Wednesday, May 13, 2009

When Pigs Fly... Obama Reverses Course On Release On Detainee Photos; Defys ACLU, "Release Would Endanger Our Troops" (Video)

This may be the smartest thing President Obama has done since entering office.

This may be the only smart thing he done since entering office.

I wonder how it feels to actually support the troops for a change?

Jake Tapper reports:

President Obama met with White House counsel Greg Craig and other members of the White House counsel team last week and told them that he had second thoughts about the decision to hand over photographs of detainee abuse to the ACLU, per a judge's order, and had changed his mind.

The president "believes their release would endanger our troops," a White House official says, adding that the president "believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court."

At the end of that meeting, the president directed Craig to object to the immediate release of the photos on those grounds. In an Oval Office meeting with Iraq Commander General Ray Odierno, the president told him of his decision to argue against the release of the photographs.

The move is a complete 180. In a letter from the Justice Department to a federal judge on April 23, the Obama administration announced that the Pentagon would turn over 44 photographs showing detainee abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush administration.

The Department of Defense announced last month that at least 44 photos depicting treatment of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan will be released in compliance with a court ruling on an ACLU law suit.

The Department of Defense -- on the heels of the firestorm over the release of Bush-era memos on CIA interrogation techniques -- said Thursday it plans to make public at least 44 photos depicting potentially abusive treatment of detainees at prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The decision to release the photos was announced Thursday in a letter filed in a federal court in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2004.

It sets a May 28 deadline for the Department of Defense to produce 21 images that the court in 2006 ordered the government to release and 23 additional related images, as well as "a substantial number of other images" in the Army's possession.

The images were part of the military's investigation of potential abuse of detainees by U.S. personnel at facilities other than Iraq Abu Ghraib, though the photos apparently aren't as shocking as those that set off a prisoner abuse scandal in 2004, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Even so, Defense officials say they worry that the new release of photos could set off a backlash in the Middle East against the United States, the Times reports.

The Bush administration had refused to disclose the images after the ACLU's request made in 2003, claiming that the public disclosure of such evidence would generate outrage and would violate U.S. obligations towards detainees under the Geneva Conventions.

The decision to release images comes on the same day that congressional aides said President Obama resisted pressure from Democrats to investigate Bush-era interrogation techniques, though Obama also has been under fire since last week from Republicans and former Bush advisers for releasing memos from 2002 and 2005 justifying the interrogation techniques used by the CIA.

The ACLU says making public additional images of detainee treatment is critical for helping the public understand the scope and scale of prisoner abuse as well as for
holding senior officials accountable for authorizing or permitting such abuse.

"These photographs provide visual proof that prisoner abuse by U.S. personnel was not aberrational but widespread, reaching far beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib," said Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU.

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  1. WTG President, don't trust these punks in washington, they are not on your side. I don't trust a honkie as far as i can spit. Racist fags

  2. Great job Mr. Pres! Very pro-America of you.

    I'm not your biggest supporter honestly, but this one time you made one honky pretty happy.

  3. The ACLU will win its case in the liberal courts, the phots will be realeased, Obama can blame the courts and the kool aid drinkers and the ACLU can rejoice in further damaging the country. The Messaih is politcal theatre.

    Wake Up people Stop being so gullible