The release of photos of detainee abuse at the hands of the U.S. military would serve little purpose and potentially endanger American troops, President Obama said Wednesday.

Obama said the photos were part of a closed investigation into abuses and are "not particularly sensational" in nature.

"It's therefore my belief that the publication of these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals," Obama said during an availability this afternoon in which he also spoke about the ongoing situation in Sri Lanka. "In fact, the most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger."

The president reversed course on the release of the photos today, leaving it having to explain its decision to backtrack on the photos.