The Torture Debate Ensnares the President

Obama has refused to release photos of detainees' abuse

Friday, May 15, 2009



Bush administration policies on the treatment of detainees have now embroiled President Obama in a growing controversy.

News broke last night that the U.S. will restart military tribunals for a small number of Guantanamo detainees (fewer than 20 of the 241 detainees in the prison). Obama had suspended the tribunals within hours of taking office in January. The military trials will remain frozen for another four months as the administration adjusts the legal system. Those changes to the system will be announced later today. Obama's new rules for military tribunals will reportedly include a ban on any statements made under so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

The torture controversy has also spread to Congress. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi acknowledged that in 2003 she was informed by an aide that the CIA had used waterboarding during interrogation, which is an adjustment from Pelosi's previous statements. She claims the CIA misled the Congress.

Finally, Obama has reversed an earlier decision and said he wouldn't authorize the release of reportedly over 1,000 photos involving abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. The photographs were scheduled to be released to the American Civil Liberties Union on May 28. Following that story is Scott Shane, a reporter for our partners the New York Times. He joins The Takeaway with a look at whether the president will succeed in suppressing the photos.

For more, read Scott Shane's article, Experts Say Obama May Need to Classify Photos, in the New York Times.

Guests:

Scott Shane

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

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