There have been no pictures of Osama bin Laden after he was killed, but new details have surfaced about his burial. They come from one of the very few public disclosures of government information on the al Qaeda terrorist's death.
Tense and very secretive--transmissions, as the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson waits for the body of Osama Bin Laden.
It's May 2nd, 2011.
The Al Qaeda leader's just been killed by Navy SEALs. In emails, two U.S. Navy admirals use code-words to describe Bin Laden. The commander of the carrier strike-group says "Fed-Ex delivered the package. Both trucks are safely en route home base."
The e-mails, heavily redacted, have just been released by the Defense Department--responding to a "Freedom of Information Act" lawsuit by the group Judicial Watch.
A few days earlier--that strike-group commander had asked another office: "Do I need and special religious/ceremonial preparations?"
After Bin Laden's buried at sea, an admiral describes the scene: " Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed. The deceased's body was washed...then places in a white sheet. The body was paced in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a flat board, tipped up, where-upon the deceased's body slid into the sea."
According to the e-mails, there aren't many witnesses in response to the question "any sailors watch the burial?" One e-mail says "Only a small group of the leadership was informed--less than a dozen total."
The heading on another says "Burial no sailors watched." And another indication of the secrecy of that part of the mission: an e-mail from a top admiral to Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen: "The paucity of documentary evidence in our possession is a reflection of the emphasis placed upon operational security."