You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Suit seeks airing of photos of bin Laden's body

Jan. 10, 2013 - 10:01AM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 10, 2013 - 10:01AM  |  
  • Filed Under

A federal appeals court Thursday will consider a lawsuit by a conservative-leaning watchdog group arguing that the public has the right to view the images of Osama bin Laden taken after he was fatally shot in a U.S. raid on his compound in May 2011.

The suit involves a rejected Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch for the release of more than 50 images of the terrorist leader's body.

The government argued successfully to a lower court judge in April that the images must be kept secret in the interest of national security.

Judicial Watch counters that the photos, including those of bin Laden's burial at sea, do not pertain to foreign or intelligence activities of the United States.

The organization also challenges the argument of U.S. officials that the release of the grim photos could incite violence against Americans.

Judicial Watch said in its appeal that the government has not "demonstrated that the release of the images of a somber, dignified burial at sea reasonably could be expected to cause identifiable or describable exceptionally grave damage to national security."

In an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes, President Obama presented the administration's rationale for keeping the photos secret: "It's important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool," the president said. "That's not who we are. We don't trot out this stuff as trophies."

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, in his ruling, said he found the explanations from national security officials of the possible risk of "grave harm to our future national security is more than mere speculation."

"While al-Qaeda may not need a reason to attack us, that does not mean no risk inheres in giving it further cause to do so," he wrote, according to Legal Times.

"In the end," Boasberg ruled, "while this may not be the result plaintiff or certain members of the public would prefer, the CIA's explanation of the threat to our national security that the release of these records could cause passes muster."

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

First sergeant vs. master sergeant
Choose the rank that's best for your career

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook