Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Snake Devours its Tail

I'm not going to take a side on whether Andrew Holmes is innocent or guilty of murdering an Afghan civilian, but the complaint from his defenders of insufficient evidence has a fascinating wrinkle:

Conway again pressed the Army to release photos of the man Holmes allegedly killed. Conway wants to show them in open court to demonstrate that he was not killed by the squad automatic weapon that Holmes carried that day.

Those photos have been ordered to remain concealed because they could endanger American soldiers serving overseas.

Without them, Conway says he can't show that Holmes wasn't responsible for the death.

Here's Obama last year, on not releasing incriminating photos (emphasis mine):

"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," the president said before departing on his trip to Arizona. "Moreover, I fear the publication of these photos may only have a chilling effect on future investigations of detainee abuse."

Now granted, Obama was talking about prison torture photos as opposed to cold-blooded killing out in the open, but the principle of not wanting to endanger troops remains the same. And now flies an accusation of obstructing an investigation, which supposedly this (deeply wrong and cowardly) policy was supposed to prevent.

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