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Releasing All the Torture Photos Immediately Will Probably Save American Lives

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Major General Taguba, who retired in January 2007 who supports the President's decision not to release the photographs, today said, "These pictures show torture, rape and every indecency."

He described the pictures more specifically. Journalists who saw the classified photographs are also starting to tell us more.

Obama should not be withholding the photos. They will certainly all leak out. This may be a saving grace for him but it is unprincipled. Some journalists have already seen all of them. Each day we learn more.

War does terrible things to all soldiers and all civilians. The American people should know the price our soldiers and the people we fight with pay.

Rapes of both sexes are shown in the photographs - male on female, male on male.
There are an estimated 2,000 pictures. One shows a female prisoner being forced stripped to expose her breasts. Others have cattle prods, trenchers, wire and phosphorescent tubes put in body parts.

We are told by Obama that U.S. soldiers may stay in Iraq for a decade. I assume we will be in Afghanistan and at the Pakistan borders longer.

Get them all out now. Exposing what we have done may help stop or minimize the practice and thus may save American lives.

Trickling them out is the most dangerous and irresponsible thing we can do. We can remind people for years what we have done. And as these people are either not prosecuted or rarely prosecuted, it sets up a wall of protection for further torture and reminds our enemies what we did.

As important is that America must become and remain transparent. One of the problems of democracy is that it does not see all means as acceptable. Once you start to create a culture of censorship, it goes into other areas.

Our rule must be to respect our values. Not just the First Amendment but values of dignity and freedom. Otherwise we cannot hope to attain the democracy we still talk about - the "City on the Hill" is becoming a vanishing illusion that, in truth, may really only have been a dream unrealized.