(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on Thursday, January 10, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument regarding a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit requesting the release of dozens of images of Osama bin Laden’s body taken after he was fatally shot in a Special Forces raid in May 2011 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense, et al. (No. 12-5137)).
On April 26, 2012, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled that the images could remain secret.
Judicial Watch makes clear in its appeal that it is not seeking information about equipment or techniques used in the bin Laden raid. In its brief Judicial Watch argues:
Specifically, Defendants have failed to provide any evidence that all 52 images, including those depicting bin Laden’s burial at sea, pertain to “foreign activities of the United States.” Defendants also have failed to provide any evidence that images depicting the burial at sea actually pertain to “intelligence activities.” Nor have they demonstrated that the release of images of a somber, dignified burial at sea reasonably could be expected to cause identifiable or describable exceptionally grave damage to national security.
Judicial Watch staff attorney Michael Bekesha will argue on behalf of Judicial Watch at the hearing.
“President Obama is asking the courts to rewrite FOIA law to allow his administration to withhold documents simply because their disclosure may cause controversy. There is simply no legal precedent for this,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Date: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: U.S. Court of Appeals Courtroom
E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse and William B. Bryant Annex
333 Constitution Ave., NW