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Obama chose the best of bad options on abuse photos
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No, President Obama was not wrong to put the brakes on a further release of photographs of prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan. True, the photographs are a national embarrassment. True, as we have seen, the photographs depict actual, sadistic treatment of prisoners by U.S. troops. How things descended to this level is beyond me.

As aghast as we stateside are to see these images, through the eyes of the Muslim world they are even more volatile and understandably so.

We have an idea of what those images are although our president says they aren't as shocking as the first ones we saw. But it is time to stop the national self-flagellation. Releasing another set of photos only will serve to inflame passions. We saw the reaction the first time around and we'd be kidding ourselves to see anything less on the second go-round.

There's way-plenty activity under way to nab members of the Bush administration who are accused of giving the go-ahead to render such humiliation no matter whether the Geneva Conventions apply to militants who use terrorism as a weapon in their unconventional warfare.

But speaking personally, there are about 3,500 of my closest friends who are members of the Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan - including our daughter who is expected to deploy to Iraq in September - and they have challenge enough. And that's not to exclude tens of thousands of other military personnel from other parts of the country who face sufficient danger in carrying out their missions.

Obama faced a tough decision and there were many aspects to consider. But as a former journalist and a retired officer, I'm relieved and grateful he chose this course. The bottom line is that neither alternative - release the photos or "cloud" open government - was particularly pretty, but Obama's was least ugly.