Court rules bin Laden death photos can stay secret

U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) and Vice President Joe Biden (L), along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. REUTERS/White House/Pete Souza/Handout

Reuters/Reuters - U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) and Vice President Joe Biden (L), along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. REUTERS/White House/Pete Souza/Handout

By David Ingram

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. government had properly classified top secret more than 50 images of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden taken after his death, and that the government did not need to release them.

The unanimous ruling by three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a request for the images by a conservative nonprofit watchdog group.

Judicial Watch sued for photographs and video from the May 2011 raid in which U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after more than a decade of searching.

The organization's lawsuit relied on the Freedom of Information Act, a 1966 law that guarantees public access to some government documents.

In an unsigned opinion, the appeals court accepted an assertion from President Barack Obama's administration that the images are so potent that releasing them could cause riots that would put Americans abroad at risk.

"It is undisputed that the government is withholding the images not to shield wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment, but rather to prevent the killing of Americans and violence against American interests," the opinion said.

The court ruled that the risk of violence justifies the decision to classify the images top secret, and that the CIA may withhold the images under an exception to the Freedom of Information Act for documents that are classified.

Judicial Watch did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department, which represents the Obama administration in court, had no immediate comment.

The images show a dead bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan, the transportation of his body to a U.S. ship and his burial at sea, the government has said.

Some of the photographs were taken so the CIA could conduct facial recognition analysis to confirm the body's identity, according to court papers.

The case is Judicial Watch Inc v. U.S. Department of Defense and CIA, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, No. 12-5137.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Cynthia Osterman)

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That story is not playing in Peoria........

Did you see the comments? The first twenty or so that I read were all negative. It is hard to tell if your not in the biz because access to proprietary media measuring services like Nielson, Q Score, Tru Measure etc. is expensive and limited but I think the dinosaur media is done for. They aren't holding their audience and, more and more these types of polls are just blowing up in their faces. Adam Curry of The No Agenda Show referred to the MSM several times in a past program as "the minority media." Curry, who actually reads the Federal Register, has over 30 years in the industry and is called "The Podfather," for his pioneering work in internet communication. Curry, with his partner John C. Dvorak, spent an hour a week or so before the Boston bombing discussing how IEDs would become the new bugaboo in America by citing and dissecting government documents and pronouncements. This prescient duo adumbrated the Boston bombing just days before it happened by stating: "its time we light something off." The "we" in this case is the government.

Total logic fail by the NYT

From the NYT article Orangutan linked:

"A sampling: Maybe the brothers Tsarnaev were just patsies, fall guys set up to take the heat for a mysterious Saudi with high-level connections; or maybe they were innocent, but instead of the Saudis, the actual bomber had acted on behalf of a rogue branch of our own government; or what if the Tsarnaevs were behind the attacks, but were secretly working for a larger organization.

"Crazy as these theories are, those propagating them are not — they’re quite normal, in fact. But recent scientific research tells us this much: if you think one of the theories above is plausible, you probably feel the same way about the others, even though they contradict one another."

The long established scientific method tells those who care to listen that the "the theories above" are actually just hypotheses, and and there's nothing wrong with hypotheses contradicting each other, what matters is that they don't contradict the available evidence. Dismissing hypotheses absent evidence refuting them is just as illogical as clinging to them absent evidence to substantiate them, or to use the term the NYT prefers: crazy. The inmates have taken over the asylum.