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Obama: Photos of Bin Laden’s Corpse Will Not Be Released

Obama: Photos of Bin Laden’s Corpse Will Not Be Released

President Obama has said that he has made the decision not to release photos of Obama Bin Laden’s corpse. The New York Times reports that he revealed this decision in an interview that will be broadcast of CBS’s “60 Minutes” show in Wednesday.

In the absence of photographic evidence, doubts have rapidly surfaced about whether or not it was indeed Bin Laden who was killed by US Navy Seals on Sunday. For the past two days, the White House has been debating about whether or not to release the photos. On Tuesday, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta indeed said that he did not think “there was any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public.”

However, officials at the Pentagon and State Department have raised numerous concerns about releasing what are reportedly “gruesome photos” of Bin Laden’s corpse, fearing that American diplomacy and troops in Iraq and Afghanistan could be endangered:

“Imagine how the American people would react if Al Qaeda killed one of our troops or military leaders, and put photos of the body on the internet,” said Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “Osama bin Laden is not a trophy. He is dead, and let’s now focus on continuing the fight until Al Qaeda has been eliminated.”

The Guardian quotes some US officials who have seen the photos and noted that they are indeed graphic:

US Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, a member of the Senate armed services committee, said that she had seen a facial shot of one of the photos and this confirmed his identity.

Fox News reports speaking to a “senior US official” who describes the photographs as “gruesome” as they “clearly show the side of Bin Laden’s head having been shot away, and reveal skull fragments and ‘brain matter,’” but not “the exit wounds of the two shots that hit Bin Laden, in the head and chest.”

In the absence of real photos, some fake — Photoshopped — ones have appeared on the web, says the New York Times

Given the ease with which images can be digitized and cut and pasted into documents and webpages the worldwide over, it sees likely that photos of Bin Laden’s corpse would be widely disseminated in a matter of seconds if released. Most likely, some will still demand further evidence of Bin Laden’s death. Perhaps for some, no amount of proof — photographic or otherwise — will be enough. Obama’s decision is a prudent step out of concerns for safety and for avoiding the spread of more violence.

 

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Photo of the USS Carl Vinson P.1, the aircraft carrier from which US troops buried Bin Laden's body in the North Arabian Sea, from a screenshot of a video by boazgu5 via YouTube.

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41 comments

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6:53AM PDT on May 11, 2011

President Obama is a sensible man.
Of course any one in such a position does not take decisions on his own. They have to be consensual.
If any pictures had been disclosed the public would have been "stuck" to them, and the matter would drag on and on; plus the Muslim warriors (who think any problem can be solved by blowing up whatever) would have another photo to add to their martyrdom morbidity and inverted heroes mentality. In a word it would be more fuel into the fire!

All the proof in the world will not convince anyone who believes it did not happen.
We all saw the landing on the Moon live and yet there are still those who insist that it never happened.

Let's not lose our focus. This was one problem solved, BUT countless still to be tackled!

6:45AM PDT on May 11, 2011

President Obama is a sensible man.
Of course any one in such a position does not take decisions on his own. They have to be consensual.
If any pictures had been disclosed the public would have been "stuck" to them, and the matter would drag on and on; plus the Muslim warriors (who think any problem can be solved by blowing up whatever) would have another photo to add to their martyrdom morbidity and inverted heroes mentality. In a word it would be more fuel into the fire!

All the proof in the world will not convince anyone who believes it did not happen.
We all saw the landing on the Moon live and yet there are still those who insist that it never happened.

Let's not lose our foccus! This was but one problem and there are countless more out there that need to be tackled.

9:22PM PDT on May 5, 2011

We have to think of our troops serving in various sensitive places, foremostly, Afghanistan. The gruesome photos only serve to inflame attitudes and attributes against our soldiers. Not a good idea. On the other hand the President and the Administration can circulate the photographs to the DOJ, Homeland Security, Administration, the Legal Executive, the Congress and the Hse of Rep to allow these bodies to have sight and proof that OBL is killed. They can circulate via "Secret Doc." And members who have sight of these gruesome photos should sign a non-disclosure and witness form. With that the case is safely closed without any controversies.

5:57PM PDT on May 5, 2011

It is amazing how proud they seemed to visualize Saddam hussein's picture hanging. Why not Bin Ladens? That sure would put questioning minds to rest. Is he dead now or has he been dead for awhile? Is this a chip for the president? MMM I am hoping not, I like him.
There are so many creep-o's
Maybe letting so many ethnic groups into your country wasn't such a great plan. More screening is needed. Us Canadian's need to do the same.
Why should our great countries let other countries bring their mayheim into our homes and enviroments

11:04AM PDT on May 5, 2011

I am glad the President made this decision. Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein we're both evil men. But when they showed the video of people probing Hussein's mouth, I questioned whether it was really necessary.

10:56AM PDT on May 5, 2011

The "Birther" issue is OVER, NOW it's whether or not Bin Laden is Dead or Alive, HE'S DEAD.
Obama was BORN IN HAWII, 2 YRS AFTER IT BECAME A STATE.
Obama WILL win re-election!!!
I'd RATHER HAVE Obama then a pack of chewing gum!!

10:47AM PDT on May 5, 2011

Osama bin Laden was a phantom in life and now in death, too. For my part, I can't say with certainty whether this bogeyman really even existed at all. The entire story seems fabricated, or at least partial fiction, all the way up to and including some of the events that occurred on 9/11. Whether there are pictures or not it's obvious that Osama was the living embodiment of Emmanuel Goldstein.

10:44AM PDT on May 5, 2011

" For the past two days, the White House has been debating about whether or not to released the photos. On Tuesday, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta indeed said that he did not think 'there was any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public.'"
Must take a long time on Photoshop.

10:39AM PDT on May 5, 2011

Those of us who believe that Obama was born in Kenya are called"birthers" those of us who don't take what the Obama administration says at face value are called "conspiracy theorists"
those of us who do are called "kool aid drinkers".

10:06AM PDT on May 5, 2011

I applaud President Obama's decision not to publicize the photos of Bin Laden's corpse. President Obama has demonstrated a level of leadership, of dignity and respect to the world in how he has handled and announced this whole operation that I admire tremendously. While Bin Laden's own acts and orchestrations of violence as the leader of the Taliban were unquestionably reprehensible, the choices President Obama made, to give Bin Laden's body a proper religious burial (including not publicizing pictures of the body after death which are a kind of religious desecration to the sanctity of life and death) was clearly aimed at showing deep respect to the Muslim world, and minimizing the provocation of further violent reactions and repercussions. I am quite sure that Muslim religious Law does not allow the viewing of a body after death, especially publicizing pictures would be a terrible desecration - throwing salt in the wound so to speak. Seeing a bunch of gruesome pictures certainly doesn't help me find any kind of closure or peace to what has been a very long and painful journey since 9/11.

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