Wednesday, May 13, 2009

see no evil

It's not often that I side with the Justice Department over the ACLU. Obama is reversing a pledge of transparency to release photos of U.S. troops abusing prisoners. I can't say I blame him. If the culprits are already tried and sentenced, and the release of such photos is likely to do more harm to an already tarnished image abroad, then perhaps it is a good security decision.

Maybe this issue simply comes down to trust. If the Bush administration had pulled a similar move, using similar arguments, I admit that I would have been skeptical. The executive office under people like Cheney and Libby kept a lot of secrets, and I would have been convinced that this was another example. If they aren't releasing the photos, what else might they be hiding?

On the other hand I trust Obama's administration, for better or worse. While civil rights advocates are incensed about broken promises and hypocrisy, I LIKE having a president who is intelligent enough to admit when he made a poor decision and is willing to have the courage to change his mind. It's amazing the logical tricks a mind will play to cover an emotional response.

Besides not being able to see these pictures, our family is enduring our tiny version of being visually restrained. I guess J was so inspired by the Dodgers game on Saturday that when I woke up Sunday morning at a leisurely 7 a.m., I discovered that he had pitched a metallic object into the LCD television. Needless to say, it no longer works. The shock of losing $1000 or more in a single blow is still sinking in. Honestly, I'm just grateful the tv didn't fall over, the house was not on fire, and I didn't spend the rest of mother's day in urgent care.

Now, our house has been free of tv for a good three solid days. We've made puzzles, played in the backyard (even weeded), gone for a walk, read more, and built innumerable castles out of innumerable objects. I hate to admit it but I also pay more attention to them now that I know they are capable of disaster at any moment. Today, I was amused to catch L talking on an imaginary phone with someone and then claiming that she had to rush off and build a house. That led to much rushing around the living room making bizarre movements with her hands and legs as she assembled the imaginary building. It's nice to see my kids use their imagination, not to mention get a little exercise.


Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

A lovely post, much in it, I think I agree with you about Obama's change of mind, I mean, you're right in that the trust is there to be given the benefit of the doubt but it does look a bit iffy.

A life without TV is a good one, as is playing like that, gets the brain working a treat and grown-ups should od it more, never mind wee ones.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Now if only I could extract myself from my cell phone--much too addictive. . . .

2:56 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

I agree with Glen Greenwald, who wrote:
"If we're actually worried about inflaming anti-American sentiment and endangering our troops, we might want to re-consider whether we should keep doing the things that actually spawn "anti-American sentiment" and put American soldiers in danger. We might, for instance, want to stop invading, bombing and occupying Muslim countries and imprisoning their citizens with no charges by the thousands. But exploiting concerns over "anti-American sentiment" to vest our own government leaders with the power to cover-up evidence of wrongdoing is as incoherent as it is dangerous. Who actually thinks that the solution to anti-American sentiment is to hide evidence of our wrongdoing rather than ceasing the conduct that causes that sentiment in the first place?I don't want to have to 'trust' Obama any more than I wanted to have to 'trust' Bush. There needs to be more transparency, not less, in government. One of the rules I live by is 'we are only as sick as our secrets,' and this is one thing we need to be held accountable for. We need to be clear that this is not what we do.

Wow. This soap box is dusty. It's been a while since I've been up here, I guess.


7:35 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

It's nice to have your soap box out BP.

12:54 AM  

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