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      Releasing Osama Bin Laden’s Porn Stash: The Public's Heroic Battle with the CIA Continues

      Releasing Osama Bin Laden’s Porn Stash: The Public's Heroic Battle with the CIA Continues Releasing Osama Bin Laden’s Porn Stash: The Public's Heroic Battle with the CIA Continues Releasing Osama Bin Laden’s Porn Stash: The Public's Heroic Battle with the CIA Continues
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      Primary Sources

      Releasing Osama Bin Laden’s Porn Stash: The Public's Heroic Battle with the CIA Continues

      By Jason Leopold

      Read more from 'Primary Sources,' the VICE News FOIA blog

      In addition to his library of English-language books on topics such as international law, voting irregularities, and the Illuminati, Osama bin Laden also had a pretty substantial porn collection.

      But the CIA won't release bin Laden's stash of porn, which Navy Seals apparently seized during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan four years ago. That's because, unbelievably, it's located in an "operational file," which is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

      An operational file is defined as:

      (1) files of the National Clandestine Service which document the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence operations or intelligence or security liaison arrangements or information exchanges with foreign governments or their intelligence or security services;

      (2) files of the Directorate for Science and Technology which document the means by which foreign intelligence or counterintelligence is collected through scientific and technical systems; and

      (3) files of the Office of Personnel Security which document investigations conducted to determine the suitability of potential foreign intelligence or counterintelligence sources;

      "It seems like a stretch to call these [pornographic] materials operational files," said Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy. "Although they may have been obtained in the course of an operation, they do not have anything to do with the planning or conduct of the operation. So they don't really fit the definition of an operational file in the CIA Information Act."

      Moreover, even if bin Laden's porn collection wasn't located in an operational file, the CIA said it still couldn't release it because US law bars the agency from mailing "obscene or crime-inciting matter."

      The CIA made these questionable arguments last week, in response to a May 26 FOIA request filed last month by David Covucci, an editor at BroBible, a site that describes itself as "the ultimate destination for Bros."

      The two-paragraph FOIA request Covucci sent, which explains why BroBible is interested in finding out about bin Laden's pornography, is not written like a typical FOIA request:

      We at the men's general interest publication BroBible dot com (one of the nation's largest websites for men), would like to know what pornographic materials Osama Bin Laden had in his possession at the time of his death.

      We are adults. We can handle it. We would like to know what kind of porn the world's most wanted man jerked it to. Does being under the constant threat of capture require extra stimulation? I imagine it would be hard for him to focus on his dick, so I figure he had to watch some really nasty shit.

      VICE News also filed a FOIA request for bin Laden's pornography, but our request was filed with the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) following the confirmation by agency director James Clapper that "some pornographic material" was seized during the bin Laden raid. We have not yet received a response to our request.

      ODNI declassified last month the titles of bin Laden's books, along with a selection of other materials seized during the raid. The disclosure by ODNI was a response to reporter Seymour Hersh's explosive report that challenged the official narrative of the bin Laden operation, which suggested that the cache of material the government said was collected after Seals killed Bin Laden was a ruse.

      But Jeffrey Anchukaitis, an ODNI spokesman, told the Guardian that bin Laden's porn collection would not be released "due to the nature of their contents."

      Reuters first reported in 2011 that pornography was recovered from bin Laden's compound after he was killed by commandos.

      "The pornography recovered in bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive," Reuters reported, citing anonymous officials. "The officials said they were not yet sure precisely where in the compound the pornography was discovered or who had been viewing it. Specifically, the officials said they did not know if bin Laden himself had acquired or viewed the materials."

      It has long been rumored that Al Qaeda used pornography to hide secret messages to its followers, according to a report published by The Telegraph last March.

      Covucci told VICE News in an email that he's determined to get his hands on bin Laden's porn. He plans to appeal the CIA's decision and file a separate request with ODNI.

      "It's fucking Kafka-esque obfuscation bullshit they are hiding behind," he said.

      Follow Jason Leopold on Twitter: @JasonLeopold

      Read more from 'Primary Sources,' the VICE News FOIA blog

      Topics: osama bin laden, brobible, cia, navy seals, pakistan, pornography, james clapper, director of national intelligence, abbottabad, americas, united states, primary sources, primary sources: the vice news foia blog, defense & security

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