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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Associated Press files information request for photos of raid on bin Laden



The Associated Press (AP) has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all of the photos and videos taken during the raid that led to Osama bin Laden's death, according to the National Press Photographers Association.

The Obama administration previously announced that it will not publicly release the photos of bin Laden's body.

According to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the government has 20 days to respond to the AP's request. If the request is denied, the AP can take the matter to court.

"I think it's going to be a hard road," said Scott Hodes, a former Freedom of Information and Privacy Act lawyer at the justice department, as quoted by The Guardian. "It's not inconceivable a court is going to say to release them. But I think the government will fight because it's made its decision."

White House records are exempt under FOIA, so whether the White House, the CIA or the Defense Department has possession of the photos will matter, explained Associated Content.

Citing concern over possible retaliation and angering of the Muslim world, the White House has refused to release the death photos, despite claims that Obama's administration would be open and transparent.

Judicial Watch also has filed a FOIA request with the Defense Department, seeking all photos and videos of the raid, according to PR Newswire.

President Obama’s decision not to release the bin Laden photos is at odds with his promises to make his administration the most transparent in history," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement.



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