US President Barack Obama may have announced he will not release graphic photographs of Osama bin Laden’s corpse as making them public could incite violence against Americans. But I insist dead Osama pictures and the videos including those of his burial at sea must be shown to all, when Obama himself had declared the al Qaeda chief dead in a televised address. “Why fear him, still? May you please release the photos, Mr. President,” I wrote to him. The White House has received my request and I am hopeful the same would result in positive actions.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press seems to have gone a step ahead as the news agency has filed a ‘Freedom of Information Act’ request for all of the photographs and video taken by US military personnel during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan and on the USS Carl Vinson, the ship that conducted his burial at sea. I am informed that the request includes the photographs of dead bin Laden.
If the US administration does not answer the request within 20 days, the Associated Press’ request can be legally examined in court. “We would like to obtain images from the raid because we believe they would have significant news value,” says Associated Press director of media relations Paul Colford. I hope White House is not exempt under any provision of ‘Freedom of Information Act’ to claim any immunity.
At the same time, I’m hopeful …though… as the Obama administration is pledged to be the most transparent government in US history. And did you hear that a Pakistani military official, who had taken some photographs inside the house where Osama was claimed to have been killed, had sold them to Reuters news agency! The images were taken about an hour after the US Navy SEAL commandos finished their mission at the secret house in Pakistan’s Abbottabad town.