US Fights to Keep bin Laden Death Photos Secret

Administration argues in court that they would endanger Americans abroad

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 28, 2011 8:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Obama administration filed court documents this week arguing that the 52 photographs and video recordings it has of Osama bin Laden's corpse are "wholly exempt from disclosure," and that it would not release them for fear of inspiring violence against Americans abroad. The filing is in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit from the conservative group Judicial Watch, the AP reports.

But the head of Judicial Watch calls the White House move a “political decision,” not a national security one. “We shouldn't throw out our transparency laws because complying with them might offend terrorists,” he said. “The historical record of Osama bin Laden's death should be released to the American people as the law requires.” The AP has also put in requests for the photos and other documents, and likewise been rebuffed.

A Pakistani boy walks past a poster of al-Qaida's slain leader Osama Bin Laden fixed on a grill by supporters of a Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami in Lahore, Pakistan.
A Pakistani boy walks past a poster of al-Qaida's slain leader Osama Bin Laden fixed on a grill by supporters of a Pakistani religious party Jamaat-e-Islami in Lahore, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
This picture taken on August 23, 2011 shows a general view of the last hideout of slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.
This picture taken on August 23, 2011 shows a general view of the last hideout of slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad.   (Getty Images)
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