This Is What The Government Told Gizmodo About Osama Bin Laden's Body

Illustration for article titled This Is What The Government Told Gizmodo About Osama Bin Laden's Body

Months ago, I asked the Pentagon for its visual records of Osama bin Laden's sea burial under the Freedom of Information Act. Today, I received a thick packet of No— a complete denial that any records exist. Read it.


The core of the response is this: the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States Special Operations Command, and the Department of the Navy all had their records searched. Nothing. Admiral Mike Mullen's email was scanned. Nothing. The Pentagon claims not a single person aboard the USS Carl Vinson, where Bin Laden's remains were disposed of, took a single picture. Not a single email from the ship makes reference to photo or video. Essentially: nobody in the military has evidence. So did these things ever exist? If so, they're in a filing cabinet at the CIA, where they'll be safe for the rest of time.

Read for yourself.

Osama FOIA


Aaron McClellan

Yes I understand what you guys were getting at trying to get this 'video', but (and I mean no offense or disrespect) did you stop and think that everyone on the ship where his 'sea burial' happened was a consummate professional? That perhaps there were orders not to film the occasion, and the Sailors were, oh I don't know, in a formation where it would have been impossible to snap a candid cellphone snapshot with the corpse?

Seriously. I want to know why everyone thinks that military personnel would break OPERATIONAL SECURITY (OPSEC) and their professional decorum to get a video for youtube.

I think this is the start of another outlandish conspiracy theory, and I think it needs to be squashed. There is no conspiracy. A team of Special Operations Forces Operators killed the most wanted man on planet Earth earlier this year. They operate in secrecy for their protection, the protection of their mission and their families. It's utterly ridiculous to expect that there would be any public (or private for that matter) media coverage when men have put their lives on the line.