Obama Reversal on Detainee Photos

President Cites National Security Concerns

Attempting to explain the 180 degree turn on the release of detainee abuse photos, President Barack Obama insisted that the content of the photos was “not particularly sensational,” but showed activities that “did not conform with the army manual” and were “associated with closed investigations into alleged abuse.”

The president insisted that there would be “no additional benefit” to releasing the photos, and that they would only serve to “further inflame anti-American opinion and put our troops in greater danger.”

Last month, the Pentagon agreed to release the photos on May 28. The Pentagon had been fighting the release since 2006, but insisted that the “more stable” situation in Iraq made its concerns less pressing now. Sen Lieberman and others in Congress pressured the president to stop the release, saying the pictures had no value and their release was “voyeurism.” For the time being, the political desire to keep these photos a secret has won over popular concern about the abuse.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.