Wednesday, May 13, 2009

President's Statement On Not Releasing Detainee Photos (Video)

President Obama says he is concerned that releasing the detainee photos would put the U.S. Military in at risk.

He adds the photos in this case "are not particularly sensational" compared to the images from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Fox News reports:

In a sharp reversal, President Obama announced Wednesday that he will not release hundreds of photos potentially showing U.S. military personnel abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"My belief is the publication of these photos would not add any additional benefits to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals," Obama said in a brief appearance. "The most direct consequence would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and put our troops in greater danger."

Obama added that he's made it clear to military officials, however, that the abuse of detainees is "prohibited and will not be tolerated."

Obama told his legal advisers last week that he did not feel comfortable with the release of the photos because he believes they would endanger U.S. troops, and that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented in federal court, a senior administration official told FOX News.

The Pentagon had planned to release the photos by May 28 in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. That decision was made after the Justice Department lost its latest round in federal court and concluded that any further appeal probably would be fruitless.

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