[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/12/prisoner.photos/art.1700.obama.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama discusses the alleged prisoner abuse photos at the White House on Wednesday."]
Pres. Obama now says he'll try to block the court-ordered release of Defense Department photos of U.S. troops allegedly abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says he's worried about the safety of U.S. forces.
"The most direct consequence of releasing them would be to further inflame anti-American opinion, and to put our troops in greater danger," said Pres. Obama at the White House.
Just last month, when the administration said it would release the photos, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insisted the photos would not harm U.S. troops.
Today CNN's Ed Henry asked Gibbs about the reversal on the photos.
Here's their exchange at the White House press briefing:
ED HENRY: Was there a failure here at the White House in the first go-round in April to fully weigh the national security implications?
ROBERT GIBBS: The argument that the president seeks to make is one that hasn't been made before. The - I'm not going to get into blame for this or that.
Don't miss Ed Henry's report on the photo flap tonight on AC360°.
The release would have made public for the first time photos obtained in military investigations at facilities other than the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. But the president said the photos "are not particularly sensational, especially when compared with the painful images that we remember from Abu Ghraib," referring to the Iraqi military prison where photographs released in 2004 of detainees being abused and humiliated sparked worldwide outrage.
The ACLU, which won the legal fight to get the latest photos released, is outraged by Pres. Obama's reversal. It's agreement with the administration to have it release 44 photos and other images is now voided.
"This decision makes a mockery of President Obama's promise of transparency and accountability," said Amrit Singh, lead counsel for the ACLU case. Mr. Singh will talking with Anderson tonight about the president's decision.
Do you agree with the ACLU or do you support Pres. Obama's decision? Sound off below.
We'll have this story and a lot more, including Pres. Obama's commencent speech at Arizona State University. We'll bring you live to Sun Devil Stadium where more than 60,000 people will hear him speak. It will be his biggest crowd since election night.
See you at 10pm ET!
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