It’s in! It’s out! The Graham-Lieberman detainee abuse photo ban, stripped out by the Democratic House leadership from the defense supplemental spending bill is now its own piece of legislation, passed unanimously by the Senate. This report explains:
The Senate passed by unanimous consent Wednesday a bill that would prevent the release of controversial photos of alleged U.S. abuse of prisoners and detainees.
Sen. Lindsey Graham says if necessary, the White House will classify the photos to keep them out of the public eye.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Independent, and Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, had originally been part of the war funding supplemental bill passed Tuesday by the House.
[ . . .]
Before the Senate vote, Graham told his colleagues from the Senate floor that President Barack Obama “would sign … an executive order” classifying the photographs unless Congress acted to prevent their release.
The ACLU has gone to court to argue for release of the photos under the Freedom of Information Act. The lawyers won a Circuit Court ruling agreeing they should be made public.
The Obama administration, which initially indicated a willingness to release the photos, bowed to fears of military commanders and reversed course, announcing it is appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court.
Where what will happen? As Fox reports, “The Senate bill now heads to the House, where it once again faces the likelihood of Democratic opposition.”
This seems to be a stand-off — between Nancy Pelosi and the White House. Will Pelosi and the House leadership relent and pass the measure? Or will the president have to keep his word and pass an executive order to prevent the release of the photos, which he thinks would trigger violence and the deaths of U.S. troops? It’s remarkable how hard it is to get this through. You’d think Congress and the White House would be arm-wrestling over who should get credit for rushing to the aid of our troops. Hardly.