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May 13, 2009



President Barack Obama will try to block the court-ordered release of hundreds of photos showing U.S. troops allegedly abusing prisoners, reversing his position after military commanders warned the graphic images could stoke anti-American sentiment and endanger soldiers.

The pictures are said to show mistreatment of detainees at locations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And two:

Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, tapped to lead US forces in Afghanistan, is a former special operations commander whose elite forces were credited with notable battlefield successes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates said he nominated McChrystal to replace General David McKiernan as the top commander in Afghanistan because “new thinking” was needed at a time that President Barack Obama was launching a new strategy for the country.

He has been credited with targeted operations that hunted down and killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, in 2006 and of devising the still classified tactics used to smash Al-Qaeda and Iranian-backed cells in 2007 and 2008.

But special operators also have been accused of detainee abuses under McChrystal’s command. Questions about that were reported to have held up his appointment to his current post last year.

He was also found “accountable” for making inaccurate statements in the awarding of a Silver Star for Army Ranger Pat Tillman, an ex-American football star who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

So President Obama is going to withhold evidence from the American people of alleged war crimes, and he’s brought on Stanley McChrystal, who apparently has a history of — at the very least — condoning torture.

So much so that Dick Cheney himself is actually applauding Obama’s choice.

“The decision to send Stan McChrystal…is a good one,” Cheney told Cavuto. “I think the choice is excellent. I think you’d be hard put to find anyone better than Stan McChrystal.”

In a nutshell — President Obama is spending money like Bush, withholding (and thus, condoning) evidence of torture like Bush, and hired a general that has Dick Cheney’s stamp of approval to oversee operations in Afghanistan.

Are we going to adopt the neoconservative stance of preemption as well? Are we going to continue to ignore the Geneva Convention? Are we going to perpetuate the foreign policies of Bush/Cheney — the very policies you blasted while you were on the campaign trail last fall, Mr. President? Are we going to ignore the Constitution in the name of defending it?

Can we allow this to happen?

Yes, we can.


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