Terrorism

Could FOIA Suit Force Release of Bin Laden Photos?


Could a freedom of information lawsuit force disclosure of photos of Osama bin Laden’s body? It all depends.

The National Law Journal identifies a threshold question: Who has the photos?

According to national security law expert Mark Zaid, the White House is exempt from FOIA, but the Defense Department and the CIA are subject to the law. If the White House has all the photos, they can’t be disclosed.

Even if DOD and the CIA have the photos, they could claim an exemption covering documents involving national defense, foreign policy or classified materials, Zaid told the NLJ.

Some of those arguments didn’t work when the Defense Department tried to stop release of photos from the Abu Ghraib prison, according to lawyer Scott Hodes, who was formerly the acting chief of an FBI freedom of information litigation unit. The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered release of the photos in a suit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Additional coverage:

Gawker: “Ex-Justice Department Official: Obama Could Be Forced to Release the Osama Death Photos”

Previous:
2nd Circuit Overturns Injunction Against Southern Gun Shops Accused in NYC Nuisance Suit

Next:
US News: Law Schools Should Quit Blaming Us for Their Policies


We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy. Flag comment for moderator.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.