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.