Skip to comments.WHITE HOUSE: WE AREN'T RELEASING A BIN LADEN PHOTO
Posted on 05/04/2011 10:34:25 AM PDT by library user
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According to Daniel Metcalfe, the former chief of the Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy—a post that effectively made him the government's top expert in the Freedom of Information Act—the odds are better than even that a FOIA lawsuit seeking the photo's release would succeed.
"If someone brought a FOIA complaint seeking the photo, and the government had improperly classified it, I think the government would lose," Metcalfe, who supervised the defense of more than 500 FOIA and Privacy Act lawsuits for the U.S., told Gawker. He is now the executive director of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University's Washington College of Law.
Under the FOIA, government agencies—but not the White House itself—can be compelled to turn over any document, photo, video, or other record as long as there's no statutory reason for withholding it. If Obama decides against releasing a bin Laden photo, he faces two obstacles to keeping it secret: 1) Since it was (presumably) taken by a Navy SEAL working on a joint mission of the CIA and Department of Defense's Joint Special Operations Command, it was originated by a federal agency subject to the FOIA and 2) There doesn't appear to be a good reason under the FOIA to keep it secret.
"As far as photos of the corpse go," said Kel McClanahan, the executive director of National Security Counselors, a law firm specializing in litigating secrecy issues, "there's nothing I can reasonably think of that would exempt that, unless someone classified them." The government could conceivably try to deny a FOIA request for the photos based on the statute's privacy exemptions, but that would put it in the awkward position of going to court to protect Osama bin Laden's surviving family members' privacy.
My thoughts exactly. This whole story reeks of complete BS. Aru Gharib photos are OK but not the biggest POS on the planet with a bullet in his skull? Yeah ok
At least Bush had the nerve to show Saddams pics!
Is there a statement issued by the Seals? Has any eyewitness given a statement to his killing? I’m not a conspiracy theorist AT ALL, but this POS in the White House makes me question everything. And I wouldn’t put it past him to play games with the facts if they help his political prospects. Besides the photo issue, there are a rash of problems and inconsistencies in the story, least of which is: “A helicopter crashes on the approach to the compound, close enough to end up straddling one of the interior walls. The noise of the crash would have alerted the occupants that they were coming for the AlQueda POS. At that point, Osama would immediately do one of two things: Grab a weapon and go out with guns blazing or have himself killed (or pop himself off) to avoid being taken alive. Since the current version of the kill is that he was unarmed, neither scenario fits. If he was fighting when killed, he’d be armed. If he had been killed by the Seals unarmed that makes no sense either. Except for one possibility: suicide by Seals? That doesn’t really make sense for the kind of fanatic this guy was.
So, bottom line, something’s not adding up. And no, I’m not saying anything to impugn the integrity of those incredible heros who carried out their mission. I just believe that their so-called commander in chief is quite capable of exploiting them to his own ends.
He will be greeting at Walmart part-time as well.
Obama has a strange gift of going against the American people on almost every major issue.
This will backfire on him. He will do his usual routine. Go against the will of the people, then cave after the pressure is on.
Apologies if this point has already been made in the thread, but if the US government can release post-assassination photos of President Kennedy, then the “too gruesome” excuse is bogus. This is all about appeasing the crazy mos. Does anyone really believe that those who seek American blood because of the death of Bin Laden are going to require the additional motivation of death photos?
Osama may or may not be dead.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Where the bloody blue blazes has this yutz been living for the past 10 years? Under an effing rock?? Which photos would you like to start with, president jackwagon? Clueless, stupid, inept...aargh! There aren't enough adjectives.
He’s definitely in Bialarussia, being waterboarded ‘til he spills the beans on Al Qaeda.
The Muzzies are perennially offended. If you don’t offend them, they take offense at not having anything to be offended by. You beat them, you have to show you’re in charge by deliberately offending them. Otherwise, they think they’re the real victors.
I think Obama should be waterboarded until he spills the beans on al qaeda.
I knew they were good for something. Anytime you want to see a bullet-riddled corpse, just call Wikileaks.
Still scratching my head as to how these amateurs lobotomized 53% of the 2008 voters.
A high school civics class picked at random would get more right than Jarrett, Obama & Carney.
However, a family member/firefighter critical of Obama came on Fox before the presser to say that he was not invited to Ground Zero and that like-minded family members were also not invited.
Rummy told the Friends this a.m. that it was the Iraqi Govt. who released Saddam’s photos...the Defense Dept. released the ones of the dead sons. Rummy also didn’t think it was wise to release the pics.
Hey Obama.. Prove to us Osama didn’t really die of kidney disease in 2001.. Show us the pictures!
I think the credibility of the USN is Enough!
This need not become political!
Credit to the Navy Seals and All Government agencies for a job well done is in order.
Nothing more nothing less!
(photos of tragic souls jumping from the towers)
Like I said elsewhere, thought/hoped we’d drop UBL live from the Empire State Builing after capture, with his eyes taped open...
So let our ally Pakistan release the daxx pictures! Rummy’s opinion is just that another opinion and as much as I think Rummy is better than most statist, he’s still a statist!
Hell, I think Nancy Pelosi is too gruesome to look at, and we’ve all handled it fine on occasion (or, at least, survived it . . . sort of).
You are right. Glad there are some here who see through the BS.
This is pure Clintonian: "nothing good can come from this, so treat the people like mushrooms -- cover 'em in shit and keep 'em in the dark".
Drudge has a link to some death-scene photos. Everyone must be clicking into it; I can’t get on myself.
This administration is so rudderless
I find it funny that everyone was ripping Obama for deciding to release a photo in the earlier story in breaking news that said he would (an inaccurate story from Drudge).
Now everyone is ripping him for not releasing it (which is actually what they decided).
Don’t like the guy, but it’s funny how Freepers just kneejerk attack no matter what.
Frankly, I think it should have been released. Obama made the wrong call here.
By now I’ve decided that no matter how “gruesome” Osama’s death mask is ...
Seeing photos of my fellow Americans’ bodies raining from the sky on Sept. 11 was worse. Now that was horrifying. Nauseating. By powers of 10.
So, if they show the picture or not, whatev’. Just don’t try to tell me that something like that is TOO gruesome. Because I will not forget Sept. 11.
Actually, what Krauthammer stated in that segment was that this event should NOT shield Obama from rightful criticism that his foreign policies have been flaccid at best, but unfortunately it will.
Another stupid pratfall from the Kenyan Clown and his circus.
They apparently didn’t take any photos of him with undies on his head... pity!
Hey BO, FU.
‘____grace at meals at West Point is a no no.’
Really? Just wow.
I’ll ask a friend whose grandson graduated from West Point when President Bush was the speaker - maybe 2003?
I was at West Point 2 times in the 1950’s watching soccer scrimmages between the (young...) cadets, and the team from Grumman on Long Island that my dad organized for that aircraft company. Sweet memories!
The Grumman team got to eat with the cadets - not so for the families who went to watch. Dang.
Guess who won the scrimmages . . .?!
Being a liberal means never having to prove anything.
The only reason why Obambi is holding the pictures is because it would outrage his liberal base because they don't have a clue of how people die or get killed and what it actually looks like. In the PC world people die in hospitals.
He WON’T release a photo but he WILL show up at Ground Zero tomorrow to test the waters and see how it goes as he kicks off his re-election campaign.
He’s bound to get a mixed reception, though he will be playing the part of Conquering Hero, as he meets with probably very carefully chosen members of 9-11 families.
Not surprisingly, the TWO photos the world has seen at this point, paid for by Reuters to a Paki, are obviously OBL’s sons, like the pix of Uday and Qusay Hussein.
The Radical Islamists of course won’t get ‘inflamed’ over the son’s pix.
About the only people to display any competence in this whole affair are she Navy SEALs who took him out.
When I saw this on Prince Andrew’s daughter’s head (first saw it from the back), the hat looked like Elk antlers to me! Something from Dr. Suess. When seen from the front it is definitely a bow.
Then when the 2 sisters posed side-by-side, I saw the evil step-sisters from Cinderella!
Thought I heard cackling - - -
(Daughter loves (nice) hats and she loved Posh (Beckham) Spice’s black head gear )- - -
Osama died years ago, this whole op was a lie.
Good. As much as I dislike Mr. Obama being POTUS. I have to agree with this decision. It makes no sense to stir up the fanatics in Islam. Seeing gorey stuff just stirs them up, it doesn’t make them afraid. So, keeping the photos under wraps is a good idea. However, he has made a decision and needs to stick with it....no waffling. It hurts America’s image.
I am very glad Osama is dead and gone, and in a frightful way. I only regret that the Seals weren’t able to take all still living in the compound prisoner.....so they couldn’t make up stories like his “child” is claiming. The downed Helo stopped that from happening. Also, they couldn’t gun down children....bad PR. However, leaving them behind wasn’t too good.
Whatever, I agree with the decision to take Osama out. I agree with the high level of force used. I agree with the “proper burial” and not releasing photos to be a propaganda tool of extremists. I disagree with the loose lips in the administration that put out incomplete information only to retract it later....makes us look bad.
My only serious regret is that Mr. Obama is getting to take credit for this. I would have prefered President Bush or even the British. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear that this “righteous kill” is going to gain Mr. Obama any points with the voters....as it should not.