The debate over whether or not the US Government should release photos of Osama Bin Laden’s body has been going on ever since his death at the hands of Seal Team 6 in May of 2011. Last April, it seemed that the book had closed on the matter when a federal judge ruled not to release the photos for various reasons.
But certain parties — the conservative legal group Judicial Watch in this case — refuse to take no for an answer, leading the US Court of Appeals in Washington to take another look at the matter. Read more…
After Osama bin Laden’s death in May 2011, there was immediately a public outcry for the release of photos showing his dead body. The AP even took legal action to force the publication of the images, but that effort was squashed by a federal judge earlier this year.
While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever set eyes on the photos in question, more information on how they were captured is emerging.
After the death of Osama bin Laden and the subsequent dumping of his body into the sea, a number of groups have called for the release of photographs captured during and after the raid — particularly the images showing his corpse. A year ago we reported that the Associated Press had taken legal action to obtain the images. Yesterday federal judge James Boasberg put an end to all the requests by ruling that there were legitimate national security interests at stake and that the photos would not be released. He writes,
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.
Needless to say, this latest ruling will help the many conspiracy theories about bin Laden’s death live on.
(via CNN via Pixiq)
Flickr user Alex Eylar created this humorous recreation of Pete Souza’s now-iconic photo of Obama in the Situation Room during the Osama bin Laden raid.
The White House is ending its long-running practice of reenacting speeches for still photographs after the controversy was rekindled last week by President Obama’s Osama bin Laden speech.
After Obama’s live, late-evening address from the East Room of the White House on May 1, five photographers were ushered in to shoot pictures as the president stood at the podium and re-read a few lines of his speech – a practice that news organizations have protested for years.
Even though The Associated Press and other news outlets said in captions to the photos that they were taken after the president delivered his address, many people who saw them may have assumed they depicted the speech itself. That raised questions of whether news organizations were staging an event. [#]
Today a spokesperson for the President stated, “We have concluded that this arrangement is a bad idea,” and that the administration is working on a new method for photojournalists to make photographs of actual speeches.
White House Announces End To Re-Enactments For News Photographers (via Rob Galbraith)
Pete Souza’s iconic photo of Obama and his national security team in the Situation Room has become extremely well known in the span of a week, so it’s unlikely that any reputable media outlet would dare alter the photo in any way — but that’s exactly what one newspaper did. Orthodox Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung has a policy of never publishing photographs of women, and decided to publish Obama’s situation room photograph with Hillary Clinton and counterterrorism director Audrey Tomason Photoshopped out of the frame.
President Obama announced last week that photographs of Osama bin Laden’s body would not be released to the public due to concerns that it would incite violence and hatred, but a number of news agencies and advocacy groups are attempting to have them released using a Freedom of Information Act request. The Associated Press is one of the agencies that filed a FOIA request (they’re also requesting that video of the raid be released), and the US government has 20 days to respond.
The big story around the world this week was the death of Osama bin Laden after a raid of his compound by US Navy SEALs. As a terrific example of how the Internet is transforming the way we view these world events, behind the scenes photos taken at the White House as these events transpired were almost immediately shared on the White House Flickr photostream. One particular photograph (shown above) showing President Obama and his national security team in the Situation Room has been widely published, and may go on to become one of the iconic photographs of Obama’s presidency. It has amassed over two million views in just a couple days, and is reportedly the fastest viewed photo ever on Flickr.
P050111PS-0210 (via TechCrunch)