it doesn’t matter how horrific they are…


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

8 Responses

  1. Avatar Ken says:

    Well, at least we’ll have a break from hearing angry apologias for waterboarding and hear angry apologias for rape.

    I mean, how can we possibly condemn diddling someone with a phosphorescent tube when we can imagine a scenario where that person could possibly know the location of a ticking bomb?Report

  2. I don’t see any useful reason to release these photos. They are guaranteed only to get more US soldiers killed.Report

  3. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    Nonsense. The soldiers will take care of themselves, and the initial shitstorm will pass eventually. Truth is far more important than protecting the troops that we have already sent into harms way. The useful reason is, as it always has been, the necessary knowledge and proof of the laws we broke. The only way forward is to have it all out in the open.Report

  4. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    A compromise measure might be to release detailed information of what’s in the photos (e.g. rape) but not the photos themselves.

    He could release them. Then we would be given a whole heap of classic political blame-game and blame-dumping. “Oh they were just some bad apples” kinda stuff.

    This is probably the cynic in me speaking but I can’t imagine if anyone was ever prosecuted it would be other than low level soldiers.Report

  5. Avatar richard says:

    it doesn’t matter how horrific they are…… e.d. why don’t we publish photos of partial birth abortions. let’s see how many would still remain silent about this horror and stain upon our civilized society.those of you who are outraged by torture and abu ghraib are selective moral hypocrites. you can not be outraged by waterboarding and remain silent about puncturing the skulls of late term fetuses and suctioning their brains out. i just learned that george tiller was killed. i do not support violence and murder as a means to stop this depravity.Report

  6. Avatar E.D. Kain says:

    I don’t support partial birth abortions. In fact, I’ve written about abortion previously, though I don’t think every time anyone mentions torture they should also be required to mention every other horrible thing in the world.Report

  7. Avatar richard says:

    e.d. i am new to this site and am unfamilar with mush of your previous columns an views. i did jump the gun on my comments. i am conservative and i have followed the torture arguments closely. i do believe that water boarding is torture and what happened at abu ghraib was terribley wrong . sullivan and greenwald have been vociferous bordering hysterical concerning the torture memos. i have raised the issue of partal birth abortions on their comment sections i never recieved any feedback from anyone on this subject. it bothers me that people can get so excised over torture (rightly so) yet remain mute on saying anything about this horror. or perhaps it is just me. and most people agree that it is an evil and do not feel it is necessary to publicly mention it. regardless this is an interesting site and i am glad to have found it via a link from the daily dish.Report

  8. Avatar Kyle says:

    I’m leaning towards believing that we – as a nation, can’t fully know who we are until we know what we’ve done. The good, the bad, the compassionate, and the cruel. Without the truth we can’t really take a full accounting nor make, if need be, a full amends.

    However, I do believe the other issues on the table, should not be so easily brushed aside E.D.

    The reticence I have about releasing the photos is less about the current status of the Americans featured but the prisoners. The trauma of the rape and torture is surely bad enough. I’d like to know more about the status of victims – if any were released from prisons, what kind of emotional damage they would incur from the release and subsequent distribution of the photos – even with identifying marks blurred.

    I’d also like to consider how receptive Americans are to the photos.

    On one hand right after news of Abu Ghraib broke in 5 years ago, Americans opposed torture 2-1. Today, it’s almost half and half. The photos could galvanize the electorate to demand justice be done.

    On the other hand , our preoccupation with the economic crisis could lead people to simply tune out. 3/5 of Americans believe no Bushies should be prosecuted and almost 2/3 believe no military or intelligence personnel should be tried. Resistance to rehashing the past seems to be isn’t a minority concern.

    Personally, I like Chris’ compromise…or better yet release the photos when combat troops leave Iraq next August. (Not that there will be much political support for doing so before midterms) I agree that the truth is enormously important and want justice to be served, but I’m not convinced that urgency outweighs other concerns.Report