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Conservatives Outraged Over Release of Torture Photos, but Not Over Actual Torture

It’s not the pictures that recruit suicide bombers; it’s what the pictures depict.
 
 
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On April 23, the Obama administration announced it would release hundreds of photos of detainee interrogation, obeying a court order from a lawsuit filed by the ACLU. Predictably, conservatives furious with the Obama administration’s attempt at greater transparency denounced the move. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) wrote to President Obama asking him not to release the photos because they could inflame potential terrorists:

The release of these old photographs of past behavior that has now clearly been prohibited will serve no public good, but will empower al-Qaeda propaganda operations, hurt our country’s image, and endanger our men and women in uniform. We know that many terrorists captured in Iraq have told American interrogators that one of the reasons they decided to join the violent jihadist war against America was what they saw on Al-Qaeda videos of abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib,” wrote Graham and Lieberman.

Today, Liz Cheney, daughter of the former Vice President, decried the move as “appalling,” saying in a Fox News interview that the decision was proof Obama was aiming to “side with the terrorists”:

CHENEY: Clearly what they are doing is releasing images that show American military men and women in a very negative light. And I have heard from families of service members, from families of 9/11 victims, this question about, you know, when did it become so fashionable for us to side, really,with the terrorists?

Ali Frick is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.