Obama Tries to Block Release of Detainee Photos (New York Times, 13 May 2009)President Obama said on Wednesday that he is seeking to block the release of photographs that depict American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, worrying that the images could “further inflame anti-American opinion.” As he left the White House to fly to Arizona for an evening commencement address, Mr. Obama briefly explained his abrupt reversal on releasing the photographs. He said the pictures, which he has reviewed, “are not particularly sensational, but the conduct did not conform with the Army manual.”
He did not take questions from reporters, but said disclosing the photos would have “a chilling effect” on future attempts to investigate detainee abuse.
As I noted in a comment to a post over at Buck's place:
Obama will take heat from some quarters for this decision, and may come in for some general abuse as a flip-flopper.
For my part, I find it refreshing that we have a President who listens to reasoned criticism and is prepared to change his mind when presented with a compelling argument. I agree that this was the right call to make under the circumstances.