US President Barack Obama has done an about-turn and now says he wants to block the publication of photos showing the alleged torture and humiliation of detainees suspected of terrorism offences -similar to these from the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Despite his insistence on open government, Obama says publication now would amount to a propaganda coup for the US’s enemies:
“It is therefore my belief that 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, 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.”
The White House had initially decided to go along with the publication of the images, due by court ruling by May the 28th.
Human rights groups have criticised Obama’s about-turn, and vowed to take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary.