WASHINGTON (AP) — Public disclosure of graphic photos and video taken of Osama bin Laden after he was killed in May by U.S. commandos would damage national security and lead to attacks on American property and personnel, the Obama administration contends in a court documents.
In a response late Monday to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group seeking the imagery, Justice Department attorneys said the CIA has located 52 photographs and video recordings. But they argued the images of the deceased bin Laden are classified and are being withheld from the public to avoid inciting violence against Americans overseas and compromising secret systems and techniques used by the CIA and the military.
The Justice Department has asked the court to dismiss Judicial Watch’s lawsuit because the records the group wants are “wholly exempt from disclosure,” according to the filing.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, accused the Obama administration of making a “political decision” to keep the bin Laden imagery secret. “We shouldn’t throw out our transparency laws because complying with them might offend terrorists,” Fitton said in a statement. “The historical record of Osama bin Laden’s death should be released to the American people as the law requires.”
The Associated Press has filed Freedom of Information Act requests to review a range of materials, such as contingency plans for bin Laden’s capture, reports on the performance of equipment during the May 1 assault on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and copies of DNA tests confirming the al-Qaida leader’s identity. The AP also has asked for video and photographs taken from the mission, including photos made of bin Laden after he was killed.
The Obama administration refused AP’s request to quickly consider its request for the records. AP appealed the decision, arguing that unnecessary bureaucratic delays harm the public interest and allow anonymous U.S. officials to selectively leak details of the mission. Without expedited processing, requests for sensitive materials can be delayed for months and even years. The AP submitted its request to the Pentagon less than one day after bin Laden’s death.
In a declaration included in the documents, John Bennett, director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, said many of the photos and video recordings are “quite graphic, as they depict the fatal bullet wound to (bin Laden) and other similarly gruesome images of his corpse.” Images were taken of bin Laden’s body at the Abbottabad compound, where he was killed by a Navy SEAL team, and during his burial at sea from the USS Carl Vinson, Bennett said.
“The public release of the responsive records would provide terrorist groups and other entities hostile to the United States with information to create propaganda which, in turn, could be used to recruit, raise funds, inflame tensions, or rally support for causes and actions that reasonably could be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to both the national defense and foreign relations of the United States,” Bennett wrote.
Navy Adm. William McRaven, the top officer at U.S. Special Operations Command, said in a separate declaration that releasing the imagery could put the special operations team that carried out the assault on bin Laden’s compound at risk by making them “more readily identifiable in the future.” Before his current assignment, McRaven led the Joint Special Operations Command, the organization in charge of the military specialized counterterrorism units.
India Files Biopiracy Lawsuit Against Monsanto, says Biotech Giant is Stealing Nature for Corporate Gain
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 07:38
‘Representing one of the most agriculturally bio-diverse nations in the world, India has become a primary target for biotechnology companies like Monsanto and Cargill to spread their genetically-modified (GM) crops into new markets. However, a recent France 24 report explains that the Indian government has decided to take an offensive approach against this attempted agricultural takeover by suing Monsanto for “biopiracy,” accusing the company of stealing India’s indigenous plants in order to re-engineer them into patented varieties.
Brinjal, also known in Western nations as eggplant, is a native Indian crop for which there are roughly 2,500 different unique varieties. Millions of Indian farmers grow brinjal, which is used in a variety of Indian food dishes, and the country grows more than a quarter of the world’s overall supply of the vegetable.’
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 07:42
‘The social media empire Facebook has unveiled some new “features” on its platform in recent days that many allege are a total and compete privacy-breaching nightmare. But one hidden feature, discovered by Nik Cubrilovic, an Australian entrepreneur and writer, that few people are aware of is the fact that Facebook now monitors your online activity, even when you are not logged in to the service.
With each new change Facebook makes, users’ privacy becomes a little less … nonexistent, if you will. The most recent “News Feed” modifications, for example, display everything you say and do on the site to all of your “friends,” and even to the public. And now, even after logging out of Facebook, permanent “cookies” track all your movements on websites that contain Facebook buttons or widgets.’
CDC now Calling U.S. Households and Demanding Child Immunization Records as Part of Vaccine Surveillance and Tracking Program
Thursday, 29 September 2011 05:51
‘The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which has been comprehensively exposed as a vaccine propaganda organization promoting the interests of drug companies, is now engaged in a household surveillance program that involves calling U.S. households and intimidating parents into producing child immunization records. As part of what it deems a National Immunization Survey (NIS), the CDC is sending letters to U.S. households, alerting them that they will be called by “NORC at the University of Chicago” and that households should “have your child’s immunization records handy when answering our questions.”
This NIS vaccine compliance program is revealed in a letter being sent to U.S. households by Edward J. Sondik, PhD, the director of the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC. The CDC, you may recall, was instrumental in pushing the false swine flu pandemic scare and encouraging governments to order billions of dollars worth of vaccines from drug companies. Following this marketing fraud, the former head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, went on to accept the lucrative job as the president of Merck’s global vaccine division.’
Sunday, 25 September 2011 08:17
‘Reports pertaining to the censorship and takedown of personal websites continue to flood in.
First, YouTube meddled with the view counts of folks like Alex Jones over at Info Wars and Prison Planet. Then Flickr, MySpace and Facebook began censoring comments and material. Now an increasing number of independent online media is beginning to feel the sharp edge of the blade.’
Sunday, 25 September 2011 09:44
‘Remember how Obama recently waived new ozone regulations at the EPA because they were too costly? Well, it seems that the Obama administration is would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer.’