged in this abuse were certainly wrong, but we'd be running the risk of demonizing them again while ignoring the fact that their orders came straight from the top.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  71. rick ramos

    It kills me to say it but I thought Rummy had a point when he made that statement ... the last thing we need to do is throw fuel on the fire. I can only imagine what's in those pictures. I don't need to see them at this time. And neither does anyone else.

    Rick – New Orleans

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  72. Jonathan Lawrence

    Jack:

    People talk about the transparency of the Obama Administration. They are openly admitting there was further abuse beyond what we already know of. Why do we need to see photos of the actual abuse. I don't think its necessary to see photos, unless the public needs to be further desensitized for disturbing imagery.

    Jonathan Lawrence
    Boston MA

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  73. Ruth Ost

    YES! I'm a huge supporter of President Obama, but his stance on this issue boggles my mind! During the primaries he promised transparency and I believed he would follow through. I'm terribly disappointed in this decision of his!

    Sincerely,

    Ruth Ost

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  74. Jennifer Hruska

    No Obama should not release the photos. The military commanders are right on this one.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  75. Molly (Los Angeles, CA)

    This liberal says, NO!

    I can't think of one good reason for us to view more of these disgusting photos. We can already clearly see what happened and most of us are ashamed. There's something sick about people who want to see more of the same!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  76. Dan

    Since The pictures and actions happened during Bush's watch, I as a veteran and a Pennsylvania Independent turned Democrat to VOTEObama, I agree with the safety of the troops in Baracks Decision to not release the photo's..

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  77. Dan Nelson

    No Jack but each detainee that has been caught fighting against the coalition forces and who denounce freedom and liberty and are for sharia law should be found guilty of crimes against humanity and be executed as soon as possible to face God's judgment!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  78. Richard Punko

    Release the photos and jail bush and cheney.

    Torture is a war crime.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  79. Bill

    The pictures have long ago leaked on the internet and are available for anyone who is determined enough to find them. Why should the gruesome photos be publicly released just so they can published in newspapers.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  80. Gideon Souldier

    Why should [pictures of American soldiers' abuse be relevant? What will this prove to the American Public? It only proves that our troops are capable of horrific acts that will only prove to undermine the already highly criticized war. Showing these pictures will not change anything and i applaud the president for keeping them out of the view of the public. Transparency is not an issue here.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  81. pattik

    I don't particularly care if the photos are released or not, but I do think we deserve to know why they are not being released. What is so compelling that military authorities feel it would be dangerous to expose them. Seems to me that speaks loudly to the fact that the abuse was extensive.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  82. Brian -Va Beach, VA

    No they shouldn't. Our image as Americans has been tarnished enough by the Bush administration. We need to hold ourselves to a higher standards of prisoner treatment than any other country in the world.

    Releasing these photos would add more fuel to a raging fire with countries that are already mad at us.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  83. Mike,richmond virginia

    Absolutely jack, let the people of the world see what the bush administration did ,tried to cover up and deny it ever happened.let see what Cheney has to say now

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  84. Peter Benton

    Jack,
    I see no reason that it should be necessary to see any more pictures. There is already sufficient evidence of systematic prisoner abuse and torture.
    I can wait till the trials to see them, when they are introduced as evidence.

    Hemet.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  85. Jim Blevins

    Yes, but it probably makes Obama's job easier if they are not. The more detail of government abuse that is made available the less likely it will happen in the future. However, Obama needs cooperation from his generals and here is a place where he can give them something with very little real cost.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  86. Jean

    Absolutely NOT.....the pictures should not be released.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  87. gatzzz, Bentonville

    Are these photos some kind of celebrity pics? Like those of Britney Spears posing naked or Micheal Phelps smoking marijuana that everybody really wants to see? These pics can be used by terrorists to hire more recruits for their Jihad against US. Obama administration did good by not releasing them.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  88. Rene /Jacksonville, FL

    I think that we have seen enough pictures and showing more will not solve our problems. Instead, I think it will only make it more difficult to repair the damage done by the bush admin. Moreover, it will potentially be bad for our troops. I think you can go too far with our open policy and I think that Obama is correct in incorporating some common sense when weighing the benefits of some policies.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  89. Ric in Seattle

    Wow! Another "photo controversy"...Do you think we should consult with Donald Trump or Carrie Prejean to see if President Obama can retain his "Crown"?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  90. Steve Canada

    What would be the purpose of releasing the photos..?? Abu Gharib was disgusting, and nothing significant ever happened to the people that sanctioned it. I wanna see some Waterboarding...got any of those..?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  91. Ken In Pinon Hills, California

    No, not unless you want our enemies to recruit thousands, maybe millions to give them cause to hurt us. No, not unless you want to show our allies how badly and illegally we behaved, just when the President is trying to win back their lost confidence in us.
    Yes means, our public will demand heads to roll, and so will our friends and enemies around the world.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  92. Warren, Stone Mountain GA.

    Jack, as one who has family fighting there NO, anything that could make the slightest difference in the protection of the troops has to be our priority. , sorry didn't add my location before.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  93. Joy from TN

    Jack:
    I cannot imagine what benefit the American people would get out of the alleged abuse photos. And, it certainly could further deteriorate opinion of the United States. This would only be fodder for those that want only to show our armed forces in a bad light–I would call those calling for this trouble makers and not supportive of our armed forces or our government.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  94. Lisa

    According to ACLU this will go all the way to the Supreme Court. The pictures WILL be released eventually. What do people expect Obama to do? Ignore top military commanders and release the photos regardless of the danger they say is real?
    He has said that he is determined to steer America on an honorable course, but he has to do it RESPONSIBLY.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  95. Cody nj

    Yes. If the American people can't face the truth of what's been done in Iraq and Afghanistan, we shouldn't be in the war. Covering up the truth until after the wars are over - if they are ever over - is not patriotic.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  96. lynn

    President Obama and the State Department are involved in the most serious and hopeful negotiations in the Middle East. that has occured in years. Why would any sane American want to jeopardize that?

    Better the issue be resloved by the Supreme Court and the politics taken out of it.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  97. Paul Romportl

    What is done...is done..I think we should leave it alone.....

    The ONLY POSSIBLE affect, at this point would be to possibly put our troops in GREATER POTENTIAL HARM.

    Let's move on and not do anything to INFLAME the already tough situation.

    AGAIN ...all it would do is POTENTIALLY HARM AMERICAN TROOPS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  98. Linda McNeil

    As a grandmother of a military person I am sure we should heed the advice of our military leaders who think the release of these photos should not be released because they would make the job our troop have to do even more dangerous. They already deal with too much including being electrocuted while showering.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  99. Jonathan Scott

    There are many people who risk their lives everyday. All this witch hunting does is make them feel theatened not only by the enemy but by the very country they are trying to protect. There is no reason to release any of this stuff.

    Jonathan Scott
    Madison ,Al

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  100. Leroy W

    President Obama should honor his commitment to transparency as he promised. If he does not it may be seen a sign of weakness and result in reduced confidence both at home and abroad.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  101. Barbie from Hollywood, CA

    Originally, I was in favor of releasing the rest of the abuse photos. However, now I think we should all just depend upon our President's wisdom; he knows far more details (about the photos, as well as most other war-related issues) than we ever will; if he says it's not in the best interest of our military personnel (and for reasons he's not specifing) and our overall world-image, I defer to his thoughtful intellect. We elected him, so we can't always be criticizing him for learning that when he sits in the BIG chair, some of his campaign promises are better left for future historians to reveal.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  102. Michael Cain

    We elected this president to make the decisions that we cannot make. Even though he promised one thing during the campaign, he was wise enough to listen to his military commanders/advisors and reverse this promise. The old saying goes, "You can't please all the people all the time". Lets let him lead.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  103. David Curtis

    Jack:

    The President has made the right choice regarding the detanee photos. I see nothing to be accomplished by releasing them to the public. In fact, I believe he should have ordered the photos destroyed before the court ruling..So there..liberals...take that!

    David Curtis
    Heath, OH

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  104. Rod

    Releaseing the photos but not following up would be damaging to national security, because it would say to the world "look what we did and we're not doing anything about it". However, releasing the photos and pursuing those responsible for criminal actions would show the world that the US is sincere about its values.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  105. Mike, Panama City, FL

    I don't think showing the photographs is necessary. What I'd like is some accountability from officials for what's in the photos. Releasing the torture photos will be more politics and less justice.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  106. Raymond Rodriguez

    Release of these photos adds nothing to the debate. Torture is immoral and must be illegal. The Abu Ghraib photos had no interrogation value. Christopher Hitchens accurately dubbed them, "recreational sadism".

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  107. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    What's the point, Jack? We already have the text version with the letters. Do we all need the illustrated version too? Have our reading comprehension skills deteriorated that much?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  108. Gwen

    No. It serves no meaningful purpose. We know it happened. Those involved have or will be punished (hopefully). My right to know is not violated in this matter.
    I bet if we asked those who were victimized, they would say no.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  109. June Seminole Fl

    No ..BCR ( Bush Cheney Rumsfeld) will not pay the price for the actions ..Obama will. and it is no right that he inflame Muslims for crimes he did not commit...

    May 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  110. Jeff in Livonia

    Jack,

    At this point, releasing these photos would derail the momentum Obama has maintainted with the economic recovery. Opening up the wounds involved with torture would, at this point, would force the administration and Congress to spend two, maybe three years that could be better spent working on other problems.

    I agree that releasing photos might stir up an entirely new wave of anti-American sentiment which could undermine the good will Obama seems to have earned overseas. No one should underestimate how invalulable it is to have a good part of the world actually looking up to us again.

    Jeff
    Livonia, MI

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  111. Eileen Peabody MA

    No.

    Do you have a son, a daughter, or a friend in Afghanistan or Iraq?

    I applaud President Obama's choice, even though some single minded people consider it a flip flop (actually it is....but justifiably so). His decision to hold the release of these pictures is to protect our troops overseas. I hope we all know how these radical idiots would react to these pictures. You do remember 9/11 don't you? Well, our troops are even more accessible for repercussion!!!

    An intelligent leader is one who will reconsider a decision if the opposing position is well represented. BRAVO President Obama.

    Eileen, Peabody

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  112. Ian in Texas

    We should release the photos AFTER every member of the ACLU puts on a uniform and reports to the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. That way, when these photos are used by terrorists to convince a kid to strap a bomb to his body, the ACLU are the ones that suffer the consequences and not our troops.

    The abuses are well-documented. The offenders have been punished. Nothing good will come from releasing the photos. Do we really need to satisfy some sick voyeurism at that cost of safety to our men and women in the military?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  113. Richard

    The alleged detainee abuse photos should not be released. Why would anyone want to see any kind of abuse photos? The media should also stop showing the previous photos, as CNN did earlier in this hour. It will only promote ill feelings from around the world.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  114. AARON

    No. They should not be released if the release will furher complicate matters. It is already clear that there was torture so whats the point belaboring the matter and complicating matters? This is my opinion; stop further release dont comit any torture and learn from Bush's mistakes.

    San Diego, CA

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  115. Soraya

    No. I agree with Pres. Obama. I think it would inflame sentiment against us, and I don't see what good it would do. People change their minds, and if after talking to army commanders Pres. Obama was able to get a fuller perspective, then I think it was wise for him to change his mind. As my president I want him to mAke the best decision once he has all the facts rather than stubbornly stick his opinion to save face.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  116. Eve - AZ

    Absolutely not. Every well-informed, intelligent person in the US knows that Bush & Cheney are guilty of authorizing torture. Why do we need to look at pictures of these atrocities? Should they eventually go to trial for this behavior, and the courts need additional evidence in determining their sentence, then, and only then, release the photos.

    Eve – Prescott, AZ

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  117. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    Whatever President Obama does is o.k. with me. I just want Bush and Cheney to be tried for the prisoner abuse, lies and cover ups. They were so secretive, I would like to know, but it is up to our Congress.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  118. KIM LEE

    No, the pictures should not be released. I support whatever decision our President decides and trust him. All this past garbage from the BUSH administration should be put to the side and concentrate on ending ALQUEDA and restoring our economy and health care!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  119. Amie from Mulberry, Indiana

    The Bush Administration wished to keep Abu Ghraib under wraps only to protect themselves and not to protect US troops and citizens. I understand people wanting President Obama to pay out on his promise of transparency, but putting more negative press on the market against the US is not transparent, it's just foolish and dangerous. The only reason people want to see these photos must be out of morbid curiosity – like slowing down on the highway to gawk at a car crash.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  120. Jacob Crawford

    Showing the additional photos will accomplish nothing positive that hasn't already been accomplished. Emphasis need to be put on bringing the offenders to justice, upholding the rule of law, and making certain that no one is above the law. I think there is ample cause and reason already to proceed to investigate, determine the facts and prosecute the guilty.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  121. Myra Becnel

    Jack,

    I do not think the photos should be released for public view to be seen on every TV show, newspaper or magazine around the world. We have seen enough already and if there are more then I think we can imagine what they are. The photos are not the issue but the existance of torture is.

    Therefore I believe that the photos should indeed be released and seen by an independent council and that their findings should then be reportedt to the American public. Then upon these findings we should proceed with whatever the law of the land demands. We must withold the law at any cost!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  122. Nick

    No they shouldn't.
    Transparency is good but should have limits. If it could put our troops even more at risk, it's better left unshown.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  123. Karen Alexander

    No! Why do we need to see them? We have seen some of the things going on at the other prison. I am a democrat and have no desire to see the previous administration put through the ringer. The world looked a lot different immediately after 9-11. They did what they thought they needed to do. Can we just move on? We DO NOT need to inflame other countries against us. We need their help in these wars. Obama is trying to rectify our image. I don't give a rip about transparency–there are more important things to worry about than the democrats blood lust for damaging photographs.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  124. Robert Paquin

    I would be more interested in who thought it would be nice to posssess such pictures. Hilter used meat hook and piano wire scenes for after dinner entertainment. So who and why wanted such photos?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  125. Martha Mapp

    Just because we had to learn the hard way that Bush was not trustworthy and clearly abused his power, we should not let that prevent us from giving Obama the benefit of the doubt. I chose to trust him until he gives me reason not to. What is to be gained by releasing more photos? We know there were abuses and action was taken to make it stop. Unless these are recent photos that indicate the abuse continues we need to let it go and not reopen this wound.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  126. Tim Rigney

    In my opinion, President Obama is wise to not release the photos. This isn't censorship, it's plain common sense and prudence. After all, what if this were the "spark" that could inflame someone to engage in a terrorist attack? We've all seen the photos from Abu Ghraib, etc.; we don't need any further visual aids to understand what went on. It's easy to shout "CENSORSHIP!" from the safety of the United States. I usually lean to the "left," but I would suggest that the Liberals whining about this one instance of so-called "censorship" from the most-open President in recent history, go to the mountains of Afghanistan first while wearing a t-shirt that says "I'm an American" and THEN complain. This isn't an "academic" matter; Obama is trying to save lives and that seems to me to quite clearly deserve priority here.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  127. Lori, Dayton,Ohio

    No they should not be released-what benefit could there be to releasing the photos that would warrant jeopardizing our soldiers around the world? Morbid curiosity? The people who need to see them in order to make sure it never happens again have seen them.

    Maybe bring them out for public display in the future, if and when the safety of our citizens is not at stake due to retaliation.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  128. Jill, Garner, Iowa

    Let me get this straight... Pres. Obama spoke with his top military advisors, listened to their advice, and changed his mind about his previous decision. And we're comparing THIS to the Bush administration? We finally have a president who listens to others, doesn't chisel his decisions in stone, and adapts to changing situations and we're complaining?
    Just because the Republican conservatives are cheering does not mean Obama is acting like George W. Bush.

    I for one am glad to have a Commander in Chief who's willing to engage in give-and-take of information with life-long military commanders. Please recall, these men are speaking from within the field of battle where they have been for several years thanks to the previous administration's FIRM conviction that his decision(s) weren't wrong or misguided - even after facts apparently proved him wrong!

    Should the photos be released? Do we really think they will show something new? How about releasing them *only as evidence* in a war crimes trial for people who knowingly authorized such abuses!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  129. Ed from Montana

    Yes, just man up an deal with it. Admit it, face it, beat it, and move on. Same with the Gitmo prisoners. Either convict them and imprison them on the evidence, or send them back and if they show up in battle again, then kill them on the battlefield. The soldiers know what they signed up for, so give them clear orders and then let them do their jobs. This dancing around is what is getting everything messed up.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  130. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    Are we running out of people to fight in Afghanistan? They will only serve as a recruiting poster for our enemies, make it appear that America is anti-Islam, incite the extremists and swell their ranks even more. Other than that, what does the American public need them for?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  131. Mary, St. Augustine, Fl

    Release the photos to the courts not to the public.
    Foreign countries don't need to see any of it.
    Let the investigation on this issue continue......

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  132. Don from Canada

    Obama's decision to release the photos showed his committment to transparency. His later decision not to release the photos showed his ability to listen to his generals be flexible enough to change his decision in order to ensure the safety of the troops. Nothing wrong with that. Only the media who thrive on controversy and the Republicans, who still play the partisan games we hate, keep harping on this issue.I only wish Canada had a leader with the vision and intelligence of bama.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  133. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    of course they need to be released. Why is this man i supported and voted for pulling the strings for Bush, Chaney ? Again this president is not living up to his word. my answer to this endangering our troops, well if they weren't there they wouldn't be in danger. I was hopeful pres. Obama would end these senseless war"s . I was wrong again.. I bet Chaney is smiling himself to death...

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  134. Ade (foreign student living in America)

    As a foreigner living in America, I do think internationals would feel resentment toward the troops if the pictures are released.
    Those responsible should face trouble, but it should be done privately.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  135. NN

    I think there are a lot worse "tortured methods" done by others and this is just one of many. If questioning these terrorist was necessary to get more information from them, they probably have done the same to our fellow Americans. This is war, not proud of what was done to these terrorists from the Bush Administration but lets build a bridge and get over it. The President is doing the right thing by not releasing these pictures as our soldiers are currently protecting us from terrorists. It will only angry the terrorist if these pictures are shown and could retaliate on our American Soldiers.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  136. Dennis in Orlando, FL

    As one who served I would not want them released. The pictures are not going to help anyone by being released to the public. After we see them then what? The only people that need to see them are the people that will be investigating and prosecuting people.

    Also I don't like the fact that the media is portraying The President as a flip-flopper on this issue though, like he has done something SO BAD!! He struggled with this decision KNOWING that there would be backlash from the extreme left wing of the party. Can he not change his mind? We change our minds all the time.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  137. Andrei

    Crazy as it sounds; I say do not release the pictures of abused detainees. This puts our troops who are stationed overseas in great danger, also this might spark another violent turnout from Middle East and this will be damaging to our country and previous governing staff. Also a lot of people are forgetting why they were and still are detainees...

    May 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  138. AARON

    No. They should not be released if the release will furher complicate matters. It is already clear that there was torture so whats the point belaboring the matter and complicating matters? This is my opinion; stop further release dont comit any torture and learn from Bush’s mistakes.

    San Diego, CA

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  139. David C.

    Though nothing good can come of releasing these photos it is imperative that we do. If any abuse was a direct result of spoken or unspoken policies inacted against prisoners of war, then we as a country should confront this by exposing it to the world. The mighty can only be considered good if they admit to and resolve to remedy previous transgressions.

    David C.
    Atlanta

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  140. frankie

    We will all just have to get used to a President who knows how to change his mind because he is dealing with life life as it is. Maybe we will stop hearing that every intelligent change of opinion is just a flip flop. I really hate that term.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  141. george

    i believe the presidents position on prisoner detanee photos is the correct one.
    pakistanie and most of the arab world hate us. having said that if we are still in the win ther hearts and minde's game it would be a horrible time to do such thing.

    im just confused about what all of this torture coverage is supposed to accomplish it seems to me beating this issue into the ground is making our country appear to be buffoonish to the rest of the world and if im not mistaken the american people made a move this past november to escape such a thing.
    time to move on..............
    george
    chester,ct.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  142. Richard

    If the photos are released then photos of the beheading & torture done by the terrorist should be released.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  143. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    These photos need to be released. I can see Obama stalling until after his Egypt trip to release them but if he insists he won't then Cheney won. He intimidated this Administration into helping keep the Bushies "dirty little secrets" and he's not going to look too good when the Supreme Court orders him to relase them. He shot his mouth off – now put up.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  144. Martin

    The reason the President is not showing the Detainee Pics is because he doesn't want to bring harm to the US or our Troops right
    now. I'm sure he knows what he is doing. Just read between the lines
    Media People.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  145. Bill - St Louis MO

    I reluctantly say the photos should be released. Even, Janis Karpinski the retired U.S. Army colonel, believes this as to prove the problem(s) were more "than a few bad apples". Had the photos of the Abu Garib never been seen, do you think anyone would have been held accountable? I do understand Barack's concerns, but one can never loose with the truth. It may be more painful at times, but the truth & honesty are the right things to do.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  146. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Jack what is alleged? are the photos fake? are the detainee alleged or were they detainee? Have all the people that order the abuses been brought to trial? What is the cover up and who in the last administration is guilty?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  147. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    It is like information about troop movements, someday we want access to it. but not while it can benefit our adversaries. If the photos are needed for ongoing investigations or prosecutions there are ways to make the originals available to officers of a court so they can't be used in recruiting or propaganda.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  148. Kyle, California

    No, Jack. As commander in chief of the armed forces, the first and most important responsibility is to maintain the highest possible level of safety for the men and women who fight to defend our way of life. I am a democrat, and i voted for Obama. Al Qaeda has and will always use an elaborate Propaganda campaign as a recruitment tool to the youths of these third world countries. Why is no one talking about the ends in this argument? What purpose does it serve the People of the United States to release these photos? It's not like we are trying to convince people they don't exist, what can possibly be gained by releasing these photos? The justice department has already stated that they will not seek to prosecute the officials who conducted these enhanced interrogation techniques. As far as i'm concerned the focus on this issue is distracting the American People from other issue of more importance.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  149. Rosanne Weed, Ca.

    No they should not futher inflame the situation. Too many other things to work on now. Lets not get so distracted.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  150. Tom, Pearl River, NY

    The photos should be released as President Obama had advised us they would be. I can understand the sensitivity the Pentagon feels toward this issue, they do not want our troops to be put in deeper harm's way. But what would be the ultimate reason for them being in deeper harm's way; their actions on our enemies which were caught on photos, or our government being 'open and honest'?

    Quite a problem!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  151. john kefelian, port st lucie, florida

    we should not release any of those photosof the alleged detainees.
    It will diffinetely cause a backlash against our troops , and the United States. President Obama made a right decision.
    We should remember 9/11, do we need another , and the terrorists thaht attacked us never gave us any knowledge of what they were planning to do. America news media broadcast every thing we think or do, whether it will harm or not.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  152. Lisa B.

    How does the release of these photos make us safer? Unless you can answer that question in a compeling way, then leave the photos alone. We didn't have the stomach to show the video of Danny Pearl meeting his "Geneva Convention" sanctioned end on TV in this country, but democrats seem to have an endless appetite for needless self flagellation – toward what end I wonder? For every detainee photo, there are a thousand photos of dead and mutilaited US soldiers that we will never see, not because they don't exist, but because it would be seen as exploitative, and would be difficult for memebers of Congress to explain to constituents. You can't have it both ways. It's all or nothing. Anything less is not the truth.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  153. Allan Horn - St. Petersburg, FL

    Jack...

    Frankly, I don't care if the detainee abuse photos never see the light of day. What I want to see is Cheney and his evil minions frog-walked to the defendent's table at the Hague.

    The ONLY way we can ever be reasonably sure that this kind of criminal activity will never be repeated in the name of America is to at least TRY to prosecute the people who were behind these violations of human rights.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  154. Wendy in VA

    Hell no. Do not release them "now", because the troops are more important than those pictures. What is wrong with people? I would not like to live with the fact I may have caused even "one" death by the release of those pictures. Is there any common sense left in this country? This is a no-brainer to any reasonable person.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  155. Linda Finch

    Saying the photos are horrible enough to raise the wrath of the world is almost as bad as showing them. The world's imagination is going to be worse than the photos. Why was anything said at all? Just shut up and clear out Gitmo. NOW we have this elephant in the room. Crimoney!
    Linda Finch
    Rancho Cucamonga

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  156. Stephen, Jacksonville Fl

    The courts have spoken, and some one is demanding to see them based upon freedom of information. Either enforce the law or not. As much as we all hate to see the truth, the truth will set you free. Let's punish those who break the laws or take those laws off the books. I had enough of the 8 years or bush signing statements where he picked which laws he wanted to ignore or enforce, we are a country of laws, even the president should have to abide by them.

    USN retired.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  157. Marilyn Pinkerton

    I think Pres. Obama wants to do what is best for our country and after studying the topic of whether or not to release the abuse photos, and checking with our professional service personnel, he has determined that it is not is the best interests of our country to release the photos. We know abuses took place but it is not necessary for the whole world to view what took place. What is important is that we acknowledge these abuses and make sure they do not happen in the future.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  158. Fonzi

    We all know that abuses were commtted, so need to release more pics.If the administration was denying that abuses were committed then all the more reason to release the pics.
    President Obama is right in saying that seeing more pics will not prove or refute that abuses were committed. It will only fuel the fury of anti-American sentiments globally, whether ,Arabic, European,Soviet Asian or Islamic on the African continent..

    May 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  159. SMarie

    I don't think anything would be gained by make these photos public. And I believe that the American people would be naive to think that some type of punishment/torture would not be necessary with prisoners of war; that they would just willingly give information when asked. I am not an advocate for torture but I know it does exist in Government dealings and I believe it is a necessary evil. When you think of September 11, 2001, and what happened in this Country; we know that there are people out there who want to do us harm whether they do not agree with our Government's policies or whatever; never-the-less the People are who get the brunt of their perceived justice; and so if we should be able to catch these people I do not believe they should be dealt with delicately. I believe President Obama might even regret making a public statement that "the United States does not torture" – Whether they know it or not; people really do not want to know "EVERYTHING" their Government has to do to keep them safe!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  160. Dave

    Jack, They should release the photos...in about 10 or 15 years. To do so now would serve no constructive purpose other than to satisfy the sick, macabre motives of pundits and partisans. President Obama is making a wise decision, and probably saving American lives by not releasing the photos. The clamoring noise the press and ACLU is making for them demonstrates these people care not one iota about their fellow citizens who are out there laying it on the line. Remember the frenzy over a few stale Danish cartoons, the riots, and deaths overseas from the re-release of those? This would engender a similar mindless reaction and family members of yours and my neighbors would pay the price for it and set our Middle Eastern relations a few steps back again. We've been this route...let it rest awhile, hopefully until our service members are out of those hell-holes.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  161. Joseph Patrick O'Hearn

    Absolutely! And then those who authorized this should be taken before the International Criminal Tribunal. What a wuss when President Obama indicated that people who carried out the torture have been punished. What about Bush, Cheney, Libby, Rumsfeld and others who gave it their direct or indirect ok. If were going to admit responsibility then we need to take total ownership and make mea culpa's to those offended. His political capital is diminishing rapidly.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  162. Roland(St George,UT)

    No. I am not pandering to terrorists, but the victims in the photos have basic human rights and releasing the photos would just further humiliate them publicly. It's enough that we admit our wrongdoing by describing fully what we did, and perhaps including artist's renditional sketches (or photos of empty cells with mannequins set in place of the people), and then to express an apology to the rest of the world for our deplorable actions. Then, finally, let's move forward with our allies on seeking to promote and preserve peace around the world. But I am convinced that nothing good can come of releasing those photos. (Roland/St George, UT)

    May 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  163. Carol Thomas

    I appreciate that the President changes his mind when he receives meaningful information from those closest to the matter. After seeing the pictures from Abu Ghraib, we all "get the picture" and it isn't a good one. Of course, showing more pictures would inflame hatred toward us, something we do not need as we (from the President to the troops on the ground) try to build relationships. I consider myself a liberal, but that doesn't mean I have to buy the whole package...judgement needs to be applied to each circumstance.

    Carol in Seattle

    May 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  164. Patty Shadid

    release the photos let the public know what exactly is going on! We should be outraged & It needs to stop & should never Happen again! Would you like to be treated this way? "out of sight, out of mind" is this the way the public should be treated, Its just easier for everyone,in the upper authorities I guess.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  165. Mike

    Who cares about these photos! Burn them for all I care. If "some" people feel they "need" to see the photos, then obviously they have some character defects anyway. On the same note, if they "need" to see these photos, obviously they care little about America and it's safety. Why show them and risk inflaming more Anti-American sentiment? Maybe that's the whole reason they want them released.............sicko's:)

    May 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  166. Mark from Wisconsin

    Jack,

    Absolutely not! I certainyl doesn't take a mental giant to figure out that this would only enflame the anti-American sentiment in the Arab world to an even higher degree.

    Obama's inexperience is showing and we are getting continual doeses daily of his flip-flops and mis-calculations.

    Perhaps he is finding out that Bush/Cheney didn't have such an easy job after all???

    May 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  167. Timothy

    I only have one question: would the Taliban or Bin Laden want these photos released? Absolutely. Anything that makes the United States look bad benefits their cause and allows them to more easily recruit and train operatives. The far left's hatred of the Bush Administration has only served to prevent them from using common sense...something they didn't have much of to begin with.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  168. Kenneth

    I feel the photos should be released to the public. I think the photos would show us some other dark methods the bush adminastration used on detainee's. Far as safety goes for our American troops, I think bush put them in more danger than any photograph of tortured could.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  169. AJ Brown,Dayton,Ohio

    We should not expect a President to act solely to keep a campaign promise and especially if it's a risk to our troops.The same folks(media included)who are knocking him now ,will do the same thing if he does and it blows up in his face.There is nothing wrong with changing your mind once you have more information on the subject.
    We would be better off today if our former President had done that once in a while!!!!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  170. Stacie

    The detainee pictures should ABSOLUTELY be shown to the American people. If there are any skeletons in the closet, they need to be ousted now! This is OUR country, and we have a right to know the harm our government has caused us because they made a foolish decision to torture. If they were foolish enough to take photos of these water boarding torturing sessions, then they need to suffer the consequences. By holding back the photos, OBAMA is setting himself up for a later target and may be accussed of aiding and abedding the Bush Administration in their sessions of torture.

    Stacie,
    Florida

    May 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  171. Ron Kriel

    Transparency is one thing, but if the release of these photos is likely to damage our image in the world, even further, just to satisfy our critics, then we should not release them. In general, I would not have thought photos would have the effect those from Abu Garabe had. I had always considered torture to include things like lighting bamboo slivers under fingernails, or pulling them off with pliers; injury to private body parts, broken bones, starvation, etc., not some mamby pamby photos of guys parading around in little or nothing. ...But what do I know?

    Ron K.
    Auburn, Alabama

    May 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  172. John Hanley, San Antonio, Texas

    NO! President Obama is correct in this decision and needs to hold his ground. There are some things in the world that are NONE OF OUR DAMN BUSINESS. Perhaps Al Quaida and the Taliban should first release photos ot their torture sessions of our troops and innocent civilians who just happen to disagree with them

    May 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  173. Deion

    It should be clear to you that Obama has made the right choice here. Not necessarily by releasing or withholding the photos but by listening to the Generals and the folks on the ground. Just think of what America could accomplish if the rest of the politians genuinley cared about solving problems and not political points.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  174. Bud from Ohio

    Why not release the pictures, Jack unless our government has something to hide? It's not as though we are going to the lengths that terrorists did in Iraq by breaking bones, ripping out toenails with pliers or even worse, brutally beheading POWs. Are we?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  175. Judie Williams

    Good afternoon Jack............YES, the photos should be released...for too long there has been this veil of secrecy in all areas of government.

    We, the U.S. citizens will no doubt be horrified as we think of ourselves as operating by and within the laws at all time.

    My only hesistancy is that foreign governments will have a field day, and have we really recoved from the past administration ?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  176. Ruth of Perry

    Here we go again. Americans are so eager to see the pictures that they are willing to risk the lives of our soldiers just to satisfy their appetite for "sick scenes." Why not just watch an episode of CSI and be done with it so our soldiers aren't faced with the reprecussions of this awful part in our history.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  177. Peter M

    No need to release them. There is no value to be derived from releasing, except inflaming attitudes aganst the U.S. This will not only endanger American troops, it will make Prez. Obama's visit to Egypt and his effort to address the Arab-Israeli conflict harder. Prez Obama's decision not to release is a sound one.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  178. Jacqueline Mongeot

    I lived in Europe during WWII 's German occupation. To my recollection photos of the Gestapo's actual tortures were not released to the public. Photos of tortured survivors were. However, written descriptions of the tehniques used by the Gestapo were published. Most victims had died,. Some of the few survivors were able to describe in details what they had to endure. Friends and foes united to swear that NEVER AGAIN torture would be used under any circumstance. Should we publish the phoros of the actual victims of American torture? I think not: to know what was done is sufficient shame for all of us.
    Jacqueline San Diego CA

    May 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  179. Louie Garcia

    I think that the release of such pictures would just fuel the fire and add more hatred not only torwards our US military but could potentially also create the wrong impression around the world about americans in general.I think the President is making the right desicion and should stick to it.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  180. Patrick, Lake Stevens, Washington

    No they should not. If Obama crumbles to outside forces in particular the ACLU, and makes another 180 on his decision, he will appear to be weak and labeled an appeaser. He changed his mind once and that's enough good enough in my opinion. I think after talks with his security council he realized that the release of the photos could cause potential harm to service members. It is important for President Obama to protect those who defend our freedom.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  181. Jan - Lancaster, PA

    No ... Not yet ! What's the damned hurry. If anything, a n y t h i n g, can
    help to protect our Troops overseas, then by all means take advantage of it. These photos do not have to be released now. They are evidence of criminal activity. Let the committee hearings & investigations proceed. To continue this barrage of screaming about do it now is only going to compromise any future investigations and the offenders are going to complain that they can't get fair due process because of all of the media spin. These photos will eventually be released through freedom of information. Freedom of information doesn't mean you get it NOW.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  182. Ren

    Jack if releasing the photos will put our service men and women in more harms way, I agree with President Obama. I trust our president to do what is best for our country.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  183. jerry lindaman

    i think they should or should not be shown as the president decides. i am tired of people second guessing him. as far as his campaign statements of being open and transparent i think he was refering to how he was going to run his administration. if he reveals those photos it would just be more finger pointing at the cost of endangering more people. do what you think is right president oboma, that is what i voted you in for!!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  184. Deborah Vanhutton

    In a word "NO." What purpose whoud be served? Release of predictably unsavory pics would only serve those who seek sensationalism for all the wrong reasons. I tend to agree that it would provide anti-American fodder, and on the domestic side do little more than to satify those who find some sort of perverted pleasure in seeing the suffering of others.

    If I thought for a moment it would somehow push our nation to face our "denoms" and forthrightly address the abuses perpertrated in our name, I'd be all for it, but let's get real...producing these pics isn't going to make that happen.

    Deb V., Woodbridge, VA

    May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  185. Robert Hallman

    I have seen many things in my 62 years. I have seen a time radio
    was hot to personal PC,s the size of my wallet. I have seen spanking your kid was ok to everyone is a winner and not be touched under circumstance. Now I see the president of United States saying we owe our enemies the truth. After all, they have been so upfront with us. I served in the Marine Corps for four years. I served in Arlington VA, at headquarters Marine Corps. Everything I was tought and believe that made me willing to put my ass on the line for has changed. What can people like me do when the leadership is so off base?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  186. Alvin Clayton

    President Obama was not in charge when these abuses took place.He has nothing to gain or hide by withholding these photos.He is the president of the United states,not just the libral left that are now acting exactly like the ideologs they resented on the Right.If the Dems are split and the left agrees with the President,that seems like a majority of the population to me.That being said the President got it Right.The safety of American Soldiers Trumps the Wakos on either side of Politics.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  187. gerard lunt

    Releasing more photos would not be transparancy it would be insanity.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  188. Ken in NC

    I feel they should be released but can understand that in the interest of safety for our troops, they should be with held. I also understand that there are some that are not concerned about the affects they could have on our troops deployed overseas but I pray that they come to their senses. I hope they do it soon.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  189. Les

    Yes, release them. It won't endanger our troops. Our enemies already know what we do. What really endangers our troops are multiple deployments, medicating troops and then redeploying them, ignoring the problems of PTS, and hiding the true costs of the war and what it will cost the taxpayers in the future.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  190. Angel Figueroa

    I believe that many of us on left fail to realize the importance of secrecy in issues when it comes to national security. I'm sure when Mr. Obama made these promises he did not know all the issues at hand. Our government can not tell us everything without risking the security of our agents and that of our nation. Sometimes we need to back off and really think of what we really want and why we want it. A lot of the times our reasons are the same as of those on the right, selfishness and self-profitting.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  191. James

    The world has seen pictures already. What was the result of that during the time we've been at war ? It didn't help. So what purpose, other than certain groups wanting to have everything their way all the time serve, other than succeeding in the one thing our troops don't need which is retaliation from those who want to continue this war.
    Even if the president, who you would think would like to have these photo's released as part of his transparency policy, has the intelligence and non-partisan realization that sometimes you have to change your view and in doing so doesn't mean you are changing everything. It simply means it's being done with the best intentions of our country, period.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  192. George

    No I don't need to see them. No reason to release them if we are not going to prosecute for illegal treatment/torture of prisoners. We need to finish this war on terror and get on with making America strong again. After nearly eight years of this "war" our nation is almost financially and morally bankrubt. There are those who seem to want us to turn into the kind of people that we are fighting against. It's not as if I have seen enough already, I just want to see the end of this war.

    George
    Flint, Michigan

    May 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  193. Ethel Haines

    Jack,

    Because President Obama LISTENS, and has recently listened to the commanders he has reversed his opinion about releasing these inflammatory pictures.

    I am a liberal. but I understand the value in somone who can change his mind for the better, and especially for the safety of our fighting men and women.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  194. Army Soldier

    Some promises are meant to be broken and this is one of them. It is easy for people to say release the photos not taking into consideration that it will endangered the troops and not to mention Americans living and traveling overseas. When you are not the one in harms way, defending this country I guess it easy say to President is not fulfilling his promise. But if the roles were reversed, would you want the photos released? I guess it’s not your life so why should you care? Just remember, it people like me and countless others that defends this country in order for you to have the freedom you enjoy. Happen to those prisoners were shameful and inhumane and I would not wish that type of treatment on anyone.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  195. Hank Great Falls Montana

    As a former Veteran, I totally agree with Barack's Decision on Not Releasing the Photos of Detainee Abuse! This will only add fuel to the fire to those so called Counties that Don'k Like Us All That Much Anyways. Let's Move On People....

    May 14, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  196. Al

    If I were Osama, I would love to have more photos to show the world the mistakes we have made. When the President and his generals say no to the photo release, because there is nothing positive to be gained – I being an American citizen that is being protected by the American military in Irag and Afganistan don't feel the need to give Osama any recruitment photos nor to prove to the rest of the world that we are any more than sorry for our mistakes.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  197. MN

    I agree with his decision not to release the photos since he based his decision on military advice. Yes, he said he would be transparent, Manyconsider not releasing the photos as going back on his word, but in actuality he is being transparent by telling the public why he made the decision. This is more honesty than we would have gotten from the Bush administration.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  198. William from Minneapolis

    Absolutely! I though Obama was about change. This isn't change. This is the same veil of secrecy that George W hid behind. Seems like Obama is learning fast how Washington really works. – If its beneficial use the transparency line. If its detrimental, break out the secrecy cloak.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  199. Calum MacKenzie

    Hi:

    The photos should be released to create the opposite effect to Obama's reasoning ... ie ... the openness so demonstrated will show everyone that the US is ready to face up to its illegal behaviours and so raise its profile as a responsible member of the UN and world community.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  200. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    I looks like the same old patten, promise transparency, deliver opacity. The world sees the USA in a continuum of double standards for policies, politicians, public service and war conduct. It is a shame, a disgrace and simply despicable.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  201. Jeff Crocket

    We need to stop all this torture hysteria driven by the left and media!
    You all now have Nancy Pelosi digging a hole she can't get out of!!

    Jeff in New Britain, CT

    May 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  202. william k. burris

    yes, i think the photos should be released to the public and the troops.
    we have a right to see the pictures as citizens of the U.S. so should the troops they're fighting for our country they should see it. why would they devolope an anti-American view when they have to do other things . it'd just be wrong man.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  203. edward shipwright

    It is a disappointment. SO much better had been expected. The information may not be new, but the sheer amount would serve the importance of the argument that their are higher sources than "a few bad apples," as was orignally implied, and it is only just that this accountability be exposed.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  204. E.J. in Tacoma

    I think we should trust President Obama's judgment on this matter. If it is going to be putting any of military people in more harms way than they already are in than leave it alone.Nothing will be gained but a greater public anti war sentiment and a greater divide between the parties.
    E.J in Tacoma

    May 14, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  205. Louise in Alabama

    Our CIC is learning the definition of power. His values are as they were during the campaign. It requires more power to contain those values than put them in motion when those values become the catalyst for a wildfire.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  206. Mike Coster

    Look, I did not vote for this guy. I think he is a borderline socialist, and has had some nasty "friends". However, he is right on this one, and I am happy to see that he changed his mind. Maybe there is hope for the country yet.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  207. Dan - Eustis, florida

    those pictures should not see the light of day. As long as we have troops in harms way no pictures that could jeopardize their safety should be
    released. Of course those subversives at the A.C.L.U want them made
    public, they do not give a hoot about our troops. I doubt very seriously that any of the folks that want the pictures made public ever served their
    Country in the Military. If they had they wouldn't do anything to endanger
    our Military.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  208. Tony, Los Angeles

    Obama is taking the course he should have always taken. Even if the Supreme Court rules the photos released, he will have at least been on the record as siding with our troops in the field. If the loony-left doesn't like it, who cares?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  209. Loretta

    You bet they should be released. Time to get the show on the road. What I'm thinking is that our President is protecting members of his own administration by not wanting to release the photos. I voted for Barack Obama, but I am already disappointed with his position in Afghanistan and now the decision not to release the photos makes me feel that we have been deceived once again, The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  210. abbie barnard

    I agree with our President. I think he reserves the right to trequest that these photos be withheld if it means putting our troops in more jeopary than they already face and if it contributes to flaming the fire of negative sentiments against the United States. I really don't get the preoccupation of viewing these photos. Is it going to allow us to sleep better at night? We know prisoners have been tortured so let's press the issue about implementing, in plain english, policies that will address this from not occuring in the future. I'm all for accountability and transparency and appreciate that we have a leader that is committed to keeping the public informed and believing the public should be informed as a right, but I appreciate more than anything, a leader that is also able to put lives first even if it means pissing of the left and bringing his party to a central stance on the political spectrum- our soldiers are the priority! Let's not forget that they are the ones keeping us safe so don't we owe it to our troops to keep them just as safe?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  211. Judy, Pa.

    I don't really care to see any more. However, we must be reminded of what the previous administration has done.

    Keeping in mind that at one time the same administration wanted us to wear ID badges (do you remember this?). so, logically, this has me wondering what did they had in mind for us where torture is concerned. What else did they have in mind for our Republic?

    I shutter when I think about it.

    Judy, Pa.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  212. David Kenney

    The end is the end. We are groveling in our mistakes while the world
    needs to see we end this. Detainees free and policy in stone as the
    focus. Focus on past sins are not helping the world view.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  213. Marjorie Lominy

    I do not understand why it is so important for the photos to be released. We know that this behavior occurred. What good would the release of these photos to the public do? I think anyone who has followed the situation in the least is well aware that the torture took place. I didn't have to see a photograph of Lacy Peterson's dead body to understand that she was murdered by her husband. What more is needed? I don't understand how this is covering anything up when he already allowed information to be released that documents the torture…I really don't get it.
    Marjorie
    NY

    May 14, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  214. Ralph Nelson

    No! The Muslims are "nuts" and they could indeed take it out on the troops. Go investigate Cheney, torture, and his assassination team. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  215. Fred May Sr Spanaway WA.

    The answer to your question is NO NO NO
    Pictures were released when the torture was committed. Why do we and the world have to see more. Torture is wrong no matter who commits it. This country at one time looked up to for it's consideration for the enemy's welfare. If the pictures are released it will enflame our enemy's more. Lets try to rebuild the reputation of this Great Country to what it was in the past.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  216. Richard Green

    Jack,
    Releasing the photos will not change anyone's mind. They can only cause harm right now. They will come out anyway, no doubt, as investigations of wrong doing and trials proceed. [unless, of course, there is no God or justice in this world]
    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal

    May 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  217. Ray

    Why, what good can it possibly do, other than give the goody two shoes more of a platform to rant and rave about. Its time that we move on, this happened, I believe it was needed to extract pertinant information from the detainees. We know these people have no regard for their lives or anyone elses as far as that goes, they are extremist and we treated them as such. Obama has beat this to death, wake up Mr. President this is a dead horse.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  218. Kenneth Kohlmann

    Stupid... stupid... stupid. For an Administration that proclaims tranparency and has yet to put future bills online for 5 days, or tell us where the bailout and stimulus monies are, they'd rather look back and distract us from Obama promises.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  219. Lisa in Shelton, CT

    If we want America to regain a moral highground we must be willing to admit when our leaders made mistakes. Protecting those Americans guilty of authorizing torture makes us all complicit criminals and future targets. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  220. Thai

    Bottom line is that if a Republican changes his mind, he's breaking a promise. If a Democrat changes his mind, he is big enough to admit when he's wrong.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  221. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    They've already destroyed the video tapes and now they're hiding the photos. We have a right to know what was done in our name and so does the world and then we need to disband the CIA or combine them with the FBI and have somemore government budget cuts which is what the Republicans want–smaller government. No more CIA and justice for all. They should have been eliminated 40 yrs ago.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  222. Amber Stuart

    I completly agree with the Presidents decision to not release the photos. It would serve no purpose for the public to see these photos other then to give those out there that don't support our country more fuel for their one-sided thoughts. I'm glad that the President is taking heed of the military opinion.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  223. Gary L. Reed

    I became tired of continous twin towers footage years after terrorist destroid them , killing more people then the attack on Perl Harbor. Now I think we need to see them again & again with the worst injured & dead bodies shown, as well as the injured in the pentagone attack. What about all those that died in the one plane the passengers crashed to prevent even more terrorest caused deaths. What tremendous heros. Making a few terrorist uncomfortable to get information that will save more US Citizens is fully justified. Did the loudest whiners lose loved ones in the fore mentioned attacks? What about the children growing up without parents because of the attacks? Lets compare pictures & see how the whiners feel. It was stupid of the Obama administration to open this can of worms in the first place. Obvious political blunder to injure the conservatives.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  224. charles Johnson

    Jack, you don't cut off your nose to spite your face. We all know torture is illegal. These photos should not surprise anyone of the atrocities and ineptitude of the Bush Administration. I, too, want far more transparency in government; however, the consequences of releasing these photos will not help ensure national security, nor the safety of our troops. President Obama, as Commander in Chief, simply listened to his commanders and made the right call.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  225. Jerry A - Toronto, Ontario

    No, what's the point, just one was enough to show how disgusting the last admin was in how they dealt with prisoners of war. Everyone here already wants Bush & Co. prosecuted and no one has forgotten the first round of photos. So, opening up the doors again will just add fuel to the fire of an already crazed lot of lunatics in the middle east.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  226. Imani (New York)

    There is nothing to be gained...we are ashamed already. And the world already knows what was done in the "name of Americans".

    May 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  227. lynne from lattimore, nc

    We've seen all we need to see. During elections, people promise things. But when they get in there and the rubber meets the road, they see the truth...all that the spy agencies will let them see. So he made an informed decision instead of throwing it at the wall and seeing what sticks.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  228. Stewart, Santa Fe, NM

    I don't really care about releasing any more photos. What difference do they make. What needs to happen is the Justice Department needs to punish the people who tried to instilutionalize torture. That means the lawyers at Justice, probably Cheney, and a bunch of other thugs and terribly misguided individuals who called themselves patriots. Lock 'em up. Go ahead and waterboard them. See if they think torture works; we know it is against the law, against our morals, and unAmerican. What a thought: Cheney is unAmerican. I like the ring to that.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  229. GBB in TX

    Releasing more photos will simply provide the insurgents with more recruitment posters. Result? More of our troops killed and injured and a prolongation of the conflict. Vote nay.

    May 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm |