Obama Decides Not to Release Prisoner Abuse Photos


Michael Muskal
The Los Angeles Times
May 13, 2009

The Obama administration changed direction today, announcing that it would oppose the release of photographs showing the alleged abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.

[efoods]The administration this month had agreed to release dozens of the photographs, but reversed course after top military officials said they were concerned that the photos could put U.S. troops in jeopardy, particularly in Afghanistan.

Obama “believes that the release of these photos could pose a threat to men and women we have in harm’s way,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Gibbs also said that the release of the photos “would provide a disincentive” for further investigation of abuse. “Nothing is added by the release of the photos,” he said.

The reversal was criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union. The move violated the promise of openness that the Obama administration has pledged, the group charged.

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