Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wire: Appeals Court Blocks Release of Detainee Photos

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2009 -- Newswire services this evening reported that a federal appeals court has withdrawn its order forcing the government to release photographs said to depict the abuse of terrorism suspects.

President Barack Obama had originally said he would release the photographs, but reversed his position last month.

In a one-paragraph ruling, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York stayed an earlier order that the photos be released immediately, giving the government time to appeal.

Military officials have said the images could lead to more violence in Pakistan because it deals with Taliban attacks.

Republican Senator John McCain and three allies urged Obama on Thursday use an executive order to classify photographs to ensure they do not become public.

Two of McCain's Senate allies, Joe Lieberman, an independent, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican, attempted to include a provision in a supplemental war spending bill that would prohibit for three years the disclosure of images of abused prisoners photographed from Sept. 11, 2001, to Jan. 22, 2009.

Democrats in the House of Representatives resisted provision.

Reuters noted that Obama was on the phone with senators to try to persuade them to support the war funding bill without including the ban on releasing the photos, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu told reporters. She said she would vote for the bill without the photo restriction.

The House Democrats fought off one attempt to put the provision back in the bill, but Senate Democrats were facing an attempt to insert it by their Republican counterparts.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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