Just 11 days after the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, a top U.S. military official ordered all photographic evidence of the corpse to be destroyed. In an email, Adm. William McRaven, who heads the U.S. Special Operations Command, directed that all photos of the terrorist's remains should have been destroyed or sent to the CIA. This email was sent 10 days after the Associated Press asked for photos and other documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Usually when a FOIA request is filed, it preserves the material sought—even if the agency later denies the request. The McRaven email has the recipients' addresses blacked out, but states, "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 a blacked-out location."
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