Judicial Watch Sues to Learn Contents of Osama Bin Laden's Porn Stash
WASHINGTON — Judicial Watch filed a federal lawsuit yesterday in a bid to force the CIA to reveal the contents of Osama Bin Laden’s porn stash when he was killed in 2011.
Judicial Watch — a Washington-based nonprofit educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government — filed the suit over its June 2015 request for documents of “all pornographic material collected during and/or after the U.S. military operation in Abbotabad, Pakistan, on or about May 1, 2011, that killed Osama Bin Laden,” along with a catalog or index of the items recovered.
The CIA acknowledged in July that it received the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but Judicial Watch says the agency has failed thus far to provide any further details regarding the terror leader’s porn collection.
“Plaintiff is being irreparably harmed by reason of defendant’s unlawful withholding of records responsive to plaintiff’s FOIA request, and plaintiff will continue to be irreparably harmed unless defendant is compelled to conform their conduct to the requirements of the law,” Judicial Watch attorneys wrote in the filing.
Several years ago, the U.S. government released a sizeable tranche of documents and other material recovered during the raid on the Abbottabod compound used to hide Bin Ladin.
But none of the material released included erotic content or traces of it even though Bin Laden was found to possess a "fairly extensive" cache of porn videos when U.S. commandos raided the compound. (The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released some now-declassified Bin Laden documents and material here.)
So far, a number of groups requesting the contents of Bin Laden’s porn stash have been thwarted, including an attempt last year from BroBible.com blogger David Covucci.
The CIA, responding to a Covucci’s request over the contents of the porn stash, said that “the pornographic material Osama Bin Laden had in his possession at the time of his death, responsive records, should they exist, would be contained in the operational files.”
“The CIA Information Act, 50 U.S.C § 431, as amended, exempts CIA operational files from search, review, publication, and disclosure requirements of the FOIA,” the CIA said in the response to Covucci.
At the time, the CIA also said in its response to Covucci that even if it couldn’t reveal what’s in the porn stash, it certainly couldn’t send the hardcore content in the mail.
“To the extent that this material exists, the CIA would be prohibited by 18 U.S.C. §1461 from mailing obscene matter,” the CIA said in its response.