News Column

Group May Sue To Get Dead bin Laden Photos

May 5, 2011

A conservative U.S. legal watchdog group said it may sue to force the Obama administration to release photos of a dead Osama bin Laden.

The group, Washington-based Judicial Watch, has already filed under the Freedom of Information Act for the pictures, and has sued the government many times in the past for the release of documents.

"We are prepared to sue if they don't respond as they are supposed to under the law," Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president, told The Hill. "I have not heard anything from the president that would provide a lawful basis for not providing the photos. Not wanting to be seen as 'spiking the football' is not a lawful reason to withhold documents under FOIA."

Judicial Watch filed the FOIA request Tuesday with the Defense Department. The filing requests photos and videos of bin Laden on the day of the U.S. military raid on his compound Sunday in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The group also filed a FOIA request for the photos Wednesday with the CIA, Judicial Watch said on its website.

The administration has 20 days to respond to the FOIA requests. If the requests are turned down, The Hill reported, the group can file an appeal and then a lawsuit for the photos.

President Obama Wednesday ruled out disclosing them.

Source: Copyright United Press International 2011

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