E-mail shows bid to shield bin Laden pics

2014-02-11 12:33
This digitally enhanced image taken from the US Department of State's website, shows what Osama bin-Laden could look like today. (AP)

This digitally enhanced image taken from the US Department of State's website, shows what Osama bin-Laden could look like today. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - A newly-released e-mail shows that 11 days after the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, the US military's top special operations officer ordered subordinates to destroy any photographs of the al-Qaeda founder's corpse or turn them over to the CIA.

The e-mail was obtained under a freedom of information request by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. The document, released on Monday by the group, shows that Administrator William McRaven, who heads the US Special Operations Command, told military officers on 13 May 2011 that photos of bin Laden's remains should have been sent to the CIA or already destroyed. Bin Laden was killed by a special operations team in Pakistan on 2 May 2011.

McRaven's order to purge the Bin Laden material came 10 days after The Associated Press asked for the photos and other documents under the US Freedom of Information Act.

Typically, when a freedom of information request is filed to a government agency under the Federal Records Act, the agency is obliged to preserve the material sought - even if the agency later denies the request.

On 3 May 2011, the AP asked Special Operations Command's Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Division office for "copies of all e-mails sent from and to the US government account or accounts" of McRaven referencing bin Laden. McRaven was then vice admiral.

A 4 May 2011 response from the command's FOIA office to the AP acknowledged the bin Laden document request and said it had been assigned for processing. AP did not receive a copy of the McRaven e-mail obtained by Judicial Watch.

The Department of Defence FOIA office told the AP in a 29 February 2012 letter that it could find no McRaven e-mails "responsive to your request" for communications about the Bin Laden material.

The Special Operations Command is required to comply with rules established by the chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that dictate how long records must be retained. Its July 2012 manual requires that records about military operations and planning are to be considered permanent and after 25 years, following a declassification review, transferred to the National Archives.

Rule of law

Last July, a draft report by the Pentagon's inspector general first disclosed McRaven's secret order, but the reference was not contained in the inspector general's final report. The email that surfaced on Monday was the first evidence showing the actual order.

In a heavily blacked-out e-mail addressed to "gentlemen", McRaven told his unnamed subordinates: "One particular item that I want to emphasise is photos; particularly UBLs remains. At this point - all photos should have been turned over to the CIA; if you still have them destroy them immediately or get them" a blacked-out location. UBL refers to Bin Laden.

At the time the inspector general's report came out, a spokesperson for the Special Operations Command referred questions back to the inspector general.

A CIA spokesperson said at the time that "documents related to the raid were handled in a manner consistent with the fact that the operation was conducted under the direction of the CIA director," then Leon Panetta. The CIA statement also said "records of a CIA operation such as the raid, which were created during the conduct of the operation by persons acting under the authority of the CIA director, are CIA records."

In a 31 January 2014 letter to Judicial Watch in response to its request for all records relating to McRaven's "directive to purge", the Pentagon's office of general counsel said it had been able to locate only document - Raven's redacted email.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said on Monday that the e-mail "is a smoking gun, revealing both contempt for the rule of law and the American people's right to know".
- AP

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  osama bin laden  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
28 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Kuils River - 17:34 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Sunday Parow - 08:10 AM
    Road name: Mike Pienaar Boulevard
    WEEKENDS - ROAD CLOSED between Voortrekker Road and Tienie Meyer Drive due to roadworks (until end July)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Senior Field Guide

Western Cape
Alfa & Omega Networked Business Solutions (PTY)Ltd
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

QR2353 Fashion Designer

Cape Town
Quantum Recruitment

Network / Systems Administrator

Somerset West
Helderberg Personnel cc
R20 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1455.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.