News Column

Judge Nixes Request for Bin Laden Photos

April 27, 2012
Bin Laden

A federal judge rejected a lawsuit that tried to force U.S. officials to release photos from the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011.

In his ruling Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg said courts must defer to conclusions drawn by President Obama and military leaders that publicizing the photos could spawn violence against U.S. troops and other Americans traveling abroad, Politico reported.

"A picture may be worth a thousand words. And perhaps moving pictures bear an even higher value. Yet, in this case, verbal descriptions of the death and burial of Osama Bin Laden will have to suffice, for this court will not order the release of anything more," Boasberg said.

The CIA, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit filed by the conservative Judicial Watch organization, said it had 52 photographs and videos of either the May 2011 raid on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan or burial of bin Laden's body at sea. The CIA said the photos were classified and couldn't be released.

Boasberg said military leaders' statements on the danger of releasing the photos was "both plausible and logical" and the government's concerns were "more than mere speculation."

Source: Copyright United Press International 2012

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