A federal appeals court is considering whether or not to release the photos of Osama bin Laden’s body as a part of the Freedom of Information Act.
A conservative legal group called Judicial Watch argued before a panel of judges Thursday that the Freedom of Information Act requires the government to release the photos of Osama bin Laden’s death and burial. And if not, they requested further information regarding why the release of those photos would be a detriment to national security.
The judges have not yet made a decision about the issue, which would involve making public all or some of the 52 images the government is currently withholding of bin Laden’s dead body, funeral, and burial at sea. The government, beyond releasing a few details of the raid and the funeral, has only said that they will not release the photos as they may incite violence against Americans.
The government, however, has released information before that has shed an unfriendly light on Americans, such as photos from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq where prisoners were mistreated.
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Up until this point, only a handful of Americans have seen the bin Laden "kill" pictures. That includes those who carried out the mission (obviously), the president and certain senators who were given a private viewing of the evidence.
According to many unnamed sources, the pictures are grisly and difficult to look at. Yet, as with any big story, conspiracy theorists have surmised that bin Laden wasn't killed in the daring attack -- and the photos could quash those beliefs.