Penny-wise and pound-foolish. That is my take on the “balance between transparency and national security” President Obama claims to have struck with regard to photographs of wrongdoing at Abu Ghraib.
Taking it as a given that release of the photos would inflame enemies in Iraq and threaten our troops there, failing to release the photos will warm anti-American sentiment the world over for far longer as people assume that the U.S. is concealing far worse than what is already known.
Not lancing a boil is a way to avoid pain, but failing to lance that boil is potentially much more painful over the long haul. By not releasing the photos, President Obama protects troops today at a cost to more troops in the future.
The damage was done at Abu Ghraib. All that remains is to let sunlight heal the wounds or to let the infection continue to fester.