President Obama has decided not to release photos which the Pentagon had planned to released by May 28 in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
resident Obama has reversed himself on an earlier decision to release photos of abuse by U.S. personnel on “detainees.”
The ACLU had asked by the photos to be released under the Freedom of Information Act and a court ordered the release.
Obama’s decision will mean that another court will have an opportunity to rule…
This was a decision predicted by some including Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, Tuesday on the Fox News Channel.
Obama’s decision may well cause him some problems. The president released several memos about CIA enhanced interrogation techniques which has caused considerable criticism from the right. Now the right will applaud the president’s move not to release these photos but this will call into question why he initially released the memos and decided to release the photos.
Critics will say the memos were released for political reasons….
Explaining the president’s decision, White House spokesmen said, “The president believes that the damage that could come to our troops due to the release of these memos has not been explained to the court. That is what the government’s lawyers will now do….”
By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Obama attempts to block release of ‘torture’ photos
Robert Gibbs during an earlier news conference. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)From The New York Times
President Obama has asked the White House counsel’s office to argue against the immediate release of photographs that depict American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, an administration official said Wednesday.
The president’s decision marks a sharp reversal from a decision made last month by the Pentagon, which reached a deal with the American Civil Liberties Union to release photographs showing incidents at Abu Gharib and a half-dozen other prisons.
“Last week, the president met with his legal team and told them that he did not feel comfortable with the release of the D.O.D. photos because he believes their release would endanger our troops,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And because he believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court.”
Mr. Obama advised his top military commanders about his decision in a meeting on Tuesday at the White House. Several military officials had argued against the immediate release of the photographs, saying such action could harm American troops in the field.
“The president strongly believes that the release of these photos, particularly at this time, would only serve the purpose of inflaming the theaters of war, jeopardizing US forces,” the official said, “and making our job more difficult in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.”