Supreme Court sides with Obama on detainee photos

The nation's highest court overturns a ruling that would have forced the images' release

Published November 30, 2009 6:31PM (EST)

For now, the Obama administration and Congress have won their battle to keep photos of detainee abuse under wraps. On Monday, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court's ruling that had ordered the photos released.

The high court's action was expected, because Congress had passed a new law that exempted the images from disclosure after Defense Secretary Robert Gates certified that their release could be harmful to U.S. troops currently in the field. President Obama had initially supported the idea of lifting the veil of secrecy over the photos, but reversed course.

After Obama and his administration began fighting to keep the images secret, there were reports in the British press that the photos showed U.S. soldiers raping prisoners. Salon's coverage of the story -- Mark Benjamin spoke with retired Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, the supposed source for that report, and proved it wrong -- can be read here and here.

The case is headed back to the lower court for further review.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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