May 21st, 2009
09:38 PM ET
5 years ago

Senate OKs war funding, blocks release of detainee pictures

The Senate passed a $91 billion spending bill that will fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through October.
The Senate passed a $91 billion spending bill that will fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through October.

WASHINGTON (CNN) –The Senate late Thursday easily passed a $91 billion spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After stripping it of funds to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and placing restrictions on the transfer of its detainees, the bill was adopted 86 to 3.

The Senate included an amendment to prevent the public release of photographs that reportedly document the mistreatment of post-Sept. 11 detainees in U.S. custody.

The language is aimed at preventing a court from ordering their release in response to a freedom of information lawsuit.

President Obama, who initially wanted the photos released, changed his mind earlier this month - saying the release of the images could endanger U.S. troops and civilians by inciting violence in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The measure was sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, and Sen. Lindsay Graham, a South Carolina Republican, who said releasing the inflammatory photos would stoke resentment against the U.S. It blocks the photos' release for five years and gives the Secretary of Defense the ability to keep them under wraps longer.

The supplemental spending bill funds the wars through October. It needs to be reconciled with a House version of the plan before it is sent to President Obama.


Filed under: Joe Lieberman • Senate
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. m smith

    We need movement in this area. Finally!!!

    May 21, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. Big Mowma

    Obama has to reverse the signing statements put in place by Cheney, period. That administration is no longer in control. (unless it's controlled by Bush/Cheney as well).

    May 21, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. Mark of Saint Louis

    Now the democrats vote for war funding without debate... go figure.

    May 21, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. double take

    I clearly remember President Obama saying something about changing the Bush practice of requesting war supplementals that are separate from the normal annual budget appropriation. What happened to this promise? President Obama seems to be breaking his promises faster than he can make them.

    May 21, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. Pat, CA

    Cheney's speech was brilliant. Obama's was doo-doo as usual.

    May 21, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  6. Claudia in Houson

    We show how millions of Jews were killed and tortured but refuse to show our crimes and Dick Cheney still says it's okay to torture. Dick Cheney should be in prison.

    May 21, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  7. allenshadow

    I think Gitmo and our detainee policy needs a makeover. The terrorist plot in New York this week argues for keeping as many of the bad guys offshore as we can. We should rename the place as we reshape our policy.

    May 21, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. Gary

    Excellent! Lets stop releasing photos and stop releasing memos and stop debating who is more at fault and stop threatening investigations or "truth commissions". Instead focus on how to keep us safe in the future and how to get the economy back on track.

    In other words: MOVE ON!

    May 21, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. annie for Palin

    This is the first intelligent thing this demmie congress has done in whatever it is now 3 or 4 years in charge. Well at least they did one thing right. obama is going to overrule them but at least they tried.

    May 21, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  10. Paul

    Sad testimony that the U.S. has to BLOCK these torture photos so that the world won't see what criminals we have become. What a sad day that Obama has backed off from being honest and has allowed the sellout Leiberman and his republican bretheren to push him around. A sad day for America indeed.

    May 21, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  11. peakarack

    More money for a failed wars. hahahaha!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  12. Pete

    $91 Billion. Where's that money going? Where are all those that oppose BIG GOVERNMENT?

    Shouldn't those against the Stimulus Package be against the funding of an illegal war as well?

    May 21, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  13. Rob

    Both of these guys are proven cowards! Look at their recent political history, these two are two of the many OLD crusty white middle aged men that should step down and let America grow.

    BTW I am a Middle aged white, gun toting, balding, born and raised American.......just for the record.

    May 21, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  14. Steve

    how many people actually trust our government? It is time for the people to put fear back into our representatives. In 2010, I will be voting against all incumbents. With 1/3 of all the house and senate voted out, maybe even these clowns will get the message.

    May 21, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  15. John

    Transparency? Justice? Inflammatory, what DID our leaders allow? And what ever happened to Harry Truman's, "The buck stops here......?
    Weasels . . . . Joey, Lindsay, and way to many of their ilk.

    May 22, 2009 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  16. Blair

    "...releasing the inflammatory photos would stoke resentment against the U.S."

    What a sorry excuse...do you really expect people to believe that? The only reason they blocked the release of the photos is to cover their asses.

    May 22, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  17. Cal

    Where are all the peace lovering protestors Oh I guess war is only bad if a Republican supports it. If a traitorous democrat Obama who attacks the CIA, Christians, military, veterans, and kills women and children in Afghanistan it's ok.

    May 22, 2009 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  18. MCD, San Francisco, CA

    I am disgusted with the Dems. They are completely out of touch with what the people of this country want. Obama "gets it". That is why he was voted in. All reps need to STOP being politicians who put their party and themselves first and START PUTTING THE COUNTRY FIRST!!

    May 22, 2009 01:33 am at 1:33 am |