From the time - at least - of the Roman & Egyptian empires, the cost of empire has always proved to be a tremendous burden for the average citizen of an empire. Until recently America seemed relatively undisturbed by the cost of its empire - but that attitude may be changing. Bank bailouts helped relatively few of the thousands of Americans facing foreclosure crises & the Obama Administration has indicated its intention to "downsize Social Security and Medica
- the Senate has approved another $91.3 billion dollarsfor expanding war.
- Obama’s new $664 billion Pentagon budget is $21 billion higher (four percent) than the final Bush budget
- "USA Today reported just a month earlier (in March) that public support for that conflict “has ebbed to a new low,” according to a Gallup Poll. Americans who regard the attack on Afghanistan as “a mistake” had increased from 9% in 2001 to 42%...." - (Now that's a monumental shift "- or a "sea change" as the author says in the OpEdNews article
- "Gallup also discovered a shift in public opinion from March, 2007, when it asked if the U.S. was spending too much or too little on defense. Forty-three per cent responded “too much” compared with 20 percent who replied “too little.” A decade earlier most Americans didn’t think the Pentagon was on a spending binge with their taxes."
The interrogator who elicited the information which led to the successful apprehension of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al-Qa'ida in Iraq," is one of America's best and he is convinced torture is, at best, anti-productive! That seasoned interrogator, going by the pseudonym "Alexander", has this to say, "The use of torture by the U.S.," he believes, not only elicits no useful information but "has proved so counter-productive that it may have led to the death of as many U.S. soldiers as civilians killed in 9/11."
From hundreds of interrogations, Alexander discovered that foreign fighters came to Iraq in reaction to the abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, and that they and their domestic allies turned to suicide bombing and other terrorist acts for the same reasons.
I'm convinced that the very smart man in the White House must know that any information elicited through torture is very suspect - so the only logical explanation for Obama's decision to keep the photos hidden is to keep them from the eyes of young recruits. If America's failure to come clean about those photos ultimately puts young American recruits in more danger - too sad & too bad, but, oh well - Obama has clearly indicated that his priority lies elsewhere. The only way Obama could possibly defuse the Muslim's outraged sense of injustice is to release the photos - renounce them - and prosecute the Bush Administration officials most responsible for the torture policy which generated them.
Good news, our military's recruitment quotas will be met. Bad news, terrorist recruitment quotas will also be met - and even surge - just as the costs of empire continue to surge in agony, in blood and in dollars.