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June 12, 2009


WASHINGTON, DC - After the Congressional Conferees removed a provision from the supplemental war spending bill that would prevent the public release of prisoner abuse photos, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today expressed his disappointment over the conference maneuver while re-affirming his commitment to protecting U.S. troops from the potential backlash the photos would create.
"Given the fact that the Senate approved the provision that prevents the release of detainee abuse photos by unanimous consent, I am disappointed that Senate conferees reversed their position," Inhofe said.  "I understand that President Obama provided a letter to the conferees stating his commitment to keeping the photos sealed.  However, if the President were truly committed to this issue and willing to stand up to the radically liberal section of his party, he could protect the photos by classifying them with one stroke of the pen.  Short of that, Congressional action is required to stop the ACLU and others from pressing to get the photos released, and I am committed to joining my colleagues in the Senate to do all that we can.
"Those responsible for perpetrating the prisoner abuses documented by the photos have been punished.  Unfortunately, the wrong actions by a few soil the good reputation of all our military members that serve our country with honor. Instead of providing additional information, the photos would only serve to open old wounds.  In addition, the photos would damage our efforts in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and would reignite animosity against our men and women in uniform.  I agree with Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. Ray Odierno that releasing the photos would be dangerous for our soldiers and damaging to the progress we've made."

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