After Osama bin Laden was assassinated in 2011, there was perhaps no more hotly sought after document on the planet than a hypothetical photograph of bin Laden's dead body, which had of course arrived at that sorry state as a result of the most tightly controlled and choreographed military operation in recent history. After some public hemming and hawing in response to an overwhelming cry for visual proof of the venture's success, the Obama White House acknowledged the existence of such photos but refused to release them in response to Freedom of Information Act requests from various parties. So one would imagine that, given the intense interest in the images and the high-profile litigation surrounding them, the CIA would conduct a rigorous accounting of each such image, its provenance, and current location, right? No, of course not. In fact, they just found some under the couch.
Since Vogue published an exquisitely timed fawning profile of the "glamorous, young, and very chic" first lady of Syria Asma al-Assad in February, her husband has presided over the murder of more than 300 demonstrators and jailed more than 10,000 political prisoners in a bloody crackdown. Now Asma has fled to England and Vogue has tossed the profile down the memory hole.