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Obama will block release of detainee photos

Featured in National Security

In the wake of strong arguments advanced by The American Legion, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, and some members of Congress, President Barack Obama has moved to block the release of controversial photographs depicting the abuse of detainees in Iraqi and Afghan prisons.The photographs were to have been made public May 28 by a Pentagon agreement in response to a court-upheld American Civil Liberties Union Freedom of Information Act request.But, according to news sources, Obama met with his legal team, telling them that he was uncomfortable with the release of the photographs because their viewing could endanger U.S. troops and compromise national security.The president’s reported meeting nearly coincided with the publication in the Wall Street Journal of an op-ed piece by American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein raising the same objections.  The White House announcement today was made just a couple of hours before the commander was to meet with U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and national security experts to discuss ways of persuading the administration to block release of the photos.“This is the very best news we could hear,” Rehbein said, “and we applaud the president for his response to those, like The American Legion, who are putting the welfare of our troops and our country ahead of political considerations.”

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