CIA, FBI Declare Dead bin Laden Photos 'Top Secret'
1 year ago
Says releasing photos could be a national security risk
Sorry folks, the U.S. government will not be pulling an Amber Rose with their photos of Osama bin Laden. They have officially been declared TOP SECRET.
Politico's Josh Gerstein writes:
The new filings from the Justice Department provide scant details about the imagery, but CIA National Clandestine Service Director John Bennett wrote that the CIA has "52 unique....photographs and/or videorecordings" depicting bin Laden during or after the May operation. Bennett did not break down the tally further, but said all the imagery is classified "TOP SECRET," meaning that disclosure of the material could lead to "exceptionally grave damage" to U.S. national security...
...The motion for summary judgment and supporting declarations ask U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg to rule for the government in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought in May by Judicial Watch. The conservative watchdog group sued the Defense Department after it failed to comply with the group's request for the bin Laden imagery. The suit was broadened in June to name the CIA as a defendant.
While the Justice Department's motion is backed by declarations from high ranking officials at the Pentagon and CIA, the government lawyers make clear that their marching orders come from the top. Near its outset, the brief quotes President Barack Obama's comments on the issue during a "60 Minutes" interview in May.
"It is 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. As a propaganda tool. You know, that’s not who we are. You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies," Obama said. "We don’t need to spike the football."
Here's to hoping there's no government interns itching to sell them to WorldStarHipHop.