The United States Government has been ordered to release more photographs depicting the abuse of detainees, however, President Barack Obama has told lawyers to object to the demand. On Wednesday, Obama proclaimed that the release of the photos could cause an uproar amongst anti-American’s and put the safety of American Troops at risk.
Obama added that very little is currently known about the alleged abuse that occurred in the past and that the release of these photos would add to the current load of investigating without making conclusions on the previous allegations. Furthermore, it would also increase the negativity surrounding the procedure of the military when it comes to detainee treatment and thus would be adding fuel to the fire.
Obama explained that the hundreds of photos that the Pentagon was set to release of the detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan are not nearly as shocking and obscene as the ones from Abu Ghraib in 2004.
Obama said that the content of the pictures is still not of acceptable military procedure and any future abuse of detainees would be “unacceptable.”
It was just a month ago that the Obama Administration was proclaiming that there would be no issue with the release of the photos. However, according to White house press secretary, Robert Gibbs, President Obama has been going back and forth as of late on what to do about the pictures.
Despite Obama’s attempts to keep the possible ensuing uproar from not happening, he has been criticized. Amrit Singh, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, has called Obama’s decision as an act of collusion with the actions of the Bush Administration.
Even with all of the criticism of the change of heart in Obama’s Administration, many still want the photos to be released.
Over four hundred people have already been punished in some way for abuse of detainees in the recent past. The punishments have been as small as simple letters of reprimanding and demotions to others receiving time in prison for their inappropriate actions.
The Pentagon’s initial instinct was to keep the photos sealed up and after much thought and discussion, President Obama has also decided that keeping them covered up is for the best. Time will tell whether we get to see the contents of the pictures and if so, will it affect American opinion and the safety of out Troops in the Middle East.