World opinion changing fast – Mr. President
Obama half bush?
Harith al-Ubaidi, a member of parliament’s human rights committee, said he understood why Iraqis struggling with a lack of jobs and services might ignore more photos of abuse, but he contested Obama’s reasoning for holding them back.
“This is an absolutely invalid excuse. If armed groups could exert more pressure, they wouldn’t wait for the photos.”
In Ubaidi’s view Obama is trying to avoid whipping up Arab opinion as he attempts to repair US-Middle East relations, damaged under former President George W Bush, and was also protecting interrogators guilty of abuse.
Obama has said CIA agents who followed legal guidance on interrogation would not be prosecuted, but left the door open to prosecuting Bush-era officials who developed the policies.
Ubaidi said Obama’s overtures to Muslims in Egypt next week are likely to fail if he is seen as continuing Bush’s policy of secrecy over detainees, or as blocking efforts to hold those who abused prisoners accountable.
Laila al-Khafaji, another member of Iraq’s parliament, said she preferred to forget the past.
“The page of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal was turned a long time ago and it’s time to forget. What’s the point of reminding us of these pains?” .. http://bit.ly/fRGiH