A federal appeals court on Thursday will consider whether the public has a right to view postmortem images of bin Laden. The lawsuit, filed by a conservative-leaning watchdog group, seeks the release of 52 photos that followed the operation in May 2011.
The government argues, and a lower court judge agreed, that the photos must be kept secret in the interest of national security. Some defense and intelligence officials express concern in court documents that the release of the images would incite violence against Americans.
In seeking to reverse the lower court ruling, the group Judicial Watch argues that the exemption the government cites to the Freedom of Information Act is too vague. The group asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to ensure that the exceptions “do not become sweeping exemptions.”