Tags: mccain | obama | photos

McCain to Obama: Classify Detainee Photos

Thursday, 11 Jun 2009 02:57 PM

WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. John McCain urged President Barack Obama Thursday to classify photographs said to depict the abuse of terrorism suspects to ensure they do not become public.

Obama is fighting release of the photos in the courts but has not declared them secret.

"All he has to do today is use an executive order to declare these photos classified material," said McCain who lost the 2008 presidential election to Obama.

"That's all he has to do," he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The photos, taken by U.S. personnel, are at the heart of a political debate in Washington. Some Democrats want them released as a way to close the books on Bush-era harsh interrogation practices that Obama has banned.

Obama reversed himself last month, after initially agreeing to release them in response to a court order in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The president sided with military commanders who want to avoid making them public fearing they would unleash a backlash against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The issue has gotten caught up in the Democratic-controlled Congress, where Democrats and Republicans have battled over whether to create a "truth commission" to investigate the treatment of terrorism suspects.

Two of McCain's Senate allies, Joe Lieberman, an independent Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican, attempted to include a provision in a 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 want to cut the provision as a way to induce enough Democratic votes to pass the $100 billion spending bill.

McCain said an executive order from Obama ordering them classified "would give Congress time to act to make sure that the photos are not released."

McCain cited comments from General Ray Odierno, U.S. commander in Iraq, and General David Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command that oversees military operations in the Middle East, in opposing release of the photos.

"Releasing the photos would not supply new information about the issue of detainee abuse, but rather expose graphic evidence of past wrongdoing and put our fighting men and women in greater danger," he said.

(Editing by Alan Elsner)

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Mali's Islamists Withdraw Cease-Fire Pledge

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 13:06 PM

Tens of thousands of Fatah supporters rallied in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza on Friday for the first time since they we . . .

Fmr. CIA Director Hayden: Iran Nuclear Crisis Gets 'Scarier'

Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 18:11 PM

 . . .

Join Fmr. CIA Director for Special Iran Briefing, Assess the Danger

Friday, 13 Jul 2012 12:27 PM

 . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved