Torture vs. A Rapper: Not Equivalent
A "Sista Souljah" moment, which has fascinated the DC chattering class for decades but hasn't really even happened since 1992, equals rhetorically distancing from a divisive figure to earn moderate love. It does not equal defying a court order and using warped logic to argue against transparency in the most authoritarian way possible. Obama doesn't need to use "optics" at this point. He already has all the support he needs. His generals came and whined to him that releasing detainee abuse photos would hurt the troops, and he agreed.
Meanwhile, this is the second time Ray Odierno has basically rolled Barack Obama. In the end, I'll bet this decision has more to do with the military throwing their weight around than anything. And as Tom Ricks said, ultimately there's only one commander in chief.
...you know what Ray Odierno could worry himself about a little more? Making sure his soldiers get enough water so they don't have to steal it. I know it doesn't rise to the level of photographs, but it seems important, at least to me.