Should the Government Release the Osama Bin Laden Death Photos?

Judicial Watch, the conservative legal outfit founded by former Reagan administration attorney Larry Klayman, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking the Obama administration to release photos of the death of Osama Bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan last year. At the blog of Legal Times, Mike Scarcella reports that the government is refusing to comply:

The department filed court papers (PDF) Wednesday in a public records suit in Washington asking U.S. District Judge James Boasberg to keep the photos out of the public domain.

DOJ attorney Marcia Berman of the Civil Division’s federal programs branch said the photos “reveal specific intelligence activities and methods and specific military methods, tools, equipment, and techniques employed during or after the operation” that killed bin Laden in May.

“For over two decades, bin Laden was the leader and symbol of al-Qaida, a terrorist organization at war with the United States,” Berman said. “The mere release of the images could be interpreted as a deliberate attempt by the United States to humiliate bin Laden, which could trigger violence, attacks, or acts of revenge against the United States.”

Update: This post originally misidentified Larry Klayman as the current president of Judicial Watch. That role is now occupied by Tom Fitton.

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  • ||

    I don't want to see them, but I thought we were all transparent now?

  • imhotep||

    All they showed so far are three (or four) videos of a man who was obviously and admittedly disguising his appearance by definition (dyed beard); and another video, shot from behind, of a man watching old videos of "himself". My question is, why would somebody record another person watching videos of himself? Situations like that are odd enough on AFV. When purported to provide both proof of life and proof of death of the supposed terrorist mastermind responsible for the atrocities for which we are all living in the global police state, count me as a skeptic. I am willing to bet the FOI request is never honored because there is nothing to show.

  • imhotep||

    In conclusion, four videos show a man in disguise; and a fifth video shows a man facing away from the camera. They got nothing. Fuck them.

  • R||

    Well, there is the fact that OBL hasn't released any videos since the raid. I think that if we didn't get him, he'd have announced that fact to the world by now.

  • imhotep||

    Yes, except that UBL = Emmanuel Goldstein.

  • cynical||

    The mere release of the images could be interpreted as a deliberate attempt by the United States to humiliate bin Laden, which could trigger violence, attacks, or acts of revenge against the United States.

    Exactly. Look, you can shoot a guy and dump his body in the ocean and gloat about it and celebrate in the streets and make his death a key point of your political campaign. That's fine. But show a picture of his dead body? Do you want the terrorists to attack us or something?

  • ||

    Larry Klayman hasn't been with Judicial Watch for years. He runs Freedom Watch now.

  • ||

    If you ask me, the government is interfering with my right to make a buck on some really cool T-shirts.

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