Bin Laden Burial: Group Calls For Release Of Dead Osama Bin Laden Photos

By iScience Times Staff Reporter on January 11, 2013 4:58 PM EST

bin laden
A conservative watchdog group is calling for photos of Osama Bin Laden to be released. (Photo: Reuters)

A conservative watchdog group is formally asking for the government to release the photos of Osama Bin Laden after he was assassinated. Earlier this week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court Of Appeals for the D.C Circuit listened to oral arguments asking for the release of 52 photos, some of which include photos of a Osama Bin Laden just before his sea burial.

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The call for Osama Bin Laden photos stems from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by Judicial Watch. "President Obama announced this week to CBS News that he will not release the death photos of Osama bin Laden to the public, saying 'we don't need to spike the football' or 'gloat.' Simply put, those are not lawful reasons from withholding these historic documents. Judicial Watch plans to fight for the release of these photos. (Just like we fought and won the battle against the Defense Department for footage of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon on 9/11.)," wrote Judicial Watch in the group's initial written declaration that it would be trying to free the censored photos.

Judicial Watch attorney Michael Bekesha argued that photos of the burial at sea could be released could be released without posing a threat to national security. Bekesha chose not to make that same argument about the photos taken moments after Osama Bin Laden was shot inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The American government claims that Bin Laden's body was cleaned in accordance with Islamic practices, then respectfully wrapped and buried at sea. Bekesha argues that the U.S. government has not specifically cited how releasing photos of Bin Laden would pose a threat to national security.

CNN reports that a federal judge ruled in April 2012 that there were legitimate reasons for denying disclosure to the photos. "A picture may be worth a thousand words. And perhaps moving pictures bear an even higher value," Judge James Boasberg said. "Yet, in this case, verbal descriptions of the death and burial of Osama bin Laden will have to suffice."

What do you think? Would you prefer to keep the Bin Laden death photos private, or, would you prefer to have access to them? Do you think it would be threat to U.S. security? Sound off in the comments section.

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