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US court denies images' disclosure of Navy Seals raid killing Bin Laden

Washington, Fri, 27 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 27(ANI): A US judge has refused to release photographs and videos of the US NavySeals raid that had killed former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.

U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg rejected a lawsuit seeking to force disclosure of images and ruled that courts must defer to the conclusion reached by President Barack Obama and military leaders that releasing them could spur violence against U.S. troops and other Americans traveling abroad.

"A picture may be worth a thousand words. And perhaps moving pictures bear an even higher value. Yet, in this case, verbal descriptions of the death and burial of Osama Bin Laden will have to suffice, for this court will not order the release of anything more," The Politico quoted Judge Boasberg, as saying.

"The court is ... mindful that many members of the public would likely desire to see images of this seminal event. Indeed, it makes sense that the more significant an event is to our nation - and the end of Bin Laden's reign of terror certainly ranks high - the more need the public has for full disclosure. Yet, it is not this court's decision to make in the first instance," he added.

Judge Boasberg said military leaders' declarations highlighting the repercussions of images' release were "both plausible and logical" and that the government's fears about release amounted to "more than mere speculation."

The ruling comes after Obama had decided against disclosure of images after discussing the issue with his national security team.

Judicial Watch lawyers argued there were indications the photographs may not have been properly classified, and has filed an immediate appeal against the judge's ruling.

The Central Intelligence Agency had earlier admitted to having 52 photographs and videos in its possession that depict either the raid or the burial of bin Laden's body at sea, but had refused to release them. (ANI)


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