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The Left Rises Up Against Obama

President Barack Obama's reversal on the release of detainee photos has angered the liberal left, a perceived poke in the eye that has left some questioning Obama's commitment to progressive policies.

In brief remarks before heading to Arizona to deliver a commencement speech at Arizona State University, Obama argued that "the publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals" and, in fact, the most likely effect would be "to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger."

Liberals -- particularly in the blogosphere -- immediately expressed their displeasure with the decision.

"Since he's been inaugurated, Barack Obama has demonstrated a remarkable desire to keep evidence of Bush crimes generally, and Bush's torture regime specifically, concealed," said Jane Hamsher, the founder of the Fire Dog Lake blog in an email exchange with the Fix. "Some of his supporters won't care. But others believe he is betraying promises he made on the campaign trail about transparency, and there is a growing sense that he is becoming complicit in the crimes he is attempting desperately to shield from public scrutiny."

On several liberal blogs, the reaction was similar.

Talking Points Memo is leading its site with the headline "Obama Admin Falls Back On Bushism: Abuse Pics' Release Would Hurt Troops".

On Daily Kos, Joan McCarter, a contributing editor to the site, described the move as "an unwelcome and probably futile policy reversal" by Obama; the post had already drawn more than 500 comments less than two hours since it was posted.

And Digby, another prominent liberal blogger, called White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' explanation of why the Administration is reversing position as rising to "Fleischeresque levels of fatuousness".

To be clear: it's not immediately clear that liberals are abandoning the president in droves. Rather, as happens with almost every president, elements of the base are coming to grips with the idea that Obama may not be the liberal hero that people thought he was when he was first elected.

The political consequences are hard to figure. While there is clearly upset in many quarters of the Democratic base for Obama's decisions regarding investigations into harsh interrogation techniques and now his reversal on the release of the photos, it's hard to imagine that come 2012 these same voters will cast their votes for the Republican nominee.

"Politically, not reversing course could have had much worse consequences," said Tad Devine, a Democratic media consultant. "I think it is the right move, and that makes it a smart move politically."

The more likely scenario in terms of political consequences from these decisions is that the fervent desire to elect Obama within the party's base will dissipate somewhat as liberals grow (and stay) alienated with the compromises the President makes over the next four years.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 13, 2009; 6:01 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Comments

OH NO!! Don't tell me that we are seeing the results of what torture does!!

It doesn't gain intel, that's been known for centuries. {And it didn't gain intel this time either. The well documented FACT is that the FBI interrogators knew everything before the CIA showed up and started brutalizing.}

What it DOES do, is demolish a country's honor before the world.

Now - as always - the effects of torture are clear to everyone.

George Washington said it best: "Treat them with Humanity," he said of captured soldiers. "and Let them have no reason to Complain of our Copying the Brutal example of the British army."

Posted by: TramplingGrapes | May 19, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

There is only a certain portion of "the base" that is driving this issue. Specifically, it is the part that is white and comfortable. Not all are limousine liberals, but they all have the luxury of making torture prosecutions their preeminent issue.

I work in poor and minority communities and I can certainly tell you that the vast majority that I've talked to about this issue are quietly seething that so much attention is being payed to this issue.

I think the difference on the issue for them is not that they condone torture or have a disregard for the rule of law, but they have been the victims of torture and abuse by cops for years and have been fighting for justice and have gotten zero help from those who are now so worried about how terror suspects were treated.

Torture of terror suspects is a crisis, torture of poor and minority Americans, boring, not urgent at all.

So let's be clear, this issue can tear the party apart. If African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans are taken for granted on this issue, that is they are made to feel like they should shut up and do as they are told, then the party is in deep trouble and too arrogant to notice.

If elite, comfortable white liberals believe they can just sabotage the first African-American President's presidency with over this issue without serious electoral consequences, they are as delusional as their right-wing counterparts.

It will be a long time until another Democrat is elected President if African-Americans sit home on election day.

Posted by: independentguy | May 17, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"... he is becoming complicit in the crimes ..."

BECOMING? He was complict as soon as he "pardoned" all of those who committed the torture ... in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions.
He has "acquiesced" to the torture policy, which is also an explicit War Crime.

(Has someone threatened him with a military coop-d'etat if he doesn't "cooperate" with the perpetrators? I wonder.)

Posted by: Westmiller | May 16, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

NEWSFLASH: Anyone who says we have already seen these sorts of pictures has a problem: you are talking about things you haven't laid eyes on. So you have no real idea what you are talking about and haven't any reason to say you do.

Until we see the photos, who knows what they might add to the story, which is exactly he point.

These pictures might:

1) Show far wider abuse than just what was seen at Abu Ghraib, making clear this was a systematic practice of abuse throughout the military, and not just the actions of " a few bad eggs."

2) These photos might show dead ore severely abused prisoners. It may allow Iraqi and other families to identify their loved ones who were killed, lost or abused at these facilities.

3) Pictures have the power to change behavior more than admonishments and warnings. And force America to face itself.

4) Weaken the defense of torture still advocated by some shameful people in this country.

5) We may discover new techniques of abuse that are not known and need to be exposed and investigated.


In other words there is much to gain by the release, and nothing to lose. Extremists have enough photos and reasons to hate us or our troops, the court laughed at assertions that this endangers the troops.

Let's be clear: it shames and embarrasses the Bush Presidency and the military for going along with the worst abuse system probably since the Philippine Insurrection. 100% butt covering. Which makes it even more disgusting to over it up.

Stop worryign about America's image and lyign about the troops being more at risk, as if what we have done already isn't enough for fanatics.

Th sis about showing the world how a true democracy that fights for its principles of human rights and honesty in government are unafraid to expose the worst in itself, and thus fix it. Not just in the governmnet, but in the people. Th is a shame all America has to feel and come to strongly reject.

This pictures released do that better than any other way.


Posted by: TartanMcc | May 15, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, CNN's quick poll is a ridiculous self selecting right wing hangout, targeted I believe by some oddball right wing groups who do multiple clicks. I recall it had Obama losing all 50 states in the last election. IT is worthless as a measure of sentiment.

Not that it would make one bit of diferrence if it were true. Something like 65% of the pubic thought Saddam was involved in 9/11 for awhile, the number is probably still really high. And a majority supported the Iraq War and the WMD claims.

Just because a majority of ill-informed people who haven't spent five minutes studying these issues have a loose opinion about it means absolutely NADA.

Everybody I worked with applauded Colin Powell's presentation at the UN, while I denounced it as a complete fabricated fraud the day afterwards based on press reports (from locations Powell claimed were "poisons factories" but were in fact clearly bakeries), logical fallacies and the fact that if we knew that Saddam had WMDs we could send the UN Inspectors there in minutes and catch him red-handed-never happened.

People thought I was a somewhat ridiculous crackpot. Later most of the same people eventually said I was right and felt burned by the President. Probably 65% of Americans believe in ghosts. So what?

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 15, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The problem with strict ideology is that it's easy to see things in only black and white. Torture is inexcusable; no war, ever. What Obama is discovering as President is that the world is million different shades of gray. Stopping torture or releasing photos might sound so logical and easy to us civilians, but if we were directly responsible for the safety and well-being of 300 million Americans, we might rethink those issues too. And I really think that, unless you have been President of the United States, you have no idea how difficult and frustrating the job really is.

On the other hand, Obama did ask for the job, so he should have realized that beforehand, and MAYBE not made quite so many rash promises he's probably going to have to break. *cough* gitmo * cough*

Posted by: sstdtp | May 14, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Check the records the Bush Adm. fired all of the whistle blowers but they can't fire this one. When you break the law you pay. Bush had 6 years of R party rule but did not change any laws because he thought he was above the law.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | May 14, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

As usual, the comments here make clear the amazing level of ignorance within our population.

Think for a moment (I know that's difficult since it's so rarely done): A President makes decisions based on the information available to him - a candidate makes decisions based on a philosophy formulated from limited information. I'm certain that President Obama has discovered he has many more factors to consider, for each and every decision, than he ever dreamed were possible when he was a candidate.

We are talking about a bunch of photo's - which I'm certain display things none of us really want to see. What is to be gained by their release? Who could possibly benefit from their release? Perhaps it's time for everyone to do something constructive and focus on the positive!

Posted by: vagaf31 | May 14, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

snesich:

I'm retired with plenty of time to waste tormenting you here.

Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

These photos will get out eventually. It's just a matter of time. If the United States continues to hide them, the rest of the world will see this as a further cover-up. The truth will be seen, eventually, regardless of what our government does or doesn't do.

The best way to keep our troops from being killed or maimed is to withdraw them from the countries they're occupying. As long as they are in Iraq and Afghanistan, they'll be in danger, regardless of what happens with these photos.

Americans haven't come to terms with the reality that we can't maintain the standard of living we've grown used to and have a massive, global military presence at the same time. We have to choose. We aren't rich enough to have both anymore.

Oh, and this "JakeD" guy needs to go get a job. He seems to spend most of his life here.


Posted by: snesich | May 14, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

judyvkatiesue:

There was a "very good reason" to waterboard Khalid Sheikh Mohammed too. I'm glad you are finally seeing the light.

Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I wish everybody would just shut up. Enough about transparency. I believe the president would have released the photos if it was prudent, which in fact it must not be. He is PROTECTING OUR SOLDIERS. Dont you people get it. Use your brains God gave you and really think about it for a minute. THERE IS A VERY GOOD REASON HE IS NOT RELEASING THESE PHOTOS. THINK ABOUT IT AND ALL GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE.

Posted by: judyvkatiesue | May 14, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

http://www.cnn.com Quick Vote

Do you think the government should release all photos of alleged abuse of detainees?

Yes 19% (42,446 who do not care if additional U.S. troops are killed because of it)

No 81% 179,326 (the rest of us)

Total Votes: 221,772

Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"If I didn't believe that, I would just vote for Republicans, who regard people without money as bums and losers who deserve to just die on the side of the road. That's a fine expression of their conservative "Christian values"...."

What an absurdly ignorant thing to say, Mr. McHugh. Do you want everyone to take your opinions seriously or do you merely wish to preach only to your choir, the approximately 20 percent of Americans who describe themselves as "liberal?" Because the nearly 80 percent of us who consider ourselves "conservative" or "moderate" do not find such twaddle persuasive.

Posted by: SukieTawdry | May 14, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Politics is the art of the possible. Very few principles are absolute, not even freedom of speech. We are not permitted to shout "fire" in a crowded theater.

Reasonable people will screen every policy choice on the basis of cost/benefit analysis, taking all relevant factors into account. This is pragmatism.

Making important policy decisions solely on the basis of previously declared "principles" is ideological Russian roulette.

America is not a suicide pact, although extremists would have it so. Only fools will quarrel in a burning house.

The political danger for Obama is not that he is pragmatic but that he may become just too full of himself. As many have said, "the only thing I can't resist is temptation."

Posted by: unclej0 | May 14, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The people who want to see pictures of US troops interrogating detainees with techniques which were not permissible under the Geneva Convention have already seen pictures of those who bear the real responsibility: those who made the decision to permit such techniques. Don't blame the troops because they were following orders. Why not realize that it's an excess of sensationalism that you're addicted to, rather than a wish to know the truth? Those men and women who are 'guilty' of having used techniques designed and approved by people higher up would never be found guilty in anything other than a kangaroo court. Such revellers in man's inhumanity to man have been watching too many survival shows, which glorify cruelty and torture and stupidity. They ought to visit the library and read some of the wonderful things great Americans have done...and stop watching the boob tube so much...especially Fox News.

Posted by: rationaleditor | May 14, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Look, I'm used to the assumption that politicians only act based on political expedience. I hope that's not true but the Washington press corps accepts it, and I'm now totally desensitized to even its most egregious applications, of which this column is an example.

But this column makes an even more bizarre assumption.

Since when did being against torture become a position of the far left?

Last I checked polling showed people in the US didn't believe we should abandon the Geneva Conventions. Last I checked Obama got an electoral mandate at least in part because he promised transparency and a return to a moral foundation in foreign policy.

This isn't right versus left. This is people who think invading countries, putting soldiers in harm's way, and -- you know -- torturing people is dangerous to our armed forces. Versus people who think that publishing photos of that torture is dangerous to our armed forces.

Most people can figure out that the latter position is simply an attempt by the Cheneyite faction to scapegoat others for the loss of life for which they are actually responsible. It is sad to see the military and president taken in by this.

Posted by: dongwangfu | May 14, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm tired as hell of this term "Liberal Left", as implying the necessity that anyone who is "Liberal" is also a "Leftist". Classical Liberal political philosophy is anything but Leftist... I'm a Liberal in the sense that I advocate liberty, tolerance, personal freedom (which means, at a minimum, freedom of conscience, religion and speech) and personal responsibility, limited government, rule of law... as I see things, these values imply the necessity of free markets, and the right to own property, but that nobody has a right to poison the air or water we all depend upon. I'm not a collectivist of any kind, and I don't regard myself as a creature of the Left for that reason. I'm also not alone, either in my political philosophy, or in my resentment of being lumped into the socialist camp, simply because I oppose things like torture, indefinite detention, invading countries that never attacked us, and weren't about to, spying on U.S. citizens without a warrant.

Yes, I voted for Obama, but I'm a Republican...and I don't regret either one (although I'd sure like to get control of my party away from the Neocons who ran it, and the country, into the ground for the last 8 years or more). I am disappointed by President Obama's retreat from the principles of transparency and accountability that he ran on, and so I'm in agreement with many of these bloggers who consider themselves Progressives or Leftists... but I am a different sort of Liberal than most of them are.

Isn't it about time for journalists to get past that idiotic "Left-Right" dichotomy? It never adequately described the full political spectrum (though it pretends to do so)...and such fuzzy, sloppy language inevitably leads to fuzzy, sloppy thinking and analysis.

Posted by: Observer44 | May 14, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh come off it, Chris! Since when do a few bloggers - I don't care if they number over a hundred, it's still a paltry sum - who need to rant and rave daily in order to be heard above the din, represent the "Liberal Left" more that the percentages pollsters tell us support the Pres? I realize that you're a blogger, but let's face it - you guys take yourselves far too seriously as movers, shakers and molders of public opinion. Stay with handicapping election races.

Posted by: frb2749 | May 14, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"we told you so...
PUMA in PA.. or as our president prefers to think of me, racist and clingy, typical white woman."

Sounds like he got the 'bitter' part right.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 14, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

we told you so...
PUMA in PA.. or as our president prefers to think of me, racist and clingy, typical white woman.

Posted by: teresainpa | May 14, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

As a historian and social democrat, I never believe any American presidential candidates are all that "liberal" or leftists. To me, it's just a given that to run for higher office seriously in America, you have to be beholden to certain business interests. I always thought Obama represented some of the more modern and advanced sectors of capitalism, like high tech, green tech, global finance, and all that.

I think he will also try to pass some reforms that will benefit the common people, for he knows this is a liberal-reform era when the center has shifted a little to the left. We're in the absurd situation in which the government is writing blank checks to some of the biggest corporations and banks in the world, yet seems to have trouble getting health insurance and affordable housing to the common people.

AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, and the rest are the biggest welfare queens in the history of the United States, and that's not a joke. If there's money enough to give them whatever they ask to prevent their well-deserved bankruptcy, there's money to help Americans at the lower end of the food chain.

If I didn't believe that, I would just vote for Republicans, who regard people without money as bums and losers who deserve to just die on the side of the road. That's a fine expression of their conservative "Christian values"....

I'm most concerned with how all these domestic reforms will shake out, while I think it's better for us to take a breath in foreign affairs, maybe step back a little from the superpower role we can no longer afford, and try for a quieter, subtler, more minimalist foreign policy. I certainly can understand why Obama does not want to open the whole can of worms about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially since a lot worse has happened than water boarding. On the other hand, I'm not comfortable with everyone acting like Good Germans who saw nothing, knew nothing and were "just following orders". That's not the role I want the U.S. to play in foreign relations either.

maybe it's best to remove the whole issue of who broke the law from the political process and leave it to the courts.

Michael C. McHugh
http://www.secondprogressiveera.com

Posted by: mcmchugh99 | May 14, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

nodebris's post bears repeating:
"I encourage the left to keep pushing Obama. That's your job.

I encourage Obama to keep pursuing the long game. That's his job.

I encourage conservatives to keep repeating Rush Limbaugh's talking points to each other. That's your vice, and it becomes you.

I encourage moderates to keep an eye open, look to the future, and support the party that seems most engaged in promoting America's true, best interests over the long term. That's our salvation."

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 14, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The Fix writes
"elements of the base are coming to grips with the idea that Obama may not be the liberal hero that people thought he was when he was first elected."


What this demonstrates is that elements of the base didn't do a particularly good job of paying attention to the campaign. Or they listened too much to the attacks and mischaracterizations coming from the Republicans. President Obama never claimed to be a particularly liberal candidate. He is thus far not proving to be a particularly liberal President. Frankly, that he is being criticized by the extreme left as well as the GOP base is a pretty good sign to me that he's on the right track.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 14, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I just hate it .. when liberals get alienated.. thanks Obama.. if you tick off more liberals.. a lot more.. we will offset the losses in 2012.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 14, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

This should come as no surprise. LOOK AT HIM. See how he holds himself. See how he lifts his head UP, as he talks DOWN to you. See him wag his finger. Recall his tone, when his Teleprompter told him to repeat himself. He doesn't care about other people. He doesn't care about ANYBODY. Unless, they've got the cash. It's all about HIM. How does HE look? How does this, or that, reflect on HIM? So the wackjobs, on the FAR LEFT, get their panties in a wad. Who cares? They're still gonna vote for him. They've got nowhere else to go. Besides, they don't command very much cash. The UNIONS? That's another story. I like to call THAT story: The Stimulus Bill. The Teachers' Union, for example. You'ld THINK, that this 2nd BLACK President, would side with the POOR BLACK KIDS in D.C., over the objections of the Teachers' Unions. Wouldn't you? Again: The POOR BLACKS have NO MONEY for HIM. AND, they'ld vote for him if he kicked their kids down a flight of stairs. This is what you get, when dealing with Sychophants, instead of people. The Narccasist, with the 60 MILLION Sychophants...This can only turn out BAD.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | May 14, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse

What Obama said:
“that the abuse of detainees in our custody is prohibited and will not be tolerated.”
What Obama meant:
“that the abuse of detainees in our custody is prohibited and will not be tolerated. However, the censorship of valuable evidence for prosecuting those who authorize and actualize the abuse of detainees will be vigorously pursued. If this doesn't seem to make any sense to you, well then, f##k you.”

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."
-- Henry Thoreau

Maybe the root is the fact that with our free elections in our free country in the freest country in the world where freedom is our motto, we are always forced to choose our free leader from one of two or rarely, three political parties. The same parties MONOPOLIZE AND CONTROL our elections EVERYWHERE. The main political parties in this country essentially form something very similar to a TRUST.

TRUST defined-a consortium of independent organizations formed to limit competition by controlling the production and distribution of a product or service;

Instead of controlling the productiona dn distribution of a product or service however, they instead control the availability of competition, thus limiting freedom of selection. Every third world banana republic has a voting system. That doesn't make them free countries. What makes for a free country is a system that allows for HONEST, ETHICAL, INTELLIGENT, AND KNOWLEDGEABLE INDIVIDUALS TO COMPETE ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR THE JOB OF REPRESENTING THE CITIZENS.

Until we excise the party system from our
system of representation, it will continue to suck the life out of us until we collapse. No major civilization has every lasted under this type of government and there is no doubt in my mind that very likely in my lifetime, we will be the next one to fail.

Posted by: CitizenWeeping | May 14, 2009 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Will the United States of America ever become mature enough to admit making a mistake? Will it ever admit to doing something wrong? Are we still too immature a country for that. We invaded Iraq, country that did nothing to us and we tortured and killed many of its citizens - many of whom were innocent or just fighting against foreign invaders. Almost every Iraqi hated Saddam - that did not mean they welcomed an invasion. Grow up America! Your actions fall far short of your ideals!

Posted by: bjkalmba | May 14, 2009 2:10 AM | Report abuse

If you want to read some really inarticulate, offensive, low-information, juvenile garbage, google dottydo's comments on the wapo site. Amazing stuff.

Maybe that's the width and breadth of the American Independent Party's action plan: vote for Alan Keyes, comment frequently on the WaPo site.

==

Wouldn't surprise me. It's worth a click to go read their web site. The HTML is done in crayon I think, I gather they believe in God, and it's the usual gooper religious conservative laundry list but just a tad more strident.

Flypaper for the wingnuts. I wrote them and thanked them for sumping away Republican votes.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 14, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

What the imaginations of those who distrust or simply hate us will conjure up will be far worse than the pictures. Better to make them public, owe up and mend our ways than let propaganda built on speculation only make us more reviled.

Posted by: bfjackjernigan | May 14, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

What the imaginations of those who distrust or simply hate us will conjure up will be far worse than the pictures. Better to make them public, owe up and mend our ways than let propaganda built on speculation only make us more reviled.

Posted by: bfjackjernigan | May 14, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Obama's flip flop has nothing to do with progressive politics and everything to do with Obama doing his job to enforce Federal Laws.

If you really think torture is ok,
think of being forced to watch it done on your wife or daughter
just because you were a political opponent of Bush or Cheney.
It is a different story now? Yes?

Torture is always against US Federal Law. It is always a Capital Crime.

Bush and Cheney took the indefensible (torture) and somehow made it fashionable and debatable in American society.

Bull, it is a Federal crime and it is time that Obama made sure AG Holder appoints a Special Prosecutor to handle the investigation and prosecution of anyone in the Bush Administration that conspired to or ordered Torture. Of course our AG has admitted approving torture for President Clinton so maybe we need a new Attorney General, one that can read, understand and obey US Law.

Torture is Not Debatable.

It is a Federal Crime.

Failure to prosecute will prove once and for all time that
Obama is Soft On Crime, that Obama favors a double standard of justice in America,
one where Bush, Cheney and his appointee lawyers are protected by Obama and his appointee lawyers
And another standard of justice for we common voters where if we do the crime we will always to the time.

SIGN THE PETITION Calling For A Special Prosecutor

http://ANGRYVOTERS.ORG

.

Posted by: johnhkennedy | May 14, 2009 12:59 AM | Report abuse

What relevancy are these pictures? Torture? We just murdered women and kids in Afghanistan this past week. The Mexicans are kidnapping and killing people by the thousands and overcoming this country like a cancer. We owe 13 Trillion plus dollars. The Chinese keep buying our debt so we can keep buying their cheap crap. This country is the only real country where people are free and the rest of the uncivilized societies are trying to bring us to our knees. Our kids will face an ever frightening and dangerous world to live in and will face greater hardship. Gone are the somber days of racial separation, here are the days were MS13 cuts peoples hands off in Arlington, Virginia. This country will have to strap in and try to survive as we keep taking body blows from evil foriegners from south america or the middle east. America will have to find away to survive. So if Obama doesnt produce some photo's then honestly who cares.

Posted by: BJ13 | May 14, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Nodebris, they sound like Larouchies or weird libertarian types. I recall Tom Delay's assistant being at the protests in front of the Supreme Court during the election 2000 fiasco when the court came down with a virtual new Dred Scott decision. Delay's people had bused in some real weirdos to chant and yell since no Bush supporters were showing up. They were from some libertarian cult in Virginia.

Similar to these.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 14, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

nodebris:
dottydo is probably the new incarnation of Diane71 or 72, who's racist emissions covered the Post's comments last Oct & Nov. She might even be aspengirl.
They played tag team with JakeD alot.

Posted by: edlharris | May 14, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

TartanMcc, we're trying to keep in that way. ;-)

Posted by: nodebris | May 14, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

So JakeD supports Alan LEE Keyes.
Here's a treasure from Obama's book, Audacity of Hope.
It is an exchange between newly elected Sen Obama and President Bush:
“Thanks for the advice, Mr. President.”

“All right, I gotta get going. You know, me and you got something in common.”

“What’s that?”

“We both had to debate Alan Keyes. That guy’s a piece of work, isn’t he?”

http://wonkette.com/408429/bush-obamas-shared-joy-hating-alan-keyes

Posted by: edlharris | May 14, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

"The more likely scenario in terms of political consequences from these decisions is that the fervent desire to elect Obama within the party's base will dissipate somewhat as liberals grow (and stay) alienated with the compromises the President makes over the next four years."

Chris is stupid. Fervent desire?

This attempt by the Washington Post to get in on the 21st century is Exhibit A.

Bye bye.

Posted by: shrink2 | May 14, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I encourage the left to keep pushing Obama. That's your job.

I encourage Obama to keep pursuing the long game. That's his job.

I encourage conservatives to keep repeating Rush Limbaugh's talking points to each other. That's your vice, and it becomes you.

I encourage moderates to keep an eye open, look to the future, and support the party that seems most engaged in promoting America's true, best interests over the long term. That's our salvation.

Posted by: nodebris | May 14, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Nodebris. Actually, by the last site I was on's standards, this one has relatively few crackpots.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

dottydo wrote: "Independent Party is growing by leaps and bounds. If the people put in all Senate,House, and Congressional seats as Independent Party people . . . "

Ah, jaked's soul mate: dottydo.

If you want to read some really inarticulate, offensive, low-information, juvenile garbage, google dottydo's comments on the wapo site. Amazing stuff.

Maybe that's the width and breadth of the American Independent Party's action plan: vote for Alan Keyes, comment frequently on the WaPo site.

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Worszworth, it is disappointing for you to see this in such partisan terms. The idea that now that we on the left are in power none of this matters anymore is simply either complacent or willfully blind . Rendition started under Bill Clinton. There is some evidence we Dems were told of the abuses and never objected. The whole supine behavior of the Democratic Party during the Iraq War run-up was yet another victory for "realism" and mediocrity over principle and common sense. We have much to learn and be cured of in being principled and willing to shoulder tough jobs and bitter tasks.

This is one of them. This country behaved atrociously after 9/11, even though many knew better. Precisely because things were swept under the rug and "nobody wants to hear this."

Obama won by fighting those notions. You may enjoy hiding these, I do not. And it is very much part of what we need to do as a nation right now. That is always the excuse.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Owning up to our horrible past does not make America look worse; it only makes the policies of Bush/Cheney look bad. Owning up to the past assures that bad policies have been revoked in a way that makes it extremely unlikely that they will ever be resurrected. I can understand why Cheney wouldn't like that, but why Obama? Does he want to keep torture in his bag of tricks?

Posted by: svand | May 13, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50:

Will you join neon pledging to not re-elect Obama? Why won't any of you put your money where your mouths are?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA MUST CO-OPT AND DISARM POTENTIAL SABOTEURS BEFORE HE CAN EFFECT REAL CHANGE


The progressive left fails to realize what President Obama surely must know by now:

He must first neutralize the possibility of an incipient coup d'etat attempt -- aided and abetted by extremist media outlets such as Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh radio program.

And by now, President Obama must be aware that the "torture matrix" extends from Guantanamo and Abu Gharib to here at home...

...where thousands, perhaps millions, of American citizens have been unjustly "targeted" by an "extrajudicial punishment network" of vigilante community stalkers, fronted by federally-funded community policing and citizen volunteer corps programs.

President Obama surely is learning that the "no-fly list" is just the tip of what could be described as the domestic branch of the "torture matrix."

When viewed through that disturbing prism, the photo flip-flop had to happen -- and the original decision not to fight the release of the photos was ill-advised and politically dangerous.

As another poster has noted below, the photos already are leaking out. This controversy is not about photos that could be used as a recruiting tool of terrorists. It is all about political symbolism, and the need to tread carefully among the many land mines in the path of this President.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt demonstrated his awareness of this realpolitik when he was approached by a petitioner advocating a certain policy course.

"You have convinced me," FDR was reported to have said in response to an impassioned plea.

"I want to do it.

"Now MAKE me do it."

So ye of little faith, be aware that realpolitik requires its practitioners -- even those who are committed in the long term to their principles -- to perform some short-term kabuki theater.


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 13, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

AlanDownunder. Apologies, you are correct. There are many decent and horrified conservatives who are unafraid of facing the facts of abuse, crimes and torture done in our name in the full hope it can be revealed, revisited, perhaps further explained and prevented. To say that only the left opposes such hiding of abuses is indeed unfair to many of you. I think we should all take that to heart.

This is a simple matter of decency and openess, and that is no monopoly of the left.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Only "the left" wants to shine some disinfecting sunlight on the festering sore that is US torture???

For God's sake, give decent centrists and conservatives a break and cut this implied mass slander.

Posted by: AlanDownunder | May 13, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I encourage you all to move to France as I have been their and they have a full selection of Left / Progressive Parties from Marxist / Trotsky to Social Democrat. You will also have all your Union's to join. I have been their and Germany as well. Both countries are wonderful progressive European Union States. You will enjoy it and not be so disappointed by Barack Obamma and his kind of progressive Ilk. Besides we need the money and room for others.
James-Hemet, CA

Posted by: hjfininc | May 13, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

If Mr. Obama and his "braintrust" truly believe that he has carte blanch to do whatever he pleases because liberals have nowhere else to go, they may be sorely mistaken. Ms. Clinton has been quietly establishing a strong base at the State Department and may well be a viable alternative for progressives in 2012. As of this time, she has certainly not shown the failure of courage and character that has too often been characteristic of Mr. Obama.

Posted by: jdcolv | May 13, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Independent Party is growing by leaps and bounds. If the people put in all Senate,House, and Congressional seats as Independent Party people, with no family ties , old money, or big loansharking war chests....it means change.

No pendulum swinging left or right anymore between corrupt and corrupt.


Posted by: dottydo | May 13, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I am a leftist- Barack Obama was embraced by the "liberal wing" of the party- but he has no record of ever doing anything for the left. He is a moderate and his policies are a change from the previous (neofascist) president but are not particularly ambitious given the state the country is in. 330 billion dollars of tax cuts are certainly NOT the new deal...he voted for the telecoms not to be held accountable, he took money from bundlers and refused public financing, he is a "free trader" and supports the most mild change in healthcare policy- he is increasing troops in Afghanistan...it goes on and on. Those on the left who actually read his record and proposals are not his apologists, we support him pragmatically, as with Clinton and Carter before him.

Posted by: NYClefty | May 13, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

The idea that these images on top of the old images will somehow give more reason to bad people to go after Americans is really a pretty ridiculous case to make. In what way? How have we not already inflamed the Arab world to the nth degree? Sorry, this won't fly.

The real reason is embarrassment and butt covering, which is something the military are nonpareils at. Don't get me wrong, I support them, but hey, they have to be dragged kicking and screaming into many reforms.

There are already plenty of photos out there, and these could just reveal more than we know about the whole sorry affair and serve as a reminder as we ramp up in Afghanstan. In case anyone decides to get rough, this is a sharp reminder we don't allow that,

And that would go a long way towards succeeding and making the actions successes. Sorry, this "protect the troops" BS is just to play on our heartstrings. It falls apart on even cursory examination. If I thought for a second it woudl endager the troops, I'd oppose it. Sorry, they don't.

Aside:

This Australian Wesbite claims it has 15 of the photos banned by Obama. That leaves 45. Can anyone recognize if these are new?

http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/2006/02/15/1139890768970.html?page=3

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Tartan, the witched witch is dead!

Our future is more important to me than the Bush/Cheney past.

We’ll revisit this sick chapter in America’s history in due time “my pretty.”

I hope you enjoy all the photos. I find them completely unnecessary for me to understand the sin.

Posted by: wordzworth_ink | May 13, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I have difficulty understanding how the national security state can be a democracy.

If we can't let voters see the pictures because the pictures are too terrible, yet we continue to let the government which generated them spy on citizens in ways unthought of a decade ago, in exactly what sense do the people govern this nation?

Posted by: douglaslbarber | May 13, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Obama is facing some very harsh political realities that most can't even phathom - in deciding not to release the pictures in question. I for one, don't want to risk that these new photos may jeopordize the safety of active troops everywhere - and complicate a difficult exit from Iraq as planned. It's a decision that makes sense. I have faith in Obama. Perhaps he hopes the courts will intervene and the photo's release will be imminent, thus removing political heat off of the president while satisfying very real concerns of the military, their families, and as I suspect, satisfying the sentiments of a greater middle of voters across the country.

I believe the best approach is to absolutely consider these pictures of abuse in any further congressional investigations into these matters while keeping them out of the public domain, assuming they will still be so. I don't want or need to see the pictures anyway, I'm distusted that they exist and that's bad enough for me.

Posted by: jfern03 | May 13, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting that "left" has come to mean "the foreign policy resistance". I guess that's a natural outgrowth of the national security presidency.

"Left" used to mean "favoring the worker against the investor".

As for Obama backing down on release of the photos, I'm reminded of the old adage that a cabinet secretary tends to become an advocate of his or her bureaucracy rather than an agent of the president.

That same thing is happening, writ large, with regard to the presidency and the federal bureaucracy, which is deeply implicated in the shameful acts these photos would, if released, illustrate.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | May 13, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Cowan, your rationalization is simply too easy to poke holes in, as was Gibbs tortured performance today in the news conference, clearly his worst day at the job.

This world-weary, "oh we've already seen them routine," is false on its face. NO, we have not seen them. There may be new people in them to identify. Some of them may come forward and give additonal information. There appears to be a dead man who has been beaten in one of the 15 of the 60 which a website claims it has released today.

In other words, until we see them, the clams they are old news is mere supposition and hot air. Until they are viewed, all these claims are self-serving. I don't buy it for a minute.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

TartanMcc:

Will you join me in pledging to not re-elect Obama?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

The left got sick and tired of Obama when he went back on his promise to end outsourcing and guest worker programs like the H1-B. Throwing billions of dollars at the bloated pigs on Wall Street and corrupt dirtbag corporations IS NOT the change we voted for and is a prescription for economic disaster. Really use the antitrust laws and break up corporate monopolies like Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, and the like. Tax the living snot out of companies that outsource jobs and end programs like the H1-B visa and we will regain at least half of the 40 million jobs we've lost to the free trade Ponzi scheme; ending this depression overnight. The whole Democratic Party seems ready to follow this version of Bush right off the cliff, just like the Republican's did. Good! I've had it with both parties.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | May 13, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

There is a website that says it has found 15 of the banned 60 photographs. So that leaves only 45.

Here is the link:

http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/2006/02/15/1139890768970.html?page=3

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Those of us who truly "support" President Obama should have no problem with his decision....there's no need to see dead bodies to know that people died in a car accident! Same is true here. We KNOW prisoners were tortured; we know laws were broken; we know Bush Admin. officials played a role in this entire "criminal" affair. Forget the pictures.....let's get about the business of finding those responsible...and let's start with Dick "the mouth" Cheney !

Posted by: jbcowan | May 13, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Wordzworth, that is simply far too glibly rationalized to stand up to scrutiny. It could just as easily have applied to the torture memos which essential and important to release so that we could decide once and for all what the truth was and how we got to such a dark place that a nation like this was waterboarding people.

For one thing, until we see the photos, we don't know if we have the whole story. I just came across 15 of the 60 banned photos on the internet, if accurately described and will be placing the link here.

I see a dead man who looks to have been beaten. Who is he? Was the person who beat him charged? These are crimes. We need to reveal all to gain respect if we hold some back there will be understandable suspicion we are hiding something worse. And Obama especially. He needs this transparency to remake the image of America.

In fact just the opposite of what you claim is true: releasing them will show the rest of the world we don't cover-up, we don't stonewall, we don't hide our own crimes. And it will GAIN us support and respect in the long run. And that is not just pie in the sky, the reforms prompted by Abu Ghraib photos have helped clean up the entire military detention system.

To our benefit.

That leaves only 45

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't see what the big deal is about him trying to hide these pictures. What are they accomplishing being out in the public? Its just something for Liberals to complain about regarding Bush. Alright, we get it, Bush did a bad job. Complaining about him day in and day out will not change anything that happened. So unless you enjoy looking at people being abused i don't see a reason for these pictures to be circulating. Finally...Obama is doing something right for once...

Posted by: lm_100489 | May 13, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Screw the "outraged left." Obama is President of the entire country, not some vocal section of his base. What possible good would come from the release of these photos but to endlessly flog the United States? The "moral outrage" seems to come entirely divorced from facts on the ground. Invading Iraq was a mistake, but Obama has to play the hand he was delt and make the best of it. I applaud his decision.

Posted by: RealChoices | May 13, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I am a quite liberal and I strongly oppose both torture and war, which is a couple of the many reasons that I would not make a good president.

I am also pragmatic, which is why I empathize with Obama’s change of heart regarding releasing the torture/abuse photographs.

The abuses in these photographs occurred on Bush/Cheney’s watch. There’s a new sheriff in Washington, and every soldier and intelligence officer should be fully aware that the rules of engagement (and interrogation) have changed.

The publication of these photos is unwarranted at this point in time. Even if the photos do not pose a danger to our troops, I suspect that they would be quite humiliating and denigrating to the vast majority of servicemen and women who make sacrifices and serve our country with honor and dignity. Insulting them is counter-productive and unnecessary.

There is a vast difference between a campaign and the realities of the presidency. Suck it up fellow liberals and realize that we may not get everything we dreamed for, but we have elected a president that will lead us to a much greater future. Count your blessings!

Posted by: wordzworth_ink | May 13, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

"We've got to get out of Iraq and figure out how to scale back in Afghanistan. If it's pictures vs. saving troop lives until we can get them out of those places, the human lives come first.

Posted by: Matthew_DC"

Not at all. Accomplishing their missions are their primary tasks, not sparing their lives. You are deluded if you think US Forces are leaving this region anytime soon.

Posted by: garrafa10 | May 13, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Keep the pictures. Give us the head of Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted by: tobeimeanpeter | May 13, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

tmcproductions2004:

Will you join me in pledging to not re-elect Obama?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Dcwano, let me turn that around. Too many on the right are interested in simply burying recent crimes and abuses as old news or "damaging to the nation." Meaning of course, damaging to their claims about how they ran the nation. Which was dishonorably.

Without the release of the Abu Ghraib photos, the US military detention system would have festered and maybe had a far worse scandal. As we rightly move into Afghanistan in force -- the real war you diverted us from -- it would serve as a sharp and strong reminder to al the new military commanders and officers headed there that we do not do this anymore. Ever.

And that would be the best possible thing for our success in that war.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama is now the President and Commander in Chief. The DoD did not want these pictures released for fear that they would further inflame terrorists and enable them to recruit more kindred spirits. The President, Commander in Chief, does not make the country a better place by alienating the military without a huge payback of which there is none. Right decision. Also, it is noteworthy that Obama is willing to change his mind when presented with additional facts and analysis. This is quite different than the quick, strong, and wrong approach of the Bush Administration. Change we can believe in!

Posted by: cdierd1944 | May 13, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm so disappointed in Obama. I had no idea he was such a pussy. I thought he would fight for transparency and truth. And "he did it to protect the troops" is actually a eerily Bushian reason.

Can you say Gerald Ford? This guy is a one termer for sure. Too bad.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | May 13, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Masters, believe me. Revenge on whom? Rumsfeld or Bush or Cheney? They are already completely tarnished and there are a host of pictures out there that nailed them, thank God, since it forced real reform in the military detention system.

There is nothing left to get revenge on. This is strictly about releasing everything we have left on that whole sorry chapter. And adding a few more images to remind ourselves what we never can do again. Maybe learn of new victims. Be honest.

That is it.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

myrunner101:

Will you join me in pledging to not re-elect Obama?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

ROTFLMAO

Oh, I needed this after the day I've had.

Posted by: scottcpan | May 13, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Jake, you bet I voted for Obama. And supported him against the kind of Clintonesque political leeches like Ted Devine who want only political calculation and principle-free policy decisions.

And I am NOT alone. That is the WHOLE reason Obama beat Hillary in the primary. His principles were sterling. They the key to his whole persona and success. I understand what a pain in the rear end this is, and I understand that it is easier to say no and let the courts force them out. But that is gutless.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

TartanMcc:

Will you join with me in pledging to not re-elect Obama?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

jaked wrote: "If anyone (other than nodebris) wants to explain how donating money to, and voting for, African-American Alan LEE Keyes for President means I am a racist, I would be glad for the education."

I would say it is because your racism is subsidiary or even incidental to your primary perversions.

Oh -- did I violate your rule on who is allowed to comment? Dear me. Apologies, m'Lady.

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Too much of the left is uninterested in real change and is only interested in picking at the scabs of old battle wounds. We all saw the pictures of torture in Iraq. Do we really want to see more?

Posted by: dcwsano | May 13, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Like many here I am very disappointed that Obama has taken this position on these photos. The photos should be released. That is not a liberal position. That is the CORRECT position. Those of you holding a view to the contrary are WRONG. Got it?

Posted by: nyrunner101 | May 13, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

So the juvenile Left isn't going to get the political pornography they were promised. So what ?

What are they going to do about it, besides pout .... and try to convince each other that they just wanted it for noble purposes?
.

Posted by: gitarre | May 13, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

I've noticed that your review of blog posts on this subject did not include any blogs published by Blacks. Why is that? You are aware of the AfroSpear movement that includes over a hundred Black blogs on one standardized blogroll, aren't you?

http://afrospear-news.blogspot.com/

We've made it easy for you to report Black bloggers opinions on critical issues. Now, you have to prove that you're willing to follow the path that has been carefully laid for you. Unless you simply have a rule against reporting on Black blog posts.

http://afrospear-news.blogspot.com/

Posted by: socialist2 | May 13, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rancho | May 13, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"Masters, your self-serving comment that this is about revenge is as false as the day is long."

And as obvious, too. But I could be wrong. Have to wait and see. If Moveon.org is in the front it will look like revenge to me.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 13, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

TartanMcc:

Did you vote for Obama?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"The courts will defeat this piece of military rear-end covering and deal Obama a shameful blow."

Perhaps. But who will be ashamed? Why not support the President? He could do good things if given our support. Everyone will fail if we turn on them for doing what they think is right. Give some slack. After all, you could be wrong.

And do not be so sure of the Courts. Remember 2000's election.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 13, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Masters, your self-serving comment that this is about revenge is as false as the day is long. You wish it were. What it is really about was an administration and a military that let abuses grow and spread all over the detention system, abusing human rights and the good name of this country.

The Abu Ghraib photos were an electric shock through both the military and CIA, and it sparked a real top to bottom reform. Things improved because of openess and the admitting of crimes.

I shudder to think what kind of gulags we would be running today if those pictures had NOT come out. Sorry. the only things that keeps things clean is the sunlight of the truth and exposing crime. And if the military can't handle that, then something else must be wrong out there.

I have more faith in them than the Generals do.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

" For that matter, do you have to be "liberal" or "left-wing" to think that torture is bad?"

No. Of course not. But to raise it to a life or death issue when we could spend time on the economy and current problems, it might take the leftist who want revenge over all other objectives. Just a thought. Fighting yesterday's wars when we have problems today is not wise.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 13, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

This is an atrocious decision that contradicts everything Obama said he was going to do and be. Political leeches like Tad Devine -- who see this only in terms of political manoevers and capital-- is exactly the kind of beltway hack we were voting against: amoral, utterly unethical and a Clintonian soul all the way.

The bottom line is that Obama moves to diffuse anger or confrontation. By being silent and taken for granted by stooges like Devine and Co. we have been sidelined. Obama has ignored us.

We need to raise hell and make ALOT of noise on this. We need to singe Obama and his advisors' butts in a way that they will not forget. THEN Obama will move our way again.

The courts will defeat this piece of military rear-end covering and deal Obama a shameful blow. But we need to let him know who brought him to the dance. Not weasels like David Ignatius or, god help us, Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: TartanMcc | May 13, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Nixon had his "enemies list" but they saved that for the last days when it would not matter. One gets to be President so he (or she) can do things. Others just want to punish others. I like those who do better.

Revenge is for idiots. Or children.

Speak up, children!!

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 13, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Like almost every other establishment journalist, Cilliza is deliberately trying to pretend that it's only those on the left who are calling for accountability on torture. Left vs. Right is the only thing these hacks know how to write about. Contrary to what people like Cilliza like to claim, torture is not a partisan issue. There are people all across the political spectrum who are horrified at what some people in the Bush administration did. And surprise, surprise some of those who were horrified were even in the Bush administration, like Phillip Zelikow.

Try telling the truth for a change Cilliza and stop pretending this is a left vs. right issue.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | May 13, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a bit silly to think that releasing these photos would cause our troops harm. Those who wish to do U.S. interests harm will still find encouragement to recruit. Everyone knows the U.S. tortures. It's not a surprise. This is what open government is about: release the photos and move on.

Posted by: chrisny2 | May 13, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

As a deployed soldier I appreciate this decision very much. I'm not sure how this "has demonstrated a remarkable desire to keep evidence of Bush crimes generally, and Bush's torture regime specifically, concealed." Bush's wrongheaded and dangerous policies have been apparent to any thinking person for years now. I'm sure there are ethical and appropriate ways to handle the further exploration of these matters and still prosecute full accountability (political wherewithal willing) without needless sensationalism putting me and my fellow servicemen at further risk and/or undermining our already precarious foreign policy aims.

I do think it is in the best interest of our nation that these issues eventually come to full light and that serious attention is brought to their impact on our nation. Indeed such activity is already justifiably underway.

The knowledge that there are more photos and that perhaps we haven't seen the worst of them feels sufficient at this point in time. I'd be happy with a serious investigation and report sizing up the full scope of what we've already sampled, then in due time full disclosure of the photos.

Posted by: occidentalchandala | May 13, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

What is it, precisely, that makes anyone who disagrees with the president on this particular issue a "liberal" or "left-wing"? For that matter, do you have to be "liberal" or "left-wing" to think that torture is bad?

Posted by: Alexis3 | May 13, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I am not going away. Anyone else want to discuss the thread topic?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey JerkD,

It’s time for you to march off to the bathtub again for another waterboarding.

Better yet, how about a permanent rendition!

And let’s leave the Polaroid behind, so we don’t have worry about any photographs!

You are a worthless clown. Go away!

Posted by: wordzworth_ink | May 13, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I may be dating myself, but did anyone else vote for Clennon WASHINGTON King, Jr. for President?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

MKadyman:

It should be an interesting primary season.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

The "liberal left rises up". Haha. I love it. The liberal left. In other words those who don't have sons or daughters in the armed forces. The my stuff doesn't stink crowd that thought they had elected one of their own.

Guess what whiners? Its country first and Obama realizes that. Unlike you.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 13, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

@broadwayjoe - Technically, you repeated yourself. 37th & O is Dorchester & Congress. Thank goodness we don't have to deal with THAT anymore. My page down key was wearing out.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 13, 2009 8:24 PM
____
You're right. Sorry.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 13, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

Allow me to introduce you to fluffykitties among those ON THIS THREAD who have already stated their regret for voting Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Jake, in the four months, since BHO was elected I have not met one person who voted for BHO who regretted his/her vote.

On the other hand, I have met many who wished they had voted for BHO but were scared away by Phalin and Mac's racebaiting and fearmongering, including the guy I mentioned who lost his job and health insurance.

BHO won 53 percent of the vote. Since then, his approval has gone up to about 70 percent now.

Are you sure you have the right address, my fellow prisoner? Aren't you looking for teamsarah.org.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 13, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

I believe that they are insinuating that I've posted before under those names.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

If anyone (other than nodebris) wants to explain how donating money to, and voting for, African-American Alan LEE Keyes for President means I am a racist, I would be glad for the education.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

@broadwayjoe - Technically, you repeated yourself. 37th & O is Dorchester & Congress. Thank goodness we don't have to deal with THAT anymore. My page down key was wearing out.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 13, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

"the funniest part was when he started capitalizing the middle names of other people"

Yeah. The whole "Who, moi?" shtick. Sad thing is, he really thought that was clever. Like this little bit he has going now in this thread, he really thinks he's onto something here, doesn't he?

Go, jaked, Go! Git 'em, boy.

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The left is always outraged. This is why they amuse me.

Posted by: enaughton27 | May 13, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals" should be pleased they helped elect a president who has the presence of mind to be flexible.

I don't want to see pictures of torture and don't think they'll achieve any good aim.

Posted by: RedBird27 | May 13, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

What I said (and did).

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

I'm not racist because I supported an African-American for President (regardless of the fact that I capitalized all candidates' middle names).

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, leftists will have to find another way to get some Americans killed.

I am sure they are all tuning in right now to MSNBC to discover from the Olberidiot how to blame this on Bush!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Most of them toking on a doobie under that grand Che poster, you know the pretty one of the man who used to take his pistol our to the local political prisoners and plant a bullet in their heads. Now that was a "harsh" interrogation method which these leftists could support if they didn't have their heads so far up their backsides that they never really face reality.

Posted by: LogicalSC | May 13, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

"jaked, you had no luck with capitalizing "Hussein,," you had no luck spurring on the PUMAs"

hahaha, the funniest part was when he started capitalizing the middle names of other people. "Oh, look! I'm not a racist! I highlight middle names other than the Muslim one!"

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 8:07 PM
____
What he said.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 13, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

georgejones5:

Did you vote for Obama; if so, do you regret it?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

With increasing intentions to wage endless war in Afghanistan and then take on Pakistan in an illegal war, Obama doubles down on a hopeless situation in a gurly man attempt to prove his chops.

It's Obama's war now, making more terrorists every day while spilling our blood and treasure. War crime tribunals are called for here.

Posted by: georgejones5 | May 13, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

How good is Senator Sheldon Whitehouse?

His questioning of witnesses at the torture hearing today was precise, focused, and laid a rock-solid foundation for where he and Leahy want to go. His appearance on Olbermann was four-star.

Look for him in 2016.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 13, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

It's hard being a prima donna, but jaked is up to the task.

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

parkerfl1:

Did you vote for Obama; if so, do you regret it?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

JakeD - yes, like many anti-imperialists, I voted for Obama, and we will continue to demand that he live up to his vow to defend the Constitution and enforce the rule of law.

Posted by: fluffykitties | May 13, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Ah, was this supposed to be a forum where MANY could exchange views one-at-a-time without some cross-talking, snarky, self-impressed motor mouth hogging the limelight?

Or did I stumble into a "JakeD website" ???

Get your ego-strokes in some other fashion, will you? You have added nothing of substance for quite a while.

Maybe you and icefranco can go to a private chat and leave the rest of us to engage in some MEANINGFUL interactions ...

Snark does not equal clever or added value.

Posted by: phoenixresearch | May 13, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"jaked, you had no luck with capitalizing "Hussein,," you had no luck spurring on the PUMAs"

hahaha, the funniest part was when he started capitalizing the middle names of other people. "Oh, look! I'm not a racist! I highlight middle names other than the Muslim one!"

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Jake D, let me introduce you to these folks: Dianne72, 37andO, King of Zouk, DorchesterandCongress. What? You guys know each other already?

Regards

O Nation

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 13, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama has much more to worry about from moderates in the Senate than he does with a toothless left wing movement...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 13, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

PS--Could this be a sneaky move by Cillizza to smear liberals?

Posted by: dotellen | May 13, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

fluffykitties:

Did you vote for Obama; if so, do you regret it?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Is there a fly in here? I keep hearing this annoying buzz . . .

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Neo-liberal rationalizers who wish to avert their gaze from the brutal war crimes of US imperialists are just as despicable in our eyes as the neo-fascist thugs who ordered and perpetrated the torture policies. Like Obama, Reid, Harmon, and Pelosi, you are all shameless, cowardly enablers of the treasonous parasites who have left the nation bankrupt in moral, political, military, and economic squalor.

Posted by: fluffykitties | May 13, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

Have you read ANY Of the comments on this thread about Obama voters "sitting out" the next election?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:37 PM
______
No.

This is an invented issue. Nobody outside the Beltway cares to see any more horror photos--we already get the picture.

The trend is clearly in the other direction: Republican to Dem or Independent.

Case in point: one poster on another blog said he was a hardcore Republican...until he lost his job and his health benefits. He couldn't afford COBRA payments so the health insurance for his family was cancelled. At some point his mortgage got messed up. He is now a card-carrying member of O Nation.

This guy and others like him don't have time for more blather about torture pictures, Cheney photo-ops on Fox, Dijon mustard, flag waving, tax cuts for the rich, Hannity, and flagpins. Thanks to them, BHO is at 70% (DailyKos, 5/13) and growing.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 13, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse


I agree with President Obama. I am much more concerned about placing the single payer insurance option on the table, curtailing the salaries of executives of companies that get bailout money, regulating the credit card industry, etc etc.

Posted by: dotellen | May 13, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

kirby2:

Did you vote for Obama; if so, do you regret it?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

jaked, you had no luck with capitalizing "Hussein,," you had no luck spurring on the PUMAs, you had no luck with the birth certificate issue, you had no luck with white house expenditures, and you're not going to have any luck with this one either.

But keep whipping that dead mule, it's mildly amusing watching you wear yourself out on futility. Again.

"Pragmatic" conservative, eh? Hmm. Could have fooled me.

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

ElMugroso:

Did you vote for Obama; if so, do you regret it?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

It just shows that although Obama is now the main attraction, the owners of the Circus are still the same.

Posted by: ElMugroso | May 13, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

hitpoints:

So, you don't think the decision "makes a mockery" of Obama's campaign promise of transparency? You are aware that the legal argument now being made by Obama is the EXACT SAME ONE made by Bush to keep the photos out of the public view in the first place, right?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"None other than DICK CHENEY himself was making the same exact case on Sunday."

Unlike many conservatives, Obama is able to decouple the message from the messenger, and won't stake out a stupid position merely because his opponent stumbled first upon the correct position.

I know it's unusual in a politician. But really, it's a desirable trait.

Posted by: nodebris | May 13, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD and crestthree:

If you don't want to believe those posting against Obama on the instant thread, how about the ACLU or Amnesty International?

The American Civil Liberties Union, which argued for the photos' release, expressed outrage and said the decision "makes a mockery" of Obama's campaign promise of transparency.

"It's absolutely essential that these photos be released so the public can examine for itself the torture and abuse that was conducted in its name, and so that high-level officials who authorized or permitted that abuse can be held accountable," ACLU attorney Amrit Singh said.

The human rights group Amnesty International said it was disappointed.

"Human beings have been tortured and denied basic rights. The American people have been lied to, and government officials who authorized and justified abusive policies have been given a pass," said the group's executive director, Larry Cox. He said the full story had not been told.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/mediaNews/idUKN1350757120090513?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"The more likely scenario in terms of political consequences from these decisions is that the fervent desire to elect Obama within the party's base will dissipate somewhat as liberals grow (and stay) alienated with the compromises the President makes over the next four years."

Yeah, the left will desert to Sarah Palen in droves. They're still furious about Joe Lieberman, right? And that decision has been a total disaster for the Dems, right Chris?

The photos won't even be remembered two months from now, after the Court directs them to be turned over.

Or was there simply a mistake in punctuation by Cilizza in this last sentence? This is dopey enough even for Dick Cohen.

Posted by: crestthree | May 13, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm a liberal Democrat who voted for Obama. That said, I cannot identify with the attitudes of some people who feel betrayed, or who now want to say Obama is like Bush, etc.

Some people apparently either feel that nothing could harm our troops ("falling back on a Bushism"), or they don't care, or even want, our military harmed.

Blocking the release of these photos at this time will not hinder the momentum that is building to bring Bush, Cheney, Yoo, and the others to justice for their perversion of America. The public release of the photos would not help get justice, either. The ones doing the investigating and possibly prosecution will have the photos.

These photos will eventually be available, but I agree with Obama's decision. Their release does pose a genuine risk of harm to our overseas personnel. Meanwhile, Congress and the DOJ can continue getting the truth about the Bush/Cheney torture policy.

Posted by: hitpoints | May 13, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"Manchurian Candidate?

I hope not."

Posted by: kirby2 | May 13, 2009 6:50 PM

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"Obama campaigned as a different kind of politician and this was one of the main reasons for his strong appeal to many people."

But you can't take this to mean whatever the hell you want it to mean. He made some pretty specific points. He never promised to release these detainee photos.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"The more likely scenario in terms of political consequences from these decisions is that the fervent desire to elect Obama within the party's base will dissipate somewhat as liberals grow (and stay) alienated with the compromises the President makes over the next four years."

Yeah, the left will desert to Sarah Palen in droves. They're still furious about Joe Lieberman, right? That's been a disaster for the Dems, right?

The photos won't even be remembered two months from now, after the Court directs them to be turned over.
Was there a mistake in punctuation by Cilizza in this last sentence? This is dopey enough even for Dick Cohen.

Posted by: crestthree | May 13, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"I hope in 2012 there will be somebody like Ron Paul to run for office, somebody that will oppose the imperialistic attitude of our current leaders, somebody honest and with principles, I don't care if Republican, Democrat or Indipendent."

Posted by: icefranco1 | May 13, 2009 6:57 PM

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

"... this former campaign volunteer and donor hasn't been on the Obama log or participated in any of the campaign-like activities since the inauguration. He may get my vote in the future but he's lost my heart (and doesn't seem to mind)."

Posted by: Omyobama | May 13, 2009 7:01 PM

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

If it is Obama's assessment that the release would be dangerous to the troops, then it must be. It is no political damage to him if they are released. I did not support going into the Iraq war (I did the other, but I now think that was a mistake as well). The reaction of the liberals to this reminds me that during the hostilities, they always seemed to be hoping for the death of our soldiers anyway to further discredit W, and were very much against success. Actually, it mostly reminds me of how much I dislike liberals. They're as bad as the fundies.

Posted by: cletus1 | May 13, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

"Obama will probably next abandon his campaign rhetoric against Senator Clinton's individual mandate for health care insurance and/or nominee McCain's idea to tax health care benefits."

Care to wait a month, Nostradamus?

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

No he doesn't have the right. This is susposed to be a democracy. Government of the people, for the people, by the people. We lost that a long time ago. Who the heck is he, to decide what is good for us to see. I wasn't going to vote; and was talked into it. Never again; I wish every citizen, in this country would withold their vote. Imagine an election, where nobody showed up???? The excuse is full of guana.

Posted by: linda_521 | May 13, 2009 7:12 PM

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"... with Obama's abandonment of key campaign promises and rhetoric of change, many will likely sit out the election."

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | May 13, 2009 7:23 PM

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe:

Have you read ANY Of the comments on this thread about Obama voters "sitting out" the next election?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

"too" and "judgment"

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Come on. There is no objective information to support the title "The Left Rises Up Against Obama." Why front this Drudge-type nonsense?

A couple of extreme libs hollering because some pics weren't released (we kinda know what's in them) is a blip on the screen.

BHO made the smart move.

This Cheney/FoxNews-driven obsession with defending torture was sucking the air out of the room. BHO knows this subject is a gopher hole and once he goes down it he won't have time to come up for health care, bailout issues, mortgage relief, global warning, SCOTUS, etc.

By refusing to release the pictures, BHO deprived Hannity, Greta, O'Reilly, Beck, and rest of the haters a whole week of talking points. Now they'll have to settle for talking about BHO using Dijon mustard on his burgers.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | May 13, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

To tell the truth, even though I'm a "devout" Obama supporter, I couldn't figure out why it made sense to release more photos of detainees. What's the point? We all know what happened; they don't add any new information; they'll absolutely inflame the Muslim world (as well they should!). So somehow making this decision into a betrayal of progressive principles just seems totally bizarre and DUMB.

Posted by: rollingwoods | May 13, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the president's decision and trust his judgement. When I voted for him I didn't expect to agree with everything he did. He's doing a good job managing multiple issues of major consequence and I don't expect perfection overnight nor do I expect that we'll always see eye to eye. Whatever happens during his first term in office, I plan to cast my ballot in the next election for the best choice I'm offered. My right to vote was to hard won to throw away.

I'm still working on issues, trying to continue the work I started in the campaign. Some are just sitting on the sidelines making judgements and have left the work to the president to tackle alone. Make your voice heard where it counts, inside the arena. Get busy and stop throwing stones.

Posted by: celestineg2 | May 13, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD:

George W. Bush never "lied", not once.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Just wait until one or more "minority" groups don't get a Supreme Court Justice representin' them ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

People!
Think -- for a minute -- about the American troops. Think about the effect the release of these photos would have. Think about it. When the Abu Ghrab photos came out, violent attacks increased 200 per cent in Iraq.

Obama is doing the right thing.

Posted by: megahan07 | May 13, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama campaigned as a different kind of politician and this was one of the main reasons for his strong appeal to many people.
While he is overall better than Bush and Cheney, Obama seems, at least so far, just to be another politician, who makes all sort of nice promises to be elected, then discards some of them after taking office.

Obama's candidacy had as one of its brightest promises, the hope of overcoming widespread cynicism about politicians of both parties. Unfortunately by retreating on some of his key promises, with more likely to come within the next year, Obama's presidency is likely to further increase cynicism, especially among college educated, reasonably well-informed people in this country.

Obama will probably next abandon his campaign rhetoric against Senator Clinton's individual mandate for health care insurance and/or nominee McCain's idea to tax health care benefits. No, liberals and progressives will not vote for reactionary Republicans in 2012. However, with Obama's abandonment of key campaign promises and rhetoric of change, many will likely sit out the election.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | May 13, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Obama probably can get away with this stuff because a lot of people trust that he is trying to do the right thing. I don't think Bush had the benefit of the doubt that Obama enjoys. Yes, for people who find this issue of primary importance, they aren't going to be happy with Obama, but a lot of people are willing to believe his explanation as to why he isn't releasing the photos or why he hasn't packed out of Iraq yet. For all we know, Bush might have had some good reasons to do what he did, but people just stopped believing him. That's life. If you constantly lie, people don't trust you.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

"The Left" is upset???!??!?!! Yes, but what about all those very conservative generals and political leaders who are also upset with Obama's backsliding and willingness to cover up the Bush era crimes??? Are we a nation of laws? Or of oligarchs?

By typifying the backlash as exclusively "left,' you are misrepsenting the truth and you are playing the same game that Washington pundits are now so famous for: covering the ass of all those complicit (including themselves) in throwing 200 years of democratic rule (a nation of laws) down the drain.

Shame on you!

Posted by: anderson3 | May 13, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"... a PERCEIVED poke in the eye ..."?!

None other than DICK CHENEY himself was making the same exact case on Sunday. They could hardly rail against the former Vice President for days now and then suddenly say it's O.K. when Gibbs says it. These will be a couple of interesting years ahead.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

linda_521:

Please make sure not to vote next time.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

No he doesn't have the right. This is susposed to be a democracy. Government of the people, for the people, by the people. We lost that a long time ago. Who the heck is he, to decide what is good for us to see. I wasn't going to vote; and was talked into it. Never again; I wish every citizen, in this country would withold their vote. Imagine an election, where nobody showed up???? The excuse is full of guana.

Posted by: linda_521 | May 13, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

WillSeattle:

Obama will not extradite Bush or Cheney. THEN what are you gonna do about it?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

As an ex-Sergeant, I actually agree with President Obama on not releasing the pics.

Under the Geneva Conventions, you're not supposed to.

So, legally, he's correct.

But he still needs to extradite Comrade Cheney and the other war criminals to the Hague for their war crimes trials - since we in America obviously can't try them due to political pressure to pardon them or not try them.


The Rule of Law demands they be tried.

Then found guilty.

Then sentenced.

Posted by: WillSeattle | May 13, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Folks!

It is Barry's RIGHT to not release. And it shall be tolerated. It's being pragmatic, and investigative remember?

So far, all those comments in the blogosphere are propaganda. In every reponse that Cillizza quoted, it was in the form of "We disagree with Obama, now we're going to remind you of GWB!".

Basically the blogosphere has nothing else to say but to remind you of G.W. Bush & friends. And that's their only purpose, not report the news but to remind you of GWB and how bad he/followers were. It's the old FoxNews formula. The emperor (i.e. the blogs) is without his clothes and that means you: HuPo, DK, TMP, DigBy, Wonkette....

Posted by: recharged95 | May 13, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Omyobama:

I hope most of his first-time voters feel the same by November of 2012.

icefranco1:

I definitely want to see contested primaries on BOTH sides.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

He lost me at Rick Warren. Look, he's still far better than Bush or any Republican would be (and I'll still defend against some of the most outrageous attacks from the right), but this former campaign volunteer and donor hasn't been on the Obama log or participated in any of the campaign-like activities since the inauguration. He may get my vote in the future but he's lost my heart (and doesn't seem to mind).

Posted by: Omyobama | May 13, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope in 2012 there will be somebody like Ron Paul to run for office, somebody that will oppose the imperialistic attitude of our current leaders, somebody honest and with principles, I don't care if Republican, Democrat or Indipendent.

Posted by: icefranco1 | May 13, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

The liberal left seems to think that they and their narrow minded interests are the only thing that counts in this country. There are over 350 million people in this country and you are but a minority. True you won the election based on the help of a biased media and a whole bunch of distortions of the facts. Your pit bull attitudes against business and anything Bush are going to be your undoing. When you get done selling out GENERAL MOTORS and CHRYSLER to the UAW, let's see just how long you have a job. You see, it is just like biting the hand that feeds you. Ron Gettlefinger really cares about his union members because due to his intransigence to accept realistic lower wages, how many union jobs are gone???? It is kind of like institutional suicide but by golly, let's protect the "working man". If his help has cost 30,000 jobs so far, wow? Tell that to the union workers that have lost jobs and if they force GM into bankruptcy, it is out of Obama's hands. Even the "GREAT ONE" cannot control the bankruptcy courts The UAW has nothing in common with the 'WORKING MAN" They are like an over paid GOOD OLD BOYS CLUB. Have you ever gotten a UAW job. Good luck. They make about twice as much as other workers (probably more) so ask them to share the wealth. I hate to be so harsh but I worked in a union in a Chrysler plant and I saw it up close and personal. It is nothing but extortion and corruption on a grand scale. You people up north are being had just to protect a small group of special interest union voters. You have the highest taxes, the highest unemployment, the highest crime rates, the most forclosures, and the highest poverty rates. Keep voting Democrat like you have in the past, because you and only you control your own destiny. If you want to live like that, continue the hate and protect the UAW. A lot of us in other states wish we could help, but you have to start by helping yourselves. "THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT" Albert Einstein

Posted by: ROYSTOLL2 | May 13, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse


Manchurian Candidate?

I hope not.

Posted by: kirby2 | May 13, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

maritza1:

I agree. In fact, if you could privately ask Gibbs what he thought about the cell phones ringing during the briefing, he would tell you it was a BLESSING FROM ABOVE that he used to distract from the grilling he was getting on the sudden reversal on releasing those photos. It reminded me of Ari Fleischer (and I mean that as a compliment ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Seem to remember just the other day Democrats laughing at Republicans because of the rif between Conservatives and moderate Repubs.. Hmmm well now it seems like there is a pretty big rif between Liberals and moderate Dems... looks like everything will be back in play in 2010 afterall..

Posted by: sovine08 | May 13, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
of course not, if I grow disilluded I will vote for no one, and my guess is that a lot of Obama's voters will do the same

Posted by: icefranco1 | May 13, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Remember when the left blogosphere went CRAZY when Obama reversed himself and went along with the Congress and Bush on FISA when he was a candidate over the Summer? The Left was upset that lasted for a couple of weeks and than dissapated as all things do eventually. The Left still went out and enthusiastically voted for Obama in the Fall.

I just don't think this reversal will have any affect what's so ever on the enthusiasm of the Left. It is just a few blog writers that are having a cow right now but I just won't worry about it.

Posted by: maritza1 | May 13, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I second CypressTree, well said sir!

Posted by: icefranco1 | May 13, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

icefranco1:

If that's your criteria, you certainly aren't going to vote for the Republican!

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Yes, please, Obama -- DON'T pander to the fanatics like the moronic Republicans -- I'm sure that no one on the "liberal Left" (particularly from Massachusetts) would ever consider a primary challenge to an incumbent President, no matter how low your popularity goes or how high inflation gets.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama is underestimating the effect of his reversal on the war policies in general. In my eyes is losing appeal.

Posted by: icefranco1 | May 13, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

By the way Chris..You need to get a better photo. you look kinda geeky.

Posted by: hayden1 | May 13, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

CypressTree:

I believe the "liberal Left" would be those who are not "pragmatic moderates" like fairfaxvoter or "Religious Right" like me.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Who gives a hoot about the ultra-liberal left and the ultra-conservative right. They are both two heads on the same serpent. Screw them both. Good going Mr. President. Don't pander to the fanatics like the moronic Republicans.

Posted by: hayden1 | May 13, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

It was obvious where this was going at yesterday press briefing.

Q Robert, Senators Graham and Lieberman have written the President a letter about pending release of the photographs of the treatment of detainees, and they would like the President to consider reversing that decision made by the Justice Department and the Department of Defense. And in their letter, they say the release of these old photographs of past behavior --

MR. GIBBS: Well, let me -- the decision made by the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice relating to a series of court cases dating back to September of 2008, as well as an appeals case dating back to March 11.

Go ahead.

Q That's the legal foundation, yes. And in their letter, they say this will "serve no public good" -- I'm quoting now -- "but will empower al Qaeda propaganda operations, hurt our country's image, and endanger our men and women in uniform." Is this something that is being considered by the President for reversal or is this a policy that will go forward? And does he have any anxiety about the potential consequences of the release of these photographs?

MR. GIBBS: Well, obviously the President has great concern about any impact that pictures of detainee -- potential detainee abuse in the past could have on the present-day service members that are protecting our freedom either in Iraq, Afghanistan, or throughout the world. That's something the President is very cognizant of, and we are working to -- we are working currently to figure out what the process is moving forward.

Q Does this mean -- does that mean the decision could be reversed?

MR. GIBBS: I don't want to get into that right now.

Q So you can't commit either way?

MR. GIBBS: I'm not going to add much to that right now.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Who the hell are you categorizing as the "liberal Left" Mr. Cillizza? Perhaps you are talking about the party of individuals who believe in the rule of law. I'm sorry, but people across the spectrum want the photos released and want accountability for war crimes. This is absolute B.S. the way you are spinnning this. I cannot wait until newspapers like the WaPo fail for all of the insane amount of division they have created.
Do you have any idea what nuance is? In this case, it means that people don't doggedly adhere to "party lines" but what THEY actually think. Believe it or not, many "Republicans," "Liberals," or "Independents" believe in the rule of law.
The paradigm you and your cohorts operate under is sickening. Our troops are unsafe in Iraq and Afghanistan because the people there don't want them to be there and they obviously don't mind killing themselves to accomplish their goals. They might also be a little pissed off by the fact that American attacks kill civilians. Don't you think that might piss you off if a foreign government was killing your fellow countrymen?
Can we please have a country to be proud of? I was once so proud to be an American because I believed that we were a country that stood for ideals and strove for them. Instead, our "leaders" appear as soulless as the ones in any Banana Republic. Shame on the traitors who have corrupted the purity of what many of us believe in.

Posted by: CypressTree | May 13, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I have completed work for the day. I have read the Prez's statement about the photos. From the statement, these photos were evidence in now closed cases of abuse where the abusers were punished. According to the Prez, neither Admin suppressed these photos - they resulted in convictions and/or penalties.

If this is true, then I am not deeply concerned for the "public's right to know" in this specific matter. I am concerned for the propaganda value of the photos, however.

Please know that if these photos had been suppressed from use by prosecutors and defense counsel in either the prosecution of the guards or of the prisoners I would be very concerned.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | May 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

He campaigned as a pragmatic moderate, he's governing as a pragmatic moderate. He is fulfilling campaign promises every day, and the American people like what they see. That doesn't mean the left is always wrong when they disagree with him, but I don't agree with their critique in this case.

The quoted statement from the e-mail is correct: "Some of his supporters won't care." As one of those who "won't care" let me translate that: "Some of his supporters will think he made a good decision as commander in chief, and agree with the rationale he provided in his live appearance this afternoon." Actually, that's a little different than "won't care." It means I agree with him and disagree with the author of that e-mail.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | May 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Late Update: White House press corps like crows to shiny objects: Gibbs breaks the awkwardness of the moment by confiscating ringing cell phone of Human Events reporter. Hearty laughter all around. Grilling on photos non-release quickly comes to end.

Later Update: CBS Radio's Mark Knoller tries valiantly to get presser back on track with tough question on the non-release, but Gibbs volleys with ribbing of CBS TV's Bill Plante, whom Gibbs had booted from room for his ringing cell phone. Good times.

Low Moments in Journalism Update: As we anticipated, the highlight of the White House briefing for CNN was the cell phone confiscation. Hardy har-har.

--David Kurtz (TPM)

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, maybe I spoke too soon. I guess that dee150586 and Matthew_DC were fine when Darth Vader said it?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama wont like us to stay home and don't vote coming November 2010, wouldn't he?

Posted by: icefranco1 | May 13, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"... a PERCEIVED poke in the eye ..."?!

None other than DICK CHENEY himself was making the same exact case on Sunday. They could hardly rail against the former Vice President for days now and then suddenly say it's O.K. when Gibbs says it. These will be a couple of interesting years ahead.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

wow, that is really stupid that the left are all pissed at Obama because of this. For a second i thought what if the 2012 election becomes like 1968, where young liberals go and search for a anti-war candiate, because we are going to be Afghanistan for quite a bit of time, and i dont see the left being ok with this. interesting to see how this plays out.

Posted by: dee150586 | May 13, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm liberal left. I'd have had Obama nationalize the failing banks and spread the wealth around very liberally. But about the pictures, I couldn't care less. Release them in five years.

We've got to get out of Iraq and figure out how to scale back in Afghanistan. If it's pictures vs. saving troop lives until we can get them out of those places, the human lives come first.

Posted by: Matthew_DC | May 13, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

LOL! By the time the Democratic convention comes around in 2012, maybe enough radical liberals will have voted for someone else? Obama knows they aren't going anywhere.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

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