A bare-bones version of the story can be read here. Basically, a writer/lawyer wants to see, and have the right to use, crime scene photos of Vince Foster that he believes will prove Foster was murdered, under the Freedom of Information Act.
The government, Foster’s family, and Dale Erndhart’s family oppose his petition, stating that this would be an unreasonable breach of privacy against the grieving family for no demonstrable gain. In fact, Justice Scalia and some of the lawyers mocked the conspiracy theories of the petitioner, Allan Favish (which apparently took up a good portion of his brief), in a somewhat deadpan way, pointing out the five investigations, one of which run by Ken Starr himself, that led to no other road but suicide.
Favish, however, claims that the photos aren’t that gruesome, and that the FOIA should triumph over the familial concerns. In fact, media groups support him for fear that the government could use a victory here in the future as an excuse to “reclassify” information that would otherwise be accessible under the FOIA.
Thoughts, legal eagles?
Is there any argument that garden-variety suicide photos be made public?
If no, then why should this case be any different. The experts have said suicide. That should end it.
Ye gads, the mouth-foaming “Destroy the Clintons” conservatives really are running out of control here, aren’t they?
What does Favish hope to find, Hillary’s bloody thumbprint on Vince Foster’s throat or something?
I have to agree with rjung. If there’s no pressing public interest in those photos, why would you want to release them and put Foster’s family and friends through that?
Since the release of the photos will never be able to disprove a damn thing to the satisfaction of a hard-core conspiracy theorist, why bother?
It was a suicide, not a “crime scene.” It’s been fully investigated multiple times (including by Kenneth Starr) and every conclusion has been the same. There is no compelling reason to release these photos to the public. The family’s privacy should be respected here.
IANAL, and I don’t understand the nuances in the FoIA, but wouldn’t it be possible to allow these “investigators” to view the photos w/o releasing them into the public domain? If so, that would seem to be a reasonable solution. It would be nice of one of our resident legal scholars checked in with an opinion.