Washington, May 14 (AP) The Defense Department is refusing to do a speedy review of a request for graphic photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse, setting the stage for a protracted battle over access to the images.
In a letter to The Associated Press, the department said the AP did not demonstrate an urgent or compelling need for the photos or show that the information has a particular value that would be lost if not provided in an expedited manner. As a result, it is not clear when or if the photos will be provided.
The AP received the letter yesterday, 11 days after it requested the photos and other material stemming from the May 2 raid by a team of Navy SEALs on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
Whether the photos should be made public has been a constant source of debate since the stunning announcement of bin Laden's death.