These arguments for suppressing torture photos and other evidence of government abuses are grounded in the worst aspects of the Bush/Cheney mindset.Greenwald isn't sculpted in the same dull partisan mold as the Digbies and Kosses of the world, but nonetheless persists in dropping the dually fallacious description, "the Bush/Cheney mindset." Roughly translated, this means an expansive, secretive government with power centralized in the executive branch. Since the precedent long predates George Bush and Dick Cheney, and since it has found clear continuation in the administration that follows, it seems curious to give them pride of name here.
Obama's continuation of the policies of his predecessors confirms what I and other said about them all along: that George Bush and Dick Cheney were not distinguished by unique bloodthirstiness, unique power-hunger, or unique Constitutional theories. They were certainly not distinguished by unique cunning, secrecy, or any Machiavellian instinct for maximizing the power of the prince. If anything made them unique among modern executives, it was obtuseness, a staggering lack of alacrity and acumen, and stumbling obviousness. They were stunningly unable to keep a secret, which made their bruited commitment to secrecy self-delusion and the press' commitment to describing the secretive nature of their administration mere self-flattery.
The ongoing attempts to suppress these supposedly damning photographs of torture at abu Ghraib and, perhaps, elsewhere around the globe are a sideshow in any event. The loudest proponents for their release engage in the same error as those who hope to quash them, namely in presuming that they will shock anyone into actions not yet taken, although in the case of Greenwald et al. it is the belief that they will shock the domestic polity into some act of principled opposition, while the administration conversely claims that they will shock the friends and neighbors of our torture victims to greater acts of violence. Neither seems particularly likely, as the friends and neighbors are already aware of what goes on in American prison camps, and the American public will under no circumstances extrapolate from photographic evidence, no matter how voluminous, that sexual torture is the policy of the American government and military.