Not long ago, a young idealist came to Washington D.C. and announced that, this time, things would be different. No more secrecy, no more lies, no more man-sized safes.

Not long ago, a young idealist came to Washington D.C. and announced that, this time, things would be different. No more secrecy, no more lies, no more man-sized safes.

"Let me say it as simply as I can - transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," President Obama promised.

It's all on the table, baby. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. We're going to trade in Air Force One for Wonder Woman's invisible jet. Nothing's off limits for this administration's transparency.

Well, nothing was off limits until last week, when Obama made a major reversal, saying he would block the release of photos showing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan being tortured.

I know what must have happened. Obama was all like, "I'm going to release these photos," and then somebody was like, "Sir, here are the photos," and then Obama was like, "Oh crap, put these away in a man-sized safe."

Actually the president's reasoning was a little more rational.

"The most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame the anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger," Obama explained.

Well, that's reasonable. I can accept that. It does crystallize the dilemma we find ourselves in when we go down this whole torture and abuse road. Torturing detainees is allegedly the only way to get certain information that will make us safer. But, pictures of us doing it puts us in harm's way.

I guess it only leaves us one question: What would happen if we stopped torturing people? According to some politicians, it could be catastrophic.

"[It could lead to] the possibility of a cell of al-Qaeda in the midst of one of our own cities with a nuclear weapon," said former VP Dick Cheney. "You use all of your assets to go after the enemy."

Besides, said Sen. Joe Lieberman: "Someone we've got in our control may have information that could help us stop an attack."

I guess that settles it. We'll just have to stop taking pictures of it. This whole thing is those digital cameras' fault - they're so damn easy to use!

America's war on terror has indeed tested our resolve. We've pushed the limits of our own principles, from warrantless wiretapping, to building a prison out of our own legal jurisdiction, to not releasing photos depicting our treatment of detainees, to the treatment of detainees itself.

Every asset must be used, all in the service of keeping America safe. Is there any line we still will not cross?

Yes, it appears there is. Iraq war veteran Lt. Dan Choi just received word on May 10 that the military is discharging him because he admitted he's gay. The one line America will not cross is the chorus line.

Amazingly, in this time of national crisis, when we are marshaling every tool at our disposal to fight this insidious enemy, Choi is one of 54 Arabic translators dismissed due to their sexual preference.

So, it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times, but God forbid the guy who could understand what he was saying has a boyfriend. You know, waterboarding may make the prisoner talk, but it ain't gonna make him talk English.