The emails revealed only a few "leadership" members were on hand for the May 2, 2011, burial on the USS Carl Vinson, and most officers and enlisted personnel were unaware of the event taking place, CNN reported Thursday.
"Any sailors watch the burial?" one Navy commander asked the public affairs officer on the carrier.
"Only a small group of the leadership was informed -- less than a dozen," the public affairs officer replied.
One email detailed the exact procedures of the burial.
"Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed," it said, adding, "The deceased's body was washed (ablution) then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed 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 prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body slid into the sea."
The 10 emails were released by the Department of Defense in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by watchdog group Judicial Watch, CNN reported.