The Obama administration asked the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York to halt the release of images of detainee abuse, saying they could incite violence in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The court papers cite two partly secret statements from two top U.S. generals, David H. Petraeus and Ray Odierno. Such arguments failed to sway the court in the past.
The administration had planned to release the photos until President Obama reversed the decision this month, saying they would endanger U.S. troops.
The photos were ordered released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Meanwhile, the Defense Department denied a report in the Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, that some of the photos showed U.S. personnel sexually assaulting detainees.