As Michael Goldfarb reports, House Democrats have decided the MoveOn.org constituency takes precedence over the lives of American troops:
[House Leadership] is moving to strip the Lieberman-Graham amendment blocking the release of detainee photos from the supplemental appropriations bill now in conference. The Lieberman-Graham amendment, formally named the Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act, was passed unanimously in the Senate and provided President Obama “with the ability to block the publication of the photos that would endanger the safety of our men and women in uniform.”
Remember the sequence of events here. The Eric Holder brain trust at the Justice Department told the president he had no chance to prevail in the lawsuit brought by the ACLU. Obama announced he wouldn’t be appealing a ruling ordering the government to release the photos. After a hue and cry went up, Obama recanted, explaining that the U.S. military had convinced him to reconsider. At the time, NPR reported:
Obama, explaining his change of heart on releasing the other photos, said they had already served their purpose in investigations of “a small number of individuals.” Those cases were all concluded by 2004, and the president said “the individuals who were involved have been identified, and appropriate actions have been taken.”
The Pentagon conducted 200 investigations into alleged abuse connected with the photos in question. The administration did not provide an immediate accounting of how they turned out.
“This is not a situation in which the Pentagon has concealed or sought to justify inappropriate action,” Obama said of the photos. “In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”
But that didn’t end the matter because Obama was simply allowing the court to decide, albeit with a different argument to come from the U.S. government. So Sens. Lieberman and Graham introduced their legislation to provide a decisive and final result: no release of the photos. The White House and Senate are enthusiastically in support but not the House Democrats.
What — they don’t believe the president? Or they do and simply can’t stand up to the netroot fringe in their own ranks? Let’s be clear: the Pentagon, the Democratic president, and the entire U.S. Senate want to do all they can to protect the lives of U.S. servicemen. But Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have other priorities.
One wonders if they have been paying any attention to the ongoing debate on Guantanamo. The public overwhelmingly rejects the netroot position when it comes to the war on terror. I can’t help but think that the public will be horrified to learn that when it comes to endangering U.S. troops, Pelosi and company just don’t give a damn. And one final note: Will the president get on the phone from Paris to tell Pelosi to knock it off — or was this the game plan all along?