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AP Files FOIA Request For Bin Laden Photos

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the gory-details dept.

The Media 518

Hugh Pickens writes "The Atlantic reports that President Obama's decision to withhold the visual evidence of Osama bin Laden's death has created a fundamental disagreement between the White House and the Associated Press, one of the largest journalism organizations in the world, prompting the news organization to file a Freedom of Information Act request for the bin Laden photos. 'This information is important for the historical record,' says Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor at The Associated Press. 'That's our view.' AP's FOIA request includes a reminder of the president's campaign pledge and a plea to be more transparent than his predecessor. 'The Obama White House pledged to be the most transparent government in US history,' writes the AP, 'and to comply much more closely with the Freedom of Information Act than the Bush administration did.' The AP isn't alone in wanting more insight on the specifics of the raid. When it eventually surfaced that bin Laden was not killed in a firefight, his wife wasn't used as a human shield, there was no live footage of the event and the 'mansion' where he lived was only worth between $250,000 and $480,000, many became skeptical of the White House's narrative. Other organizations that have filed FOIAs include Politico, Fox News, Judicial Watch and Citizens United. Oreskes sympathizes with the president. 'This is obviously one of his most difficult decisions and we understand that.'"

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stupid (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100776)

No good will come of releasing the pix.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Re:stupid (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100844)

Pussy.

Check out that "Daily Caller" Link (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100888)

Whoah! SIXTEEN tracking cookies?

I wouldn't ask that from a baker!

Re:stupid (-1, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100852)

I can see that the Defense Department's Astroturf trolls are out in force, on this one.

Get this now:
Moon Landing? REAL.
Bin Laden Operation? HOAX.

Re:stupid (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101056)

It's not a question of if it happened. It's a matter of closure.

Re:stupid (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101240)

No, I'm pretty sure this is a matter of "pics or it didn't happen".

And that's a very fair viewpoint, all things considered. The White House calls a press conference, says they did something they've been trying to do for nearly a decade, and provides no evidence whatsoever that they actually did. I'm inherently distrustful of anything the government says or does, but you don't need to be a conspiracy theorist to be skeptical on this one. Hell, at least with the moon landing, people saw a rocket go up.

Props to the AP.

Re:stupid (5, Insightful)

MMORG (311325) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101400)

Except that if you're skeptical of the government on this one, then a picture of a corpse won't help your skepticism one little bit, or at least it shouldn't. Thanks to Photoshop, the days of photos being reliable evidence are long gone. Really, anyone who seriously suspects that the government just made up the whole story to look good will be satisfied by nothing less than the opportunity to do their own DNA tests on the body, which according to the government isn't possible.

Ultimately, the proof will be if OBL shows up alive and well in the future or not. If he's not dead, I'm sure he'll be more than willing to announce the fact. If he doesn't pull a Mark Twain then he's obviously indisposed somewhere and in that case Occam's Razor kind of leads us to believe that it went down more or less the way the government says it did, rather than looking for crazy conspiracy theories.

Re:stupid (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101438)

If bin Laden were alive, he'd have been the first to discredit America. He'd have been all over the news with a dated newspaper in his hands.

But even Al-Quada have said he's dead.

Be distrustful all you like. Doesn't mean they aren't telling the truth.

Re:stupid (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101450)

They left a few chunks of evidence they were there though, minor odds and ends like a secret helicopter tail rotor assembly. Right you are though, pics or it just did not happen. (Even if it did) :-)

Re:stupid (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101088)

I actually wonder if there ever was such a person as ObL.

Re:stupid (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101376)

When Osama Bin Ladin Was Tim Osman [sabotage.org]

9 November 2001. Thanks to J. Orlin Grabbe

November 8, 2001 When Osama Bin Ladin Was Tim Osman

By J. Orlin Grabbe

The two men headed to the Hilton Hotel in Sherman Oaks, California in the late Spring of 1986 were on their way to meet representatives of the mujahadeen, the Afghan fighters resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

One of the two, Ted Gunderson, had had a distinguished career in the FBI, serving as some sort of supervisor over Special Agents in the early 60s, as head of the Dallas field office from 1973-75, and as head of the Los Angeles field office from 1977-1979. He retired to become an investigator for, among others, well-known attorney F. Lee Bailey. And all along the way, Gunderson, whether or not actually a CIA contract agent, had been around to provide services to various CIA and National Security Council operations, as he was doing now.

In more recent years Gunderson was to become controversial for his investigations into child prostitution rings, after he became convinced of the innocence of an Army medical doctor named Jeffrey McDonald, who had been convicted of the murder of his wife and three young children in the 1970s. This has led to various attempts by the patrons and operators of the child prostitution industry to smear Gunderson's reputation.

Michael Riconosciuto was there to discuss assisting the mujahadeen with MANPADs--Man Portable Air Defense Systems. Stinger missiles were one possibility. If the U.S. would permit their export, Riconosciuto could modify the Stinger's electronics, so the guided missile would still be effective against Soviet aircraft, but would not be a threat to U.S. or NATO forces.

But Riconosciuto had another idea. Through his connections with the Chinese industrial and military group Norinco, [norinco.com.cn] he could obtain the basic components for the unassembled Chinese 107 MM rocket system. These could be reconfigured into a man-portable, shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft guided missile sytem, and produced in Pakistan at a facility called the Pakistan Ordinance Works. The mujahadeen would then have a lethal weapon against Soviet helicopter, observation, and transport aircraft.

Riconosciuto was more than just an expert on missile electronics; he was also an expert on electronic computers and associated subjects such as cryptology (see my "Michael Riconosciuto on Encryption [orlingrabbe.com] ").

Riconosciuto was a prodigy who had grown up in the spook community. The Riconosciuto family had once run Hercules, California, as a company town. In the early days (1861) a company called California Powder Works had been established in Santa Cruz, CA. It later purchased land on San Pablo Bay, and in 1881 started producing dynamite, locating buildings in gullies and ravines for safety purposes. A particularly potent type of black powder was named "Hercules Powder", which gave the name to the town of Hercules, formally incorporated in 1900. In World War I, Hercules became the largest producer of TNT in the U.S. Hercules, however, had gotten out of the explosives business by 1940 when an anhydrous ammonia plant was constructed. In 1959 Hercules began a new manufacturing facility to produce methanol, formaldehyde, and urea formaldehyde. In 1966 the plant was sold to Valley Nitrogen Producers. Labor problems led to a plant closure in 1977. In 1979 the plant and site was purchased by a group of investors calling themselves Hercules Properties, Ltd.

However, Michael and his father Marshall Riconosciuto, a friend of Richard Nixon, continued to run the Hercules Research Corporation. In the early 1980s Michael also served as the Director of Research for a joint venture between the Wackenhut Corporation of Coral Gables, Florida, and the Cabazon Band of Indians [orlingrabbe.com] in Indio, California. Riconosciuto's talents were much in demand. He had created the a-neutronic bomb (or "Electro-Hydrodynamic Gaseous Fuel Device"), which sank the ground level of the Nevada test site by 30 feet when a prototype was tested. Samuel Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb, said of Riconosciuto: "I've spoken to Michael Riconosciuto (the inventor of the a-neutronic bomb) and he's an extraordinarily bright guy. I also have a hunch, which I can't prove, that they both (Riconosciuto and Lavos, his partner) indirectly work for the CIA."

Riconosciuto's bomb made suitcase nukes obsolete, because it achieved near-atomic explosive yields, but could be more easily minaturized. You could have a suitcase a-neutronic bomb, or a briefcase a-neutronic bomb, or simply a lady's purse a-neutronic bomb. Or just pull out your wallet for identification and --. The Meridian Arms Corporation, as well as the Universities of California and Chicago owned a piece of the technology.

But there was more than explosives in the portfolios of the CIA agents who surrounded Riconosciuto like moths around a candle. Both Robert Booth Nichols, the shady head of Meridian Arms Corporation (with both CIA and organized crime conections), and Dr. John Phillip Nichols, the manager of the Cabazon reservation, were involved in bio-warfare work--the first in trying to sell bio-warfare products to the army through Wackenhut, the second in giving tribal permission for research to take place at Cabazon. According to Riconosciuto, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was in charge of the classified contracts for biological warfare research. Riconosciuto would later testify under oath that Stormont Laboratories [stormont-labs.com] was involved in the DARPA-Wackenhut-Cabazon project. Jonathan Littman, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle would relate: "Cabazons and Wackenhut appeared to be acting as middlemen between the Pentagon's DARPA and Stormont Laboratories, a small facility in Woodland near Sacramento."
The Race Weapon

Riconosciuto would make additional claims about Bio-Rad [bio-rad.com] corporation, a medical supplier which had gradually taken over Hercules, California. They were also, Riconosciuto would say, covertly engaged in bio-warfare research--producing some of the deadliest toxins known to man. The focus of Bio-Rad's research was said to be bio-active elements that could be tailored to attack those with certain types of DNA. Weapons could thus be produced that were specifically designed to wipe out specific races or genetic classes of human beings. (Alternatively, particular DNA types could be immunized against a deadly biological agent; the agent could then be released, and everyone else would die.)

A couple of years later, Meridian International Logistics, the parent company of Meridian Arms, was to farm similar research out to the Japanese. This included (according to minutes of a corporate meeting dated Aug. 26, 1988) methods for "induction and activation of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes". Associated with Meridian's Robert Booth Nichols in a Middle Eastern operation called FIDCO, a company that ran arms into and heroin out of Lebanon's Beqaa (Bekaa) Valley, was Harold Okimoto, a high-ranking member of the Yakuza. Okimoto had longed worked under Frank Carlucci (who served as Secretary of Defense and Deputy Director of the CIA before becoming Chairman of The Carlyle Group [thecarlylegroup.com] ). Okimoto owned food concessions in casinos around the world--Las Vega, Reno, Macao, and the Middle East. (Free drinks and anthrax while you play blackjack, anyone?)

Meeting Riconosciuto and Gunderson at the hotel were two representatives of the mujahadeen, waiting to discuss their armament needs. One of the two was named "Ralph Olberg." The other one was called Tim Osman (or Ossman).

"Ralph Olberg" was an American businesman who was leading the procurement of American weapons and technology on behalf of the Afghan rebels. He worked through the Afghan desk at the U.S. State Department, as well as through Senator Hubert Humphrey's office. Olberg looked after the Afghanis through a curious front called MSH--Management Sciences for Health.

The other man, dressed in Docker's clothing, was not a native Afghan any more than Olberg was. He was a 27-year-old Saudi. Tim Osman (Ossman) has recently become better known as Osama Bin Ladin. "Tim Osman" was the name assigned to him by the CIA for his tour of the U.S. and U.S. military bases, in search of political support and armaments.

Gunderson and Riconosciuto were not on an altruistic mission. They had some conditions for their help. And they had some bad news to deliver. The mujahadeen needed to be willing to test new weapons in the field and to return a research report, complete with photos.

The bad news was that some factions of the CIA didn't feel that Oldberg and Osman's group were the real representatives of the Afghans. Upon hearing this both Tim and Ralph were indignant. They wanted to mount a full-court press. Round up other members of their group and do a congressional and White House lobbying effort in Washington, D.C.

"Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name."

-- The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil

Did the lobbying effort take place? I don't know. There is some evidence that Tim Osman and Ralph Oldberg visited the White House. There is certainty that Tim Osman toured some U.S. military bases, even receiving special demonstrations of the latest equipment. Why hasn't this been reported in the major media?

One week after giving an affidavit to Inslaw regarding the PROMIS software in 1991, Riconosciuto was arrested on trumped-up drug charges. The Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case attempted to cover up Riconosciuto's intelligence background by claiming to the jury he was "delusional." A TV station came and pointed a camera out at the desert at Cabazon and said, "Riconosciuto says he modified the PROMIS software here." Of course Riconosciuto didn't modify the software out between the cacti and yucca. Sand isn't good for computers. He did the modifications in offices in nearby Indio, California. The AUSA told reporters Riconosciuto had been diagnosed with a mental condition, the implication being "he's making all this stuff up". Yes, there had been a mental evaluation of Riconosciuto. I have a copy of the report. The diagnosis? Here it is: NO MENTAL DISORDER. The Department of Justice consistently and maliciously lied to the jury, just as had been threatened by Justice Department official Peter Viednicks if Riconosciuto cooperated with the congressional investigation of PROMIS.

If the war against Osama Bin Ladin (Tim Osman) is not a total fraud, then what is Michael Riconosciuto doing in prison? Why doesn't he have an office next to Colin Powell so he can give realistic advice on Bin Ladin's thinking? And where is Ralph Olberg?

Thirty-four days before the East African embassy bombings of August 7, 1998, Riconosciuto notified the FBI in Miami that the bombings were going to take place. Two days prior to the bombings he requested of BOP (Bureau of Prisons) officials at the Federal Corrections Institution (FCI) in Coleman, FL., that he be allowed to call ECOMOG [iss.co.za] security headquarters to warn African officials. The BOP denied the request. Riconosciuto was mystified at being ignored by the relevant government authorities. I'm not mystified. I suspect the reason Riconosciuto was ignored was that the relevant parties, including especially the Miami FBI office, knew all along the bombings would take place. And they wanted them to happen.

The same is true with respect to the recent plane bombings of the WTC. It wasn't an intelligence "failure". The terrorist acts were deliberately allowed to happen. The actors may have been foreign. But the stage directors appear to have been all along here in the U.S. Cui bono?

Isn't it time to let Michael Riconosciuto out of prison, and wipe the slate clean of the trumped up drug charges, and let him be a national security advisor--at least with respect to the government's pursuit of Osama Bin Ladin? Isn't it time to quit pretending Osama Bin Ladin came out of nowhere?

This is not an academic argument. Sources say three dozen MANPADs have been imported into Quebec, Canada, from Colombia (where they arrived from Eastern Europe). The missile shipments followed the "northern" drug route--from Colombia into Canada. The missiles involved are Russian Strellas and Iglas [rusarm.ru] . These will serve just fine to take down commercial airline flights. Just like TWA 800. Which group of terrorists has the missiles? Meanwhile, how many biological warfare agents are in the hands of organized crime? Maybe you should ask Riconosciuto about all this.

Michael Riconosciuto is now incarcerated at the FCI Allenwood, PA. You know where to find him.
Note: Michael Riconosciuto has just been moved to Springfield, MO. His address is:

Michael J. Riconosciuto
21309-086 Box 4000
U.S. Medical Center
Springfield, MO
65801-4000
J. Orlin Grabbe's homepage is located at http://orlingrabbe.com/ [slashdot.org] ">http://orlingrabbe.com.

-30-

from The Laissez Faire City Times, Vol 5, No 46, November 12, 2001

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100912)

so?

Re:stupid (3, Insightful)

x*yy*x (2058140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100916)

And exactly why not release them? You mean not good will come for US if, for example, it turns out they just killed him for the sake of it? That's some double morality right there.

Re:stupid (1)

cheeks5965 (1682996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101044)

how would the pictures show in what context obl was killed? i think they show him with a hole in his head.

Re:stupid (4, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101046)

Actually, you have something of a point there. From my point of view, Binny Boy needed killing, no matter what. If he had waved a white flag, and crawled out of the compound praising America, and kissed every Seal's ass in sight, he still needed killing. I don't care if it was an ordered assasination, or he went down fighting. It just makes no difference.

But, IF - and I stress IF - Binny was shot down like a rabid dog, then the US should have announced it in just those terms. There's no need to pull punches, gloss over the truth, or to sugar coat it. Just tell the world, "We killed the bastard, end of story!"

Re:stupid (2)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101272)

I agree.

Shooting him like a rabid dog would make the Pres look even better to me.

I'd rather assassinate every tin-horn dictator and violent religious zealot on the planet than blow the leg off one innocent child.

Re:stupid (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101296)

In case my post was unclear, innocent children die when a war rages in their neighborhood. I like surgical assassinations more than full-scale war.

Re:stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101462)

miss-clicked moderation. canceling

Re:stupid (2)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101082)

a picture would incite those who don't believe he is dead to do violence beyond of which they were going to try to do anyways.

Nothing good can come of releasing the photos.

What happened to... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101276)

"...and the truth will set you free"?

I mean, besides being taken up and distorted into a sort of a motto by CIA. [yang.id.au]

Re:stupid (2)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101298)

You're missing the point. Obama released his long form birth certificate. There has to be something else now to latch on to. Bin Laden's kill photos are the obvious choice. What else is the media supposed to talk about with everything else going so well in America?

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100928)

US propaganda machine spreading lies again, what's exactly new here?

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100980)

"Good" is whatever the hell people want.

What bad might occur? I come up with blank.

Government should randomly hide information? (2, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101078)

You're essentially saying the government should hide information about news events for whimsical reasons.

If there's no national security secrets in the photos, they should be released. Then the people will decide whether any good has or hasn't come from releasing them. (And if there are secrets in the photos, crop the secrets out and release the rest.)

Not releasing the photos is yet another example of the paternalistic, elitist attitude of the Obama Administration. This time, they think they should decide what we see and don't see.

Re:Government should randomly hide information? (2, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101142)

The idea that the photos can be used by those who hate us to drum up support (i.e., LOOK what they did to Bin Laden!) for additional attacks on innocent people is not whimsical. A picture is worth a thousand words. You may not wish to believe it, but it is so.

Oh god, I certainly hope so... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101352)

The idea that the photos can be used by those who hate us to drum up support (i.e., LOOK what they did to Bin Laden!) for additional attacks on innocent people is not whimsical. A picture is worth a thousand words. You may not wish to believe it, but it is so.

I mean, other Sesame Street characters need their 15 minutes in the political spotlight. Not just Bert [ucsb.edu] and Elmo. [wonkette.com]

My money is on Oscar.

Re:Government should randomly hide information? (1, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101178)

If there's no national security secrets in the photos

You mean like the fact that the release of those pictures is almost certainly going to incite violence against the US and its citizens? Kind of the definition of 'risk to national security' don'tcha think?

I can see the argument that maybe the families of those who died should be allowed to view them, for closure but thats probably not good psychologically for them long term.

The reality of it is however nothing good will come from people viewing very disturbing pictures of the man with his head blown off. Anyone who 'must' see them needs psychological help rather a viewing of a guy missing half his skull. Its not like what you see on CSI with a nice pretty little round hole with a trickle of blood coming out of it. The only reason pretty much everyone making a stink about seeing these photos has to see them is just morbid curiosity.

An FOIA request will be denied for obvious reasons, its rather silly that AP even would consider pushing the issue.

Re:Government should randomly hide information? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101242)

You mean like the fact that the release of those pictures is almost certainly going to incite violence against the US and its citizens? Kind of the definition of 'risk to national security' don'tcha think?

You guys really are a terrorized nation, aren't you?

Re:Government should randomly hide information? (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101386)

An FOIA request will be denied for obvious reasons, its rather silly that AP even would consider pushing the issue.

That's bullshit. Just because they will probably lose doesn't mean they shouldn't try. Their point that the photos document an event of enormous historical significance is 100% on the mark. That doesn't mean there aren't other factors involved, but as far as a news reporting organization is concerned, historical significance trumps just about everything else. They wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't try every means at their disposal to acquire the photos for publication.

I just wish they were more willing to stand up for those ideals when it came to the terms for "embedded" reporters and a whole host of other pansy-ass news reporting they've committed over the last decade.

Re:Government should randomly hide information? (1)

swamprat0129 (1794072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101388)

If there's no national security secrets in the photos

You mean like the fact that the release of those pictures is almost certainly going to incite violence against the US and its citizens? Kind of the definition of 'risk to national security' don'tcha think?

I don't know how the pictures could insight people more than every show on TV mocking his life and death of various skits and scenarios.

Re:Government should randomly hide information? (2)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101476)

You mean like the fact that the release of those pictures is almost certainly going to incite violence against the US and its citizens?

you mean like how they march in the streets over there carrying signs with violent anti-US sentiments? how many videos exist of americans being decapitated?

Kind of the definition of 'risk to national security' don'tcha think?

coward. we're supposed to cower in fear of these people? the citizenry should be exposed to the results of war.. we shield them from it too much because it benefits politicians' careers to have a whitewashed presentation. why? because abstract violence is far less likely to cause a loss of support than the gritty details. people bitch about an ignorant american population, yet when it comes to blood and gore (and sex), suddenly it's ok..

bullshit. welcome to life. it's not all happy rainbows and smiling clouds.

An FOIA request will be denied for obvious reasons, its rather silly that AP even would consider pushing the issue.

Your subjective morality is NOT obvious. a transparent government should be showing all it is doing, including relevant details. then the citizenry can decide whether this is acceptable or not and make changes accordingly.

Re:stupid (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101140)

Well let's see... I, as others, paid for that Kodak moment.
                                                This is the 21st century and middle school children can tell me more about the "Faces of Death" movie series than anyone over 30 I know.
                                                Don't wanna see? Don't look! Peekey ,Peekey! It's a car wreck and any being with a primal ancestor wants to gawk. Now take your goody-two-shoes-censorcrat bullshit act down the road there, buddy!

Re:stupid (0)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101226)

Do you believe that in the name of "free speech" it is a good idea to show cartoons of Mohammed depicted as a pedophile rapist? After all, he called a girl to her "wifely duties" at age 9, so there is more than a little accuracy there.

But for some odd reason about 1/3rd of the planet seems to revere this long-dead pedophile (peace be upon him) and tend to riot at the suggestion that he might ave (gasp!) taken advantage of his political position to explore the wonders of a nine-year-old girl. Or was she only six? That wacky guy! I seem to forget just exactly how young his youngest wife was.

Anyway, don't you think it might be a good idea to suppress such cartoons in the name of peace as well as law and order? Because certainly folks are going to be killed if they are published or posted on the Internet. If nothing else it will be fellow rioters that push others under the wheels of buses and cars.

So, why do we want to see clearly inflamatory pictures of a dead Muslim leader, even if he was the leader of a radical bunch that just want to blow things up and kill people? Do you not think this will inspire people more than the news reports without pictures?

Remember, we are not dealing with "adults" here.

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101180)

No good will come of releasing the pix.

The picture would show that Osama was shot in the back.

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101318)

No good will come of releasing the pix.

The picture would show that Osama was shot in the back.

Personally I hope the Navy SEAL said something awesome right before he shot bin Laden, even though the latter probably didn't understand a lot of English. I can just picture the SEAL holding a gun to his head saying, "USA, motherfucker," and blasting his brains all over the wall.

Re:stupid (0)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101322)

why? who cares? the whole "I'm not censorious I'm just being sensible/decent/protecting the children" routine is getting really old.. release the pics.. we paid for his death, we should be able to verify it. don't like what your tax dollars are going towards? well maybe people like that need to see what it is their politicians are really spending the money on and how they go about business.

Re:stupid (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101478)

The point is that everything in the official US press release was false. Why? The world will begin wondering about the circumstances. If their first account was false, how many other times will they lie to us about it? Why wouldn't they release the photos, if not as part of a cover-up?

How do we even know he is dead? The proven liars have said they verified it themselves, then destroyed the body without allowing anyone else to access it. Would it have hurt to have MI-6 or others access to the body for confirmation? The only reason to deny them access is if you were lying about it. And the US has already been proven to have lied about it.

Asking for the pictures is a simple question caused by the US's bungle. If the initial account were accurate, then there would have been less demand for the extra confirmation. As it is, the number of people questioning what happened and whether Osama was really there and killed in the raid are increasing as the proof of US duplicity in this increases. And it's not like anyone can check the body, as it was already disposed of.

Re:stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101492)

Releasing the photos simply because you want to gloat or brag would be wrong. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we got him, or his sons, or his dog and here are the photos" would be wrong. Seal Team 6 members posting the photos to their Facebook pages would be wrong.

Releasing the photos because of a FOIA request as part of due process, letter of the law, and transparency of government would be right.

But it could still invite violence again the US. Whether that risk is sufficient to invoke the "national security" clause would be up to the administration, and eventually the courts.

Let the process run its course.

National security exception (4, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100784)

Per Obama's original statement, the photos are not being released because the administration felt that they could be used to incite acts of revenge (terrorism) against the USA.

Sounds like a simple: "Request denied for national security reasons" answer is to be expected.

that didnt stop his staff from leaking (4, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100840)

every other damn detail about the damn mission including

1. the fact that a courier led them to his house
2. the CIA ahd been watching him
3. the helicopters are specially modified
4. they use hyperspectral imagers
5. the seal team was navy seal team six
6. they have given away the identities of some of the team member
7. they gave away the identity of the dog that was involved?????
8. they gave away details about NSA involvement in SIGINT

etc etc etc

Obama's staff is the "senior officials on condition of anonymity".

none of them gave a shit about national security when it made their man look good on TV.

but Obama has several whistleblowers &c. under prosecution right now for violation Espionage law (Drake, Sterling, Kim) for information far less important.

it makes no goddamn sense, at all. Obama needs to comply with FOIA law and stop pretending he is the fucking emperor who can decide willy nilly about state security

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (5, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100906)

None of the things you listed can be put onto a poster and waved around during an angry protest. You can't martyr specially modified helicopters or the dog. At least try understand that much.

On the other hand, releasing the photo(s) will do nothing to stop the people who insist it's all a fraud from insisting it's a fraud. It will not convince anyone who isn't already satisfied with the reports.

If you can think of any positive result that can come from releasing them at this time, please share because I'm at a loss.
=Smidge=

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100930)

If you can think of any positive result that can come from releasing them at this time, please share because I'm at a loss.

Satisfaction at seeing the hated person bloodied up, I guess? Let's call it a Colosseum-Complex.

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (2)

xevioso (598654) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101062)

Did you not get satisfaction at the videos of him watching TV? Watching the outtakes with the sound removed, knowing that he was dead? Why must you see the blood? BTW, there are pics online taken by the Pakistanis who came in afterwards of his couriers lying on the ground dead. Quite graphic. Not good enough for you?

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (1)

cheeks5965 (1682996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101090)

no worries. you can get your satisfaction fix from the KSM photo [wordpress.com] . he looks like a stoned ron jeremy in a scoopneck wife beater. It always gives me a laugh when i need one!

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101250)

Wow, did that statement ever paint a picture. You sure have a way with words...LOL

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101106)

If a photo produces satisfaction then you must only sit in your parents basement and download porn instead of making some yourself.

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101074)

None of the things you listed can be put onto a poster and waved around during an angry protest.

But most of them sound great on the campaign trail.

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (2)

OttoErotic (934909) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101108)

Well, if the photos were to show something controversial, like evidence that he was shot in the back or executed point-blank, I think that exposing that (not that that would ever happen) would be a positive effect in and of itself.

its not about positive, its about the law (0)

decora (1710862) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101144)

as Obama's DOJ staff has repeatedly lectured the people supporting Drake, Kim, and Sterling (the bogus espionage act cases), and even in the Manning case, the "rule of law" is important and government actors cannot decide for themselves when to follow it and when not to.

personally i dont want to see the photos. but if the FOIA says they have to be released then they have to be released; the president does not have a choice. . . nobody is above the law.

besides, the things i mentiond could be used to develop countermeasures to Seal assault teams; especially the details about the courier cellphone, the NSA involvement, the stealth helicopters, etcetera.

Re:its not about positive, its about the law (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101292)

if the FOIA says they have to be released then they have to be released; the president does not have a choice. . . nobody is above the law.

Except that's not what the FOIA says. In fact, the FOIA has all kinds of exceptions that can be used to deny a FOIA request - all part of "the law."

personally i dont want to see the photos.

I don't want to see the photos either and I think a government decision to release them now would just be trophy waving of the lowest order. But I do fully support the AP's argument that they are of enormous historical significance. I'd be fine with them being declassified in ~10 years from now, preferably sooner if al qaeda's irrelevance continues to accelerate.

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101444)

I can't claim a positive result from releasing the photos, but I would like to draw your attention to the fact that following the announcement that Osama was dead the people of the USA celebrated like a pack of rabid frat boys. You want to avoid inciting violence from your enemies? Then you should have thought twice before celebrating the death of Osama. You got him plain and simple, which is fair enough, but in a circumstance such as that you should show some decency, some humbleness, and you do not celebrate, you do not cheer, and you do not smile...since without fail all of these things will make your enemies think: "you cunts" and then they'll come back at you as hard as they can.

The photos are irrelevant now, the USA has already angered everyone who cares. Hopefully they do not care as much as they could.

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (2)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101002)

"I'm bombing the ammunition depot at Daquiri tomorrow morning. We're coming in from the North, under their radar."

"When will you be back?"

"I can't tell you. Classified."

Re:that didnt stop his staff from leaking (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101146)

1. No shit. All breaks start with following people around.
2. Ya think?????
3. That wasn't released by the White House. That was picked up by looking at pictures coming from third parties.
4. Umm. ya think they use the latest available toys? FYI, kids on the street in Baghdad thought that the sunglasses of army grunts where "hyper-spectral imagers".
5. What difference does that make? Just adds flavor.
6. Source please. Unless you think publicly available info about where they're stationed is the same as giving away identities. Not to mention - so? It's not like they're hanging out in a country, gathering intel? They come in, shoot stuff, get the hell out.
7. Again, source please. Idle speculation by websites on what kind of breed it might be doesn't count.
8. Wow. NSA is involved in SIGINT? I'm shocked - shocked, I tell you.

You haven't given a single example of a time when either something previously unknown or something that is still operationally relevant has been given away.

I want to know exactly where he's bruied at sea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101252)

So I can piss and take a HUGE dump in that water - after eating ham and bacon for the last 36 hours. I will then wipe my ass with the Pakistani flag and throw it in afterwards.

That's all.

Oh, and I think we need to apologize to India for criticisms of their relations with Pakistan.

Fucking Pakies sold us out!

Re:National security exception (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100866)

I know that it's unreasonable to ask that the government not act in ways that they don't want being made public, but to hold a press conference to brag about killing Bin Laden, but fail to release the photos, seems a bit disingenuous.

Honestly, I suspect that the team who killed Bin Laden acted in a manner not befitting national heroes, and the government doesn't want to muddle the "us = goodguys, them = badguys" distinction that we've got (mostly) going to us right now.

Re:National security exception (2)

xevioso (598654) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101172)

Announcing his killing != bragging about it. I don't think one can reasonably say Obama bragged about his killing during the press conference. In fact, he has said regarding the photos that we "Don't need to spike the football" which is pretty anti-bragging to me.

Re:National security exception (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101452)

You don't get it. Watch it again, look at the way hes so smug, so cool... like he didn't even have to kill Bin Laden. It's no big deal and we don't have to make a big deal about it but I'm just sayin, we killed public enemy #1.

Smug bastard! He's practically rubbing it in our faces!

Re:National security exception (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101096)

And sometimes, those requests are denied for a good reason. This is one of them. As others pointed out, the benefit of releasing them is exactly zero. Tinfoil hatters will still cook up a hoax. Besides, Al Quaeda confirmed bin laden is dead.

What would the pictures tell you that you don't already know? That he was killed by three bullets, instead of two? That the bullets used were NATO spec, not US MIL spec? That he prefers his clothes in hot pink? That he bleeds red?

I still don't understand why everyone wants to see the pictures. No, "Because I want to" is not a good reason.

Re:National security exception (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101274)

When my government assassinates someone I want to know what happened.

Transparent... (3, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100786)

This administration has been at least as opaque if not worse than the last administration.

The Obama White House cuts off access to news agencies that are critical of the Administration, the Press Secretary mocks questions and there are as many off the book meetings as the Bush administration was criticized for.

Re:Transparent... (3, Informative)

Xeranar (2029624) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100886)

I'm calling bull shit on that. This administration makes attempts to be moderately open compared to the last several Republican administrations. Reagan committed an act of treason in the arms sales. Bush hid numerous documents including the total lack of WMDs in Iraq. The idea that they're somehow some shadow organization is bull. The problem was he made statements that in our current political climate of wanting to know the people and not the issues were hard to actually do. If people focused on the issues instead of the people once more the question of "transparency" would become obsolete. That being said, I find that the FOIA are nice statements but I doubt they'll win because the photos are an easy emotional tool to be exploited. The individual details are hard to use to rile somebody.

Re:Transparent... (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101012)

The Obama White House cuts off access to news agencies that are critical of the Administration

Like which ones? The only one I was aware of was the "news" agency that blatantly makes up it's own "news", and went to court in order to win the right to lie in it's "news"casts.

Altruistic Press (4, Insightful)

pjh3000 (583652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100806)

Of course it's got nothing to do with making bucket loads of money from exploiting the photos. They are the Altruistic Press after all.

Sure thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100808)

Obama: Yea I'll send Seal Team 6 to deliver them personally.

FOIA FTW! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100812)

All related links! All SFW!

Failbook [wordpress.com]
Star Trek TNG [blastr.com]
Obama v Trump [imgur.com]
Climbin' in yo mansion... [imgur.com]

(This is what happens when you hide evidence - mindless link propagation.)

Sorry, it's Classified. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100820)

The president can just make this classified, and decide to make it unclassified in the future. The president's assertion that the images might inflame tensions and lead to lost lives is a valid one, an idea that the AP doesn't care about. So make the images classified for a specific period of time, and move on.

Re:Sorry, it's Classified. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100892)

Sorry, but the potential for people to be angry over the release of this information is not a permitted reason to classify a document.

Here are the permitted reasons:
1.4(a) military plans, weapons systems, or operations;
1.4(b) foreign government information*;
1.4(c ) intelligence activities, sources, or methods, or cryptology;
1.4(d) foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources;
1.4(e) scientific, technological or economic matters relating to national security; which includes defense against transnational terrorism;
1.4(f)USG programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
1.4(g) vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures, projects or plans, or protection services relating to the national security, which includes defense against transnational terrorism; and
1.4(h) weapons of mass destruction.
Source: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/89254.pdf

Re:Sorry, it's Classified. (2)

xevioso (598654) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100950)

It's pretty easy to say that these photos fall under 1.4(d) foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources. Killing Bin Laden in a foreign country certainly counts as foreign activities. His photo is evidence of that, so it's pretty easy to classify it under this reason.

Re:Sorry, it's Classified. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101072)

It's easy to say it, but it is also wrong.

The classification reason covers sensitive diplomatic discussions, covert military action, and confidential sources. Most of the details of the raid are already declassified. Most of these pictures would not reveal anything that has not already been declassified.

Re:Sorry, it's Classified. (1)

xevioso (598654) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101204)

You are making your "reason" up out of whole cloth. If the killing of Bin Laden was not covert military action, then what was? That was as covert as it gets. The fact that the government has chosen to release *some* of the details about the covert military action does not mean it needs to release *all* of them. It gets to pick and choose. You may not like that, but if the government wants to classify his photo as part of a covert military action, it is legally entitled to do so. You are wrong.

Re:Sorry, it's Classified. (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101116)

I was about to post this exact observation, but you beat me past the post one that part.

However, you failed to point out that you (or I would) have just done the homework for those boneheaded lizards... I'd bet my UID that this will be the reason given. I wonder if they get all their "how to be an evil dictator" tips from Slashdot...

Re:Sorry, it's Classified. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101050)

I think 1.4(d) should just about cover it.

Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100846)

1. Head of Associated Press runs for president
2. Make fun of Obama
3. Pictures released

One can only hope bin laden is alive... (2)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100848)

... and living in a tropical island climate. With daily water boardings for entertainment.

OTOH, I wouldn't be surprised if the death photos show up closer to (re)election time, if the administration thinks it will help the campaign.

Freedom of Information Act is defective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100858)

This Freedom of Information Act is defective in my opinion because the burden of proof for harm [if any] is on the entity from which information is sought but not the party seeking the information.

In fact, the party that seeks information does not even have to say why or what they are going to use the information for. Absurd, isn't it?

Re:Freedom of Information Act is defective (4, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101014)

This Freedom of Information Act is defective in my opinion because the burden of proof for harm [if any] is on the entity from which information is sought but not the party seeking the information.

In fact, the party that seeks information does not even have to say why or what they are going to use the information for. Absurd, isn't it?

Not at all. All government information is public information, unless there is a reason for it not to be. I don't need to say why I want public information, because it is public information. When asked, the government must say why it is withholding the information.

That is pretty simple.

Re:Freedom of Information Act is defective (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101040)

Not absurd. FOIA was created on the basis that people have the right to know. To that end the burden should be on the person trying to hide or cover up information.

hmm.. (1)

laxguy (1179231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100870)

I'm as interested as the rest of the world to see these pictures, but at the same time I understand the need to keep the private. I feel that we've already pushed our luck by partying in the streets and don't believe we need to give terrorists any more reason to attack us.

Re:hmm.. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100948)

You sound a mite terrorized, there...

Re:hmm.. (1)

laxguy (1179231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101022)

I just believe that we shouldn't underestimate their power. Just because al-Qaeda lost their "leader" doesn't mean that they are not able to hit back at the US or any other country. One of the problems with eliminating these organizations is the fact that they are comprised of individual cells that operate on their own. They don't need bin Laden or anyone else to tell them that it's time for revenge.

Re:hmm.. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101286)

There is a difference between being terrorized by a fire ant hill and running away screaming versus pulling my pants down and sticking my dick in it.

I do neither of those things, and because of that I'm not a terrorist.

Re:hmm.. (3, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101166)

Yes, I agree with laxguy's statement about partying in the streets. When the ragheads - AHEM - Muslims danced in the streets after 9/11, we frowned on them, and named them animals, or worse. Then we take out one of theirs, and we behave in the same manner.

Me? I feel satisfaction that one of our enemies has been put down - but singing and dancing? Crap - I don't have time for that childishness.

Was he captured (3, Interesting)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100896)

I have a lingering thought though that he might have been captured alive and not killed.

Personally, I don't really care what happened to Bin Laden. I hope he's dead but I'm not going to dwell on the conspiracies. I only think that the USA took care of him in a way they saw fit.

But, there's been pictures of the dead infamous throughout history killers, dictators, criminals, war lords, blah blah I think they weren't concerned with releasing photos of Saddam dead. Though there could have equally been 'security' concerns over that one too.

Re:Was he captured (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101102)

An interesting theory, and one I hadn't considered, but I'd hesitate to accept it unless there's some evidence beyond "It could have happened". If they were lying about his death (and in that case, presumably, going so far as to make the "He was armed. Oh, wait, no he wasn't." claims as a double bluff) I don't see why they wouldn't have faked a photo - it's absence doesn't give any direct credibility to the theory he's alive, IMO.

Re:Was he captured (2)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101122)

The thing is the only body US troops took out of the compound was Bin Laden's. Every other survivor, was left behind for the pakistani's. They are the ones saying yes Bin Laden was present, and yes he was dragged out with holes in his head.

Classify this! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100938)

Well they started at least two wars because of this guy. Now that he's dead, the world would like to see him dead.
Not to mention the very original "burial at sea"... C'mon,you lose the corpse, you don't release the photo of the said corpse and you expect everybody to take your word for it? Certainly NOT YOUR WORD, Obama!

Bullshit logic.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100960)

"When it eventually surfaced that bin Laden was not killed in a firefight, his wife wasn't used as a human shield, there was no live footage of the event and the 'mansion' where he lived was only worth between $250,000 and $480,000,"

Those weren't official comments from the administration. They were from talking heads citing anonymous "sources".

Re:Bullshit logic.. (2, Interesting)

blackbeak (1227080) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101084)

Speaking of bullshit logic....

The official excuse for the quick burial at sea was so there couldn't be a Bin Laden martyr shrine. However, there are innumerable shrines around the world built around the flimsiest of relics such as a cup the martyr drank from once, or a shred of cloth the martyr supposedly had touched. A body is simply not necessary for a martyr's shrine. If anyone wants a Bin Laden shrine it won't take long before it's built.

We do know for a fact that Bin Laden may or may not be dead. Same for Kenneth Lay. In today's world bullshit reigns supreme and the higher you go the higher it's piled.

Strange bedfellows, those are... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100986)

I don't know that there has been a time prior to this when Fox News acknowledged that the Associated Press had good ideas - or even existed. Now they are joining forces?

Of course, we all know what they really want out of this, and it doesn't come down to "the truth".

Re:Strange bedfellows, those are... (1)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101010)

Now they are joining forces?

It's like some kind of hideous, journalistic Voltron.

Not too difficult (3, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101030)

"pledged to be the most transparent government in US history"

Failing this is just like losing a game on the tutorial level

Live Footage (2)

black6host (469985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101156)

If there was no live footage, it would have been a calculated decision, IMHO. Perhaps based on the fallout anticipated from AP, next of kin, the rest of the world or whatever. Either that, or there was live footage, I myself wonder what Hillary Clinton was so upset about as she covered her mouth. If that's the case then we have the denial of such video. At least at this point. 50 years down the road disclosure might be different.

Those more knowledgeable perhaps can chime in as to whether or not an operation is typically recorded on video. (I do understand, this was not your "typical" operation.)

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A surprising difference in attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101194)

1. Man burns Koran, shows pictures of it worldwide, says doesn't care!
2. Press says "Must not show this, it incites anger and hatred and violence!! Responsible for deaths!"
3. Man shoots other man, says doesn't want to show pictures, because it incites anger, hatred! Become responsible for deaths!
4. Press says "Doesn't care! Show everyone!"

Photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101256)

You want a picture of a dead Bin Laden? I've got Photoshop - I can make you one. Me, I want to see the long-form death certificate.

I don't think a photo is necessary. (2)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101290)

The facts of the raid possibly are relevant but that could easily be a "national security matter" although I would call it a trade secret.

You have to prove to me the relevancy of releasing this dead mans photo. I think it would be bad taste no matter who he was. Photos of the dead have long been thought to be desecration.

What I think the AP could pursue is getting interviews of people involved and facts reveled in private under confidentiality for historical release later. Something like this should remain private no more than ten years.

News for Nerds (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101358)

How is this news for nerds? Are they going to release the phote via bit torrent, twitter, or some other social media.

Thank God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101466)

...there was no FOIA in WW2, else the press would have been all like "Oh, Roosevelt and Churchill - you broke the Enigma codes? Decrypted memos or it didn't happen". If this is for "historical record", as AP claims, let's wait 50 or 70 years just like any sealed Government historical record.

Besides, if somehow it's all a big hoax and ObL ISN'T dead in a bag in the ocean, all he has to do is release another video. Can't quite believe he'd go along with a US lie concerning his own ignominious demise.

I made a request too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101484)

I made a FOIA request the day they announced they wouldn't release the pics, where is my news story. I even tweeted it.

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