May 13th, 2009
05:38 PM ET

Obama: Detainee photos would endanger troops

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about Pres. Obama's decision on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/12/prisoner.photos/art.obama.statement.cnn.jpg]

Ed Hornick

President Obama said Wednesday that he told government lawyers to object to a court-ordered release of additional images showing alleged abuse of detainees because the release could affect the safety of U.S. troops and "inflame anti-American opinion."

The Defense Department was set to release hundreds of photographs showing alleged abuse of prisoners in detention facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"I want to emphasize that these photos that were requested in this case are not particularly sensational, especially when compared to the images we remember from Abu Ghraib," the president said on the South Lawn of the White House. "But they do represent conduct that didn't conform with the Army manual."

Obama said the publication of the photos would not add any additional benefit to investigations being carried out into detainee abuse - and could put future inquires at risk.

"In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would further flame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger. ... I fear the publication of these photos may only have a chilling effect on future investigations of detainee abuse," Obama said.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • President Barack Obama • Torture
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. KathiC Fullerton

    Isn't it a little late, didn't he already release some before? He's already caused enough damage, this live and learn administration is destroying our country.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  2. RoseParvin

    Making the wrong right never endangers anyone! Keep doing the wrong doing, does!

    May 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  3. Hasani Gooding

    I agree... We working on an exit strategy.. That's past! We need to move on and work on setting a tone of Peace. War is necesary only when it's a crisis. Iraq War was a Power Move based on Revenge and Power!

    May 13, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  4. JC-Los Angeles

    U-turn; nothing like a leader who thinks things through the first time around.

    We're going to release photos; no we're not; we've got weapons on mass destruction; no we don't.

    As much as things change, they stay the same.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:03 pm |