U.S. Special Operations Commander Admiral William McRaven ordered his subordinates to destroy photos showing the corpse of Osama Bin Laden just hours after an FOIA lawsuit seeking the documents was filed in the United States Court for the District of Columbia.
Image: Osama Bin Laden (YouTube).
Judicial Watch, the group that filed the initial FOIA request, published an email released to them by the Department of Defense in which McRaven writes;
One particular item that I want to emphasize is photos; particularly UBLs remains. At this point – all photos should have been turned over to the CIA; if you still have them destroy them immediately or get them to the [redacted].
The email was sent on Friday, May 31, 2011 at 5:09pm, hours after Judicial Watch held a morning press conference announcing that their FOIA request had been filed in court.
“The move by McRaven to purge the photos appears to have come, at least in part, in response to aggressive efforts by Judicial Watch to obtain images of the deceased bin Laden that President Obama, in a rewrite of federal open records law, had refused to disclose,” writes the whistleblower organization.
According to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, the “email is a smoking gun, revealing both contempt for the rule of law and the American’s people right to know. The Obama administration has tried to cover this scandal up – and our lawsuit exposed it. We demand further investigation of the effort to destroy documents about the bin Laden raid.”
Why did McRaven order the photos to be destroyed? Why is the Pentagon so desperate to keep the images out of the public domain?
Is it because the images are fake, that they do not show wounds consistent with the narrative surrounding the Navy SEAL raid on Bin Laden’s compound, or that they are dated from years previously?
Image: Judicial Watch.
As we have exhaustively documented, the story surrounding the raid is dubious at best and has been changed on numerous occasions.
Last year, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh said that the whole incident was “one big lie” and that “not one word” of the Obama administration’s narrative on what happened was true….