On May 2, 2011, American special forces working under the code name Operation Neptune Spear assassinated al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden during a thirty-eight minute “kill mission” in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Few dispute the particulars of this raid Рdramatized in the 2013 film Zero Dark Thirty Рand only the most ardent conspiracy theorists still believe bin Laden is alive.

Of course the federal government’s ongoing secrecy regarding bin Laden’s “death photos” provides plenty of fodder …

Now we learn our government isn’t just hiding the evidence related to the bin Laden raid – it’s destroying it.

According to emails obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), U.S. special operations commander¬†Admiral William McRaven ordered his subordinates to “immediately” destroy photos of bin Laden’s remains – hours after the advocacy group filed a lawsuit to obtain the photos.

“One particular item that I want to emphasize is photos; particularly UBLs remains,” McRaven wrote. “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 the [redacted].”

Get them to the … what?

Hmmmm …

“The McRaven ‘destroy them immediately’ email is a smoking gun, revealing both contempt for the rule of law and the American’s people right to know,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

We concur.

Americans paid for this raid. They should be allowed to see these photos.