Court Keeps Bin Laden Death Photos Secret

Releasing them could inflame riots and get people killed, says the court.

It is undisputed that the government is withholding the images not to shield wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment, but rather to prevent the killing of Americans and violence against American interests," the opinion said.

Judicial Watch, a non-profit conservative watchdog group, had sued the government, seeking release of the bin Laden photos.

Inflaming Muslim opinion may be one reason to conceal the photos. There may be another. Recall how bin Laden's carcass was treated after he was killed.

"Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed," the May 2 email from Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette reads. "The deceased's body was washed (ablution) then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body slid into the sea."

Photos of US military personnel being forced to show any respect to the author of the mass murder of Americans might inflame the American street.