Tuesday, April 28, 2015

History Lesson: When Mr. McRaven destroyed the bin Laden photos

"Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
So I shall not see him?” says the Lord;
“Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord."
Jeremiah 23:24

Pop quiz: Remember the 2011 controversy, shortly after the bin Laden raid, when President Obama refused to release the photos from UBL's death?!?  Guess which currently serving University of Texas Chancellor ordered the destruction of those photos....
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on January 31, 2014, it received documents from the Department of Defense (Pentagon) revealing that within hours of its filing a May 13, 2011, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking photos of the deceased Osama bin Laden, U.S. Special Operations Commander, Admiral William McRaven ordered his subordinates to “destroy” any photos they may have had “immediately.” Judicial Watch had filed a FOIA request for the photos 11 days earlier. 
The McRaven email, addressed to “Gentlemen,” instructs: 
One particular item that I want to emphasize 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 to the [redacted].  
According to the Pentagon documents, McRaven sent his email on “Friday, May 13, 2011 5:09 PM.”  The documents do not detail what documents, if any, were destroyed in response to the McRaven directive. The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit seeking the documents was filed in the United States Court for the District of Columbia only hours earlier. Judicial Watch also announced the filing at a morning press conference. 
On May 2, Judicial Watch had filed a FOIA request with the Defense Department seeking “all photographs and/or video recordings of Usama (Osama) Bin Laden taken during and/or after the U.S. military operation in Pakistan on or about May 1, 2011.”  Federal law contains broad prohibitions against the “concealment, removal, or mutilation generally of government records. 
The records containing the McRaven “destroy them immediately” email were produced as a result of a June 7, 2013, FOIA request and a subsequent lawsuitagainst the Defense Department for records relating to reports of the 2011 McRaven purge directive. McRaven’s order was first mentioned at the end of a 2011 draft reportby the Pentagon’s inspector general (IG) examining whether the Obama administration gave special access to Hollywood executives planning the film “Zero Dark Thirty.”  According the draft report, “ADM McRaven also directed that the names and photographs associated with the raid not be released. This effort included purging the combatant command’s system of all records related to the operation and providing these records to another Government Agency.”  The reference to the document purge did not appear in the final IG report.
 More from Marine Corps Times:
WASHINGTON — A newly-released email shows that 11 days after the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, the U.S. military’s top special operations officer ordered subordinates to destroy any photographs of the al-Qaida founder’s corpse or turn them over to the CIA.

The email was obtained under a freedom of information request by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. The document, released Monday by the group, shows that Adm. William McRaven, who heads the U.S. Special Operations Command, told military officers on May 13, 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 May 2, 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 U.S. 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.
Read the original e-mail chain here.

U.T. had to have known about this before they offered him the job.

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