Washington, D.C. (AHN) - The Senate late Wednesday without fanfare passed a GOP bill banning the release of photos about detainee abuse, a measure that had been taken out of the 2009 war funding bill amid much wrangling between the White House and Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
The bill from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) passed without amendment by unanimous consent. Before the approval, Graham had released his hold on the war funding bill and other legislation upon receiving assurances from the White House that the photos would not be released despite being stripped out of the war supplemental.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had also given assurances that a stand-alone vote would be held on the ban, according to Graham.
This is an excellent step and the House should quickly follow this example. I don't think there should be many who want to be on record supporting a gratuitous release of photos that can only serve to damage and possibly kill our troops. Those who committed the abuses have been punished and no purpose would be served by their release. Another piece of good news was this.
"Speaking on the floor, Graham had said he was "personally assured" by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that " if Congress fails to do its part in protecting these photos from being released, President Obama will sign an Executive Order classifying the photos. He assured me these photos
would not see the light of day."
That is the kind of leadership I expect from a Commander in Chief.