Court of Appeals: CIA Was Right to Withhold Photo’s of Dead Bin Laden

Photo Credit: APA federal appeals court Tuesday backed the U.S. government’s decision not to release photos and video taken of Osama bin Laden during and after a raid in which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. commandos.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia turned down an appeal from Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the images.

The Defense Department said it didn’t turn up anything pertinent to the FOIA. The CIA had found 52 such records, but withheld all of them, citing exemptions for classified materials and information specifically exempted by other laws.

In Tuesday’s ruling, the appeals court said that the CIA properly withheld publication of the images of the al Qaeda leader. The court concluded that the photos used to conduct facial recognition analysis of bin Laden could reveal classified intelligence methods, and that images of bin Laden’s burial at sea could trigger violence against American citizens.

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