"Images of war are frequently appalling, and the safety of American citizens and soldiers is vitally important. But the greatest threat to that safety lies not in the photographs of horrific behavior; it lies in the fact of the behavior itself. The treatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere was a shameful episode in U.S. history.
America reinforces its values and thus its security by being transparent about even the worst abuses of those values, not by hiding the evidence deep in a file drawer."
In response, I have two thoughts:
On April 18, 2012 The Los Angeles Times published photos of American soldiers posing with the remains of Afghan suicide bombers. On the other hand, The Los Angeles Times is keeping a 2003 videotape of Obama toasting Rashid Khalidi in a vault, not a "file drawer." Isn't it high time for The Los Angeles Times to release this videotape, which reveals the candid thoughts of America's commander-in-chief?
In addition, if The New York Times wishes to publish photographs of "horrific behavior" by American troops, perhaps they might first want to publish pictures of the decapitation of James Foley? Indeed the pictures of Foley's decapitation are horrifying beyond words, but perhaps they would go a long way toward placing Obama's golf game, minutes after his speech condemning Foley's execution, in perspective.
In fact, out of deference to Foley's family, I wouldn't want these pictures on the front page of The New York Times or any other newspaper. Some images are just too horrible to be exposed in this manner.
But does The New York Times truly seek transparency? Rubbish! They cannot acknowledge their own mistakes, and they are certainly not about to print anything that might besmirch their beloved president.