I’ve never heard of Rep. Mike Rogers, Republican Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, but I hope the next time I see his name in print it’s because he resigned his position. Obviously, he is not qualified to sit on any committee with the word “intelligence” anywhere in its title or mission.
Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Wednesday that the Obama administration should not release the gruesome post-mortem images, saying it could complicate the job for American troops overseas. Rogers told CBS News he has seen a post-mortem photo.
“The risks of release outweigh the benefits,” Rogers said. “Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos are doctored anyway, and there is a real risk that releasing the photos will only serve to inflame public opinion in the Middle East.”
“Imagine how the American people would react if Al Qaeda killed one of our troops or military leaders, and put photos of the body on the internet,” Rogers continued.
Of all the reasons one could concoct for not releasing photos of a gunshot Osama bin Laden, this is easily the dumbest. We know exactly how Americans would react to that situation because we’ve already seen it. Someone needs to remind the Intelligence Mastermind of the House of Representatives about Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg. Maybe they could also show him the photo of the civilian contractors whose corpses were brutalized and hung from an overpass in Iraq.
And those were civilians. We wouldn’t even interrupt our dinners if they actually defiled the corpse of a soldier who is directly engaged in the fighting*. Did we erupt in fury when al-Qaeda butchers dragged our soldiers through the streets of Iraq?
We did not.
But that is almost beside the point — well, not quite. It does speak to Roger’s woeful ignorance of recent history or our war against the Islamists, which you would expect would be a focus for him as the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, but it’s not the major point.
The larger point is that it ought to insult the hell out of every Americans that Mike Rogers thinks us no better than the typical riot-prone Muslim in the Middle East, even though he has ample evidence this is not the case. How little must he think of you and I (and Muslims in general, but that’s another story) that he believes we have the same limits of self-control as people who murder innocents because some guy in Denmark drew a picture of Mohammed?
You know, I don’t care to find out. I don’t want to hear an apology from him. I just want him gone. He’s disgraced his nation, Congress, and the Republican Party. I can no longer trust him and neither should anyone else. Speaker Boehner…it’s on you now.
*That’s not to say that we respect soldiers less than civilians. Far from it. However, we rational and civilized folk realize there is a world of difference between soldiers and civilians in a war.
UPDATE: Ben Howe has a lot more on the matter and I recommend his post highly. He gets the importance of a symbol in wartime.
UPDATE 2: Here is a roundup of reactions from Stacy McCain. There is a lot of good stuff in there.