Friday, June 12, 2009

Bill Foster and HR 2346: the Photo Amendment

From the Weekly Standard blog,
....95 House Democrats have expressed their support for the Graham-Lieberman amendment that would provide the president with the authority to prevent the release of photos that allegedly show detainee abuse. If Pelosi and the Dem leadership strips this amendment out in conference, these same 95 Democrats will be in a tough spot and many of them are unlikely to vote for the final version of the supplemental. As one senior House GOP aide explained, “If the liberals ultimately strip this amendment from the supplemental, 95 Democrats will face a critical choice between standing behind today’s vote that it is important to protect our troops from the release of these terrorist propaganda photos or caving to the political demands of Speaker Pelosi. The vote was clear and these 95 Democrats will be held to it.”
Bill Foster D - Ill 14th was not one of the 95 Democrats who put themselves in a tough spot. Foster's tough spot comes if what Generals Petreaus and Odierno fear comes to pass.
"The 2004 publication of detainee photos resulted in a number of posting on internet websites. Perhaps the most gruesome of internet reactions to the photo publication was a video posted in May 2004 showing the decapitation murder of US contractor Nicholas Berg. A man believed to be Zarqawi specifically made the linkage between the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Berg's murder saying "And how does a free Muslim sleep comfortably watching Islam being slaughtered and [its] dignity being drained. The shameful photos are evil humiliation for Muslim men and women in the Abu Ghraib prison .... We tell you that the dignity of the Muslims at the Abu Ghraib prison is worth the sacrifice of blood and souls. We will send you coffin after coffin and box after box slaughtered this way." (Declaration of General Raymond T. Odierno, ¶ 8, 9, Motion to Recall Mandate, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Docket No. 06-3140-cv)

"I strongly believe the release of these photos will endanger the lives of U.S. Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors and civilians as well as the lives of our Iraqi partners. Certain operating units are at particular risk of harm from release of the photos. One example is our training teams throughout Iraq. These are small elements of between 15 and 30 individuals who live on Iraqi-controlled installations and thus do not have the same protections afforded to many of our service members. In addition, as they assist our Iraqi partners, members of such teams are regularly engaged in small-unit patrols, making them more vulnerable to insurgent attacks or other violence directed at U.S. forces. Accordingly, there is good reason to conclude that the soldiers in those teams and in similarly situated units would face a particularly serious risk to their lives and physical safety." (Declaration of General Raymond T. Odierno, ¶ 4, Motion to Recall Mandate, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Docket No. 06-3140-cv)

"MNF-1 will likely experience an increase in security incidents particularly aimed at U.S. personnel and facilities following the release of the photos. Incidents of spontaneous violence against U.S. forces, possibly including attacks from outraged Iraqi police or army members are likely. Such increased attacks will put U.S. forces, civilians, and Iraqi partners at risk of being killed, injured, or kidnapped. The photos will likely be used as a justification for adversaries conducting retribution attacks against the U.S. for bringing shame on Iraq." (Declaration of General Raymond T. Odierno, ¶ 11, Motion to Recall Mandate, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, Docket No. 06-3140-cv)

No comments: