Pelosi Wants Release of Interrogation Pictures

Thursday, 11 Jun 2009 01:25 PM

By Dan Weil

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes an amendment barring the release of photographs showing alleged U.S. abuses of suspected terrorist detainees.

She said on MSNBC’s Ed Schultz show Wednesday, “I don’t think Congress should make an exception to FOIA,” her spokesperson Brendan Daly told “Who Runs Gov” news service.

Pelosi is reversing her earlier stance in which she said she would “support” the Obama administration’s push to keep the photos secret.

The amendment, introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, was part of war spending bill.

The amendment was unanimously passed by the Senate. But a House-Senate conference committee working on the bill appears ready to eliminate the photo provision.

Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., says the final bill definitely won’t contain the measure, according to Who Runs Gov.

Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership are moving to excise the amendment, The Weekly Standard reports.

Lieberman and Graham vowed Wednesday to shut down Senate business to save the legislation.

Both men have stressed that they are less concerned about legal principles involved than what they describe as a grave threat to U.S. troops if the photographs are released.

U.S. military commanders have told the Obama administration that releasing the photos could cause a surge in violence in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. embassies also are said to be preparing for attacks in hotbed countries in the Middle East.

President Obama reversed course last month to side with the senators and fight the release of the photographs.

“The publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals,” Obama told reporters.

“In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger."

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