Bin Laden Photos: Ruling Could Release Death Pictures

    January 11, 2013
    Sean Patterson
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This week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in the case regarding the release of 52 photos, some of which depict Osama bin Laden dead. The case stems from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by the conservative group Judicial Watch. The group is appealing the decision of a U.S. District court, which ruled that the images could harm national security.

Judicial Watch argued that the U.S. government has failed to provide sufficient evidence that the photos should be kept secret. From the group’s brief:

Specifically, Defendants have failed to provide any evidence that all 52 images, including those depicting bin Laden’s burial at sea, pertain to “foreign activities of the United States.” Defendants also have failed to provide any evidence that images depicting the burial at sea actually pertain to “intelligence activities.” Nor have they demonstrated that the release of images of a somber, dignified burial at sea reasonably could be expected to cause identifiable or describable exceptionally grave damage to national security.

According to a CNN report on the hearing, the U.S. Justice department argued that there are obvious “sensitivities” surrounding the death of bin Laden, and that releasing the photos could end up provoking violence against Americans abroad.

The appellate judges did not announce when their final ruling would be made.

(Image courtesy the U.S. Federal Government via Wikimedia Commons)

  • Terry

    I believe any U.S. citizen of legal voting age should have the ability to view the death pictures and sea burial. I would require proof of this before viewing and would also make it a private viewing not accesible to the world over the net or national media, maybe a sign in with secure as possible website The fact that a special of the raid conveniently was aired two days before the election was in poor taste. And the media circus that is this movie of the event is also in poor taste, The fact that an elite special ops soldier gave classified or sensitive info to the video companys to make call of duty is also unproffesional and im embarrassed as a former soldier in the U.S. armed forces. But to answer your question (YES) all of age U.S. citizens have the right to view the death photos,as long as no sensitive info can be garnered to jeopordize the operations of our counter terrorism/special ops. Enough sensitive information is spewed out by the media with the release of training and mission tactics,and yes televising and making it accessible without some sort of private viewing i believe will spark some more nut job radicals muslim terrorist activity with the insueing loss of life and again the U.S. having to once again go and give them another spanking of sorts to do damage control, Why im not in politics ,oh yeah common sense just wouldnt work in the political arena, we couldnt have that now could we.