The U.S. government has missed its legal deadline to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests for the photos and videos taken during the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. On Monday, May 2, the Associated Press filed its request for a range of materials, including "contingency plans for bin Laden's capture, reports on the performance of equipment during the mission and copies of DNA tests confirming the al-Qaida leader's identity." That same week, Politico filed a FOIA request for "any and all photographs and video" taken during the raid. The U.S. government had 20 business days to respond and missed that deadline last week. The remaining option news agencies have is to sue the Defense Department or the Central Intelligence Agency for the materials. But it's far from certain that any of these companies are willing to go to court.
Besides the AP and Politico, the list of media organizations that filed FOIA requests for the materials includes NPR, CBS News and Reuters. While AP spokesman Paul Colford told The Atlantic Wire today that his organization is "still considering [its] options" to sue the government, CBS News, Politico and Reuters declined to comment on the issue. NPR has not responded to requests for comment.