To preempt a FOIA request, Pentagon destroyed bin Laden death photos

Admiral William McRaven ordered the immediate destruction of any photos of Osama bin Laden’s death within hours of a FOIA request from the watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Rather than destroying all the  photos, the U.S. government could have — and should have — released one non-graphic photo without fanfare or gloating to show a commitment to full disclosure, without offending global sensibilities.

For U.S. officials  to think they can suppress the historical record in a networked world is a sign that they are suffering from Pre-Snowden Syndrome: the belief that most of the people can be fooled most of the time.

via the Washington Free Beacon.



  1. Andrew Everett says:

    Recently, I read a 1967 Washington Post column by Art Buchwald in which he estimated that it cost $323,000 to kill one enemy combatant in Vietnam. Mr. Buchwald then questioned whether the U.S. would be better off to offer Viet Cong defectors “a $25,000 house, a color tv, free education for their children and a paid-up country club membership.” Funny–haha. A $25,000 house!!!

    So, I decided to try to figure out how much money it has cost the U.S. to capture or kill each terrorist who took part in 9/11. To start I used a recent Harvard Kennedy School study which put the cost of the Afghan/Iraq “wars” at $4 Trillion (thru fiscal year 2012).

    If there were 100 terrorists who committed 9/11, then it cost $40 Billion to capture or kill each terrorist.
    If there were 1,000 terrorists who committed 9/11, then it cost $4 Billion to capture or kill each terrorist.
    If there were 100,000 terrorists who committed 9/11, then it cost $40 Million to capture or kill each terrorist.

    NOTES: the total cost of the Iraq/Afghanistan “wars” are expected to exceed $6 TRILLION (the $4 trillion is what we have spent so far and does not include long-term veteran’s benefits/healthcare/etc)…

    Also NOT included are the increases in funding for the NSA, CIA, FBI, (etc) which must be a huge number–but is impossible to determine.

    Nor are non-defense items such as gas, oil, food, clothing for soldiers included…must cost a lot to ship all those supplies to the gulf–and then FLY them into Afghanistan.

    Nor do the numbers include the most important statistics: number of human lives lost, number of families broken up, number of refugees forced to leave their homes…

    Art Buchwald’s Hilarious column:

  2. Jonathan says:

    Americans are pliable. They joke about the grassy knoll; view mainstream press reports uncritically; distrust the government but joke about that too.

    Osama Bin Laden? He was behind the 9-11 attacks, wasn’t he? Obama got him, did he? The question marks really don’t exist if one believes the government stories of 9-11 and of OBL’s assassination.

    I don’t believe the official stories, although for most years I bought the official story of 9-11. Then as with the JFK assassination, facts began to get in the way, far too many facts. Far too many questions. Far too many signs the government wasn’t telling the full truth. Far too strong a smell of a big rat.

    By the time the Seals supposedly nailed OBL in Pakistan, I yawned. He was always a figure, and not always the same figure, in some poor quality video. He was never real, not to me. If he was real at some point, I suspect he died in a cave of kidney failure.

    The admiral said no photos. I’d bet the reason for no photos is that they got a patsy.

    • JSA says:


      I think the US got Osama bin Laden. Period. I think that Osama’s organization was behind 9/11. Period. I think the Bush administration was warned, but chose to tread lightly and dropped the ball. We got hit by a terrorist attack, as Israel has been hit for decades now, only on a more colossal scale. I don’t believe Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. I think Bush and Cheney made up a connection so they could send troops in, into a place we never should have sent troops. All the trumped up charges of WMD were bogus.

      And I believe JFK was assassinated by elements of CIA, the military, and with LBJ’s guidance and support. I believe we had a coup in this country. Escalation in Vietnam was a direct result of JFK’s murder.

      So where does that put me? Conspiracy believer? JFK buff? I think of myself as a realist, guided by facts, and I discriminate between what I think is supported by facts and what I think is bogus. This makes me unpopular with everyone I guess. Oh well. Popularity is overrated.

      • EHill says:

        If charges of WMD’s were trumped up you gotta go further back than Bush/Cheney. In Feb 1998 Clinton was standing before congress making a case for going to war with Iraq expressly because of WMD’s, John Kerry was also very adamant about it. I’m not saying Bush was right or wrong but it definitely goes beyond him.

  3. anonymous says:

    “For U.S. officials to think they can suppress the historical record in a networked world is a sign”

    They can only suppress the historical record with help from the corporate media and the Newspapers of record.

    >Pre-Snowden Syndrome

    The Killing of Osama bin Laden should probably considered an intelligence failure – A Osama bin Laden interrogation would have produced invaluable intelligence. The fact that nobody was fired over the intelligence debacles of 911 and Snowden is a sign of corruption. Characters like Admiral Haden were involved in both (Thin thread…)

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