Despite a serious split among the Democratic majority about the bill, H.R. 2892 passed through the House of Representatives easily today, garnering a 258-163 victory on the back of overwhelming support (170-1) among Republicans.
The bill was principally the 2010 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security but also contained the “Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009,” which aims to give the Obama Administration legal cover in its attempts to keep pictures of detainee abuse from becoming public. It also included a non-binding recommendation that sought to keep Guantanamo detainees from being tried in the United States.
The Obama Administration has sought to block a specific set of abuse photos since taking power, despite Pentagon assurances that the photos could be released. President Obama claims the photos could inflame “anti-American opinion” and has sought to have a court order regarding their release overturned.
Much of the Republican minority in the House had supported Obama in keeping the evidence of detainee abuse a secret, and so he was forced to rely on an overwhelming amount of support among them to make up for opposition in his own party. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas was the only Republican to vote against the bill.
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