Obama Reverses, Will Block Release of Abuse Photos

In reversal, president says images would endanger US troops
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 13, 2009 1:25 PM CDT
A man is hugged by a relative as he is released from US custody in Tarmiyah, 30 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, May 10, 2009. 34 detainees were released by the US military in Tarmiyah Sunday.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – President Obama has reversed position and will oppose the release of abuse photos of detainees in US custody, the Washington Post reports. "The publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals," said Obama, who insisted the similar abuse is no longer tolerated. "In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger."

The decision to direct White House lawyers to oppose the release came last week. A lawyer with the ACLU, which sued for the photos’ release, slammed the decision, telling Politico the reversal was “wholly unacceptable.” “It’s inconsistent with the commitment they’ve made to the court and it’s inconsistent with the promise of transparency that they’ve repeated many times both before the election and since.”