All I have to say for the moment is that I agree completely with the government on this one:
(AP) WASHINGTON – Public disclosure of graphic photos and video taken of Osama bin Laden after U.S. commandos killed him would damage national security and lead to attacks on American property and personnel, the Obama administration contends in court documents.
Here’s the lame argument for releasing the images:
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.”
As you’ll recall, I disagreed with Lindsey Graham about this subject earlier. He was right at the Abu Ghraib pictures, but wrong about this.
And while the AP is just doing its job as it sees it, I believe its own request should be denied as well:
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 assault on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and copies of DNA tests confirming the al Qaeda 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 consider quickly 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.
OK, maybe not denied. I think a delay of maybe 25 years would be about right. Leave it to historians. Ones with strong stomachs.
A lot of people — including a lot of this administration’s strongest supporters — don’t believe there is such a thing as information that should be withheld for national security reasons. They are wrong. One can have arguments about what should be classified and what should not, but the fact remains that some things should be.