Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lawsuit demands bin Laden burial records

'I suspect the Obama administration is embarrassed by the ceremony'

Amid the secrecy of the Barack Obama administration in Washington, somewhere there are the details of the U.S. Navy Seal raid in Pakistan and the subsequent burial at sea of Osama bin Laden.
Ever wonder what really happened?

Now officials at Judicial Watch have gone to court to pry that information loose.
The organization that monitors government actions and prosecutes misbehavior said yesterday that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the U.S. Navy for records showing “any funeral ceremony, rite or ritual” for bin Laden before he was buried at sea.

The government has reported that after the May 2, 2011, Navy Seal Team Six raid that led to bin Laden’s capture and death, the al-Qaida leader reportedly was transported by the USS Carl Vinson and then buried at sea “in accordance with Muslim law.”

According to Navy regulations cited by Judicial Watch, the burial ceremony would have included a prayer to “Allah” to allow bin Laden to “enter paradise and save him from the trials of grave and the punishment of hell.”

Judicial Watch confirmed it has requested “Any and all records utilized, referenced, or relied upon during the preparation and execution of any funeral ceremony, rite or ritual for Osama bin Laden on the USS Carl Vinson prior to his burial at sea. This request includes, but is not limited to, the text of any prepared remarks or prayers, any instructions provided to those in attendance, or any instructions or guidance regarding the handling of bin Laden’s remains.”

The organization also wants access to “Any and all records of communication between any official or employee of the Department of the Navy and any official or employee of any other government department, agency or office regarding any funeral ceremony, rite, or ritual for Osama bin Laden prior to his burial at sea.”

The information request had been submitted in March and a response was due before the end of April, but Judicial Watch said it had not gotten anything.

“Barack Obama is playing politics with bin Laden’s death and ignoring the rule of law – especially the transparency laws that his appointees violate with impunity,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “I suspect the Obama administration is embarrassed by the burial ceremony, which explains our having to go to court to get basic information about this important piece of history.”

When word of the raid on the Pakistani compound where bin Laden was found and killed by Navy SEALS came out, ABC reported that bin Laden was buried at sea within 24 hours of his death – to follow Muslim law.

Reports at the time said bin Laden’s burial was conducted by a Muslim seaman, who said prayers.
It was ABC that reported at the time that bin Laden was buried in the Indian Ocean.

And existing U.S. Navy rules require that the prayer for Muslim burials includes the following: “O Allah, forgive him, have mercy on him, pardon him, grant him security, provide him a nice place and spacious lodgings, wash him (off from his sins) with water, snow and ice, purify him…make him enter paradise and save him from the trials of grave and the punishment of hell.”

Judicial Watch also is demanding the bin Laden post-mortem photos and video.
Obama administration officials continue to withhold those records.

Judicial Watch also sued the Obama Defense Department and CIA for access to records detailing communications between the Obama administration and Kathryn Bigelow, the Hollywood filmmaker who reportedly received classified information from administration officials in preparation for her upcoming film.

According to records already discovered by Judicial Watch, the Obama Defense Department suggested the commander of SEAL Team Six could be made available for the project.

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