Pentagon probes anonymous release of detainee photos
Pictures show restrained men in military transport
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Pentagon is investigating an apparently unauthorized release of photographs of detainees on a U.S. military transport plane out of Afghanistan.
Several electronic images were e-mailed to news organizations, including CNN. A Pentagon spokesman says the photographs appear to be genuine. It is not known who took or e-mailed the pictures.
The images show men wearing hoods and headphone-type ear protection. The men are held to the floor of what appears to be an open interior area of a C-130 transport by chains, leg cuffs and other restraints. A large U.S. flag hangs from the ceiling.
The men are under heavy guard. In one shot, a military police officer is shown addressing a restrained and blindfolded man seated with his arms behind him. Other men in uniform are shown relaxed and seated along the sides of the cargo area.
Military sources familiar with Defense Department aircraft say they think the images show the interior of a C-130, a four-engine turboprop. The type of aircraft could indicate a flight from Afghanistan to Turkey, where detainees have typically been transferred to other types of aircraft for the trans-Atlantic haul to U.S. detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The U.S. military has previously taken pictures of its transport missions to document conditions of the detainees, but in this case, it is not known whether the pictures were taken for official purposes by U.S. personnel aboard the aircraft.