It is a sad fact that Americans are being denied the right to know what their own government is up to. According to a petition in the Supreme Court, the federal court system is to blame for the lack of information when it comes to operations of the government.
The concern was raised by the Judicial Watch, an organization dedicated to fighting corruption and known for keeping the judiciary, legislature and federal bureaucracy in check.
According to Tom Fitton, the president of the Judicial Watch, the weight of the case cannot be underestimated. It will determine if President Obama is capable of rewriting the Freedom of Information Act and forever deny the Americans their right to know about the operations of the government. He continues to argue that the fact that the government thinks that it can put the sensibilities of terrorists above the law needs to be questioned by every citizen.
The case disputes the decision of the government to withhold over 50 photographs and videos that were supposedly taken during the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The raid is said to have taken place on the 1st of May, 2011 at the compound of the terrorist in Pakistan. The decision by federal government to withhold these images was backed by the federal courts. However, the Judicial Watch has proceeded to the U.S Supreme Court for the decision to be reviewed. The argument that the government gives is that the images might anger the enemies of the United States and increase the threat of another attack. The appeal seeks to overrule the decision by the federal courts and to pressurize the DoD and CIA to release the images to the public domain.
The Judicial Watch had first requested for the images and/or videos from the DoD and CIA. However, because they didn’t respond, the organization decided to take the matter to court. The organization had also filed a motion earlier that was against the Department of the Navy for refusing to share the actual details of the funeral and burial of Osama Bin Laden. The Navy in its defense said that the information could be used by enemies of the United States and the Islamists could also be incited to attack American citizens. The Judicial Watch claimed that it was only seeking the description of the burial and not any sensitive information that could undermine the future operations of the military.
The Western Center for Journalism published a report by Pamela Barnett that questioned the killing of Osama Bin Laden after reviewing the evidence given by the government. One of the redacted military emails is what attracts all the attention.
According to the email there were plans underway for a burial on the 29th April, 2011. However, the announcement about Osama Bin Laden’s killing was made on the 1st of May, 2011. This implies that the president knowingly lied to the whole world about the date that the terrorist was killed. According to Barnett, there are several emails that prove that the actual mission took place in 28th April and not 1st May as the president claims.