AP, NPR and Conservative Group Ask for Death Photos of Osama bin Laden

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
(graphic: FBI)
Media organizations and conservatives are rejecting President Barack Obama’s decision to keep hidden the photos of Osama bin Laden’s death, having filed formal requests to see the images.
The Associated Press and National Public Radio, as well as the conservative group Judicial Watch, are each using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain images of bin Laden’s corpse and his burial at sea.
The administration is expected to reject the FOIA requests, citing common decency and the potential risk of putting U.S. troops in harm’s ways as reasons why the photos should remain classified.
The AP’s managing editor, Michael Oreskes, doesn’t see it that way. “This information is important for the historical record,” he said, adding that Obama pledged to be more transparent than his predecessor, President George W. Bush. “We're not deciding in advance to publish this material….It’s about us saying we would like to make our own news judgments about newsworthy material.”
Others who have called on the White House to release the bin Laden photos include U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Representative Peter King (R-New York).
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Judicial Watch v. Department of Defense (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia) (pdf)


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