Skip to comments.Obama: I won't release bin Laden death photos
Posted on 05/04/2011 11:52:52 AM PDT by NoLibZone
In an interview with Steve Kroft for this Sunday's "60 Minutes," President Obama says he won't release post-mortem images of Osama bin Laden taken to prove his death.
"We don't trot out this stuff as trophies," Mr. Obama said.
The president told Kroft he saw the photos and knew that bin Laden had been killed.
"We discussed this internally," he said. "Keep in mind, we are absolutely certain that this was him. We've done DNA sampling and testing. And so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden."
"We don't need to spike the football...given the graphic nature of the photo it would create national security risk," added the president.
Video of the comments will appear on the CBS "Evening News" on Wednesday.
Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Wednesday that the Obama administration should not release the gruesome post-mortem images, saying it could complicate the job for American troops overseas. Rogers told CBS News he has seen a post-mortem photo.
"The risks of release outweigh the benefits," Rogers said. "Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos are doctored anyway, and there is a real risk that releasing the photos will only serve to inflame public opinion in the Middle East."
"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," Rogers continued. "Osama bin Laden is not a trophy - he is dead and let's now focus on continuing the fight until Al Qaida has been eliminated."
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President Barack Obama delivers a statement in the East Room of the White House on the mission against Osama bin Laden, May 1, 2011. (Credit: White House/Pete Souza)
Skeptics have called on the United States to release photos of bin Laden, who officials say was shot in the face during a raid on his compound, in order to prove that the al Qaeda leader is really dead.
The White House had said it was debating whether to release the photographs, which are believed to be extremely graphic.
CIA director Leon Panetta told CBS News Tuesday that he thought a photo would be released, though he said the White House would make the final decision. Panetta told NBC News that "I don't think there was any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public." Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly advised Mr. Obama not to release any images.
CBS News national security correspondent David Martin has been told the photographs are "very gruesome" and won't be for the "squeamish."
"I've had it described to me and it does sound very gruesome," he said. "Remember, bin Laden was shot twice at close range, once in the chest and once in the head, right above his left eye, and that bullet opened his skull, exposing the brain, and it also blew out his eye. So these are not going to be pictures for the squeamish."
Neil Livingstone, Chairman and CEO of Executive Action and author of nine books on terrorism, said he disagreed with Mr. Obama's decision.
"If we can't conclusively demonstrate that indeed he is dead there will be those who say he is still out there," he said. "Al Qaeda might even try to keep his legacy going and say 'they got someone else, they didn't really get him.'"
On Twitter, Sarah Palin also opposed the decision.
"Show photo as warning to others seeking America's destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama;it's part of the mission," she wrote.
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Two Republican senators -- Saxby Chambliss, R-GA, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, a member of the Armed Services Committee - told CBS News Wednesday they had seen post-mortem photographs of bin Laden.No Democrats have said they have seen the images.
Photoshopped images purporting to show bin Laden after he was killed have already surfaced on the Internet.
I don't believe Mogadishu bothered the Clintoons one bit.
I am not surprised, just because he made one correct decision doen’t mean he’s going to start a streak of them.
I think he was surprised “bin Hidin’” was caught unaware.
I don’t trust him, and never will. He WAS born in Hawaii, but the wrong DADDY is on the certificate...
What a class act! What dignity in office!
Then why is he going to New York?
When we finally were informed that those individuals who were able to go in that compound and found an individual that they believed was bin Laden, there was a tremendous sigh of relief, said Brennan. And the president was relieved once we had our people and those remains off.
huh? “believed” “those remains” lots of wiggle room there.
NO PHOTO = NO PROOF
This nets Obama no “bounce”.
Once they realize the lack of bounce , the WH will offer Ball Park seat cushions, Mouse pads and coffee mugs with the photos.
Wait for it.
State secrets, no doubt. WTF is with this clown, anyway? Transparency my foot! The only thing clear about this administration is that it’s run by an arrogant fool.
“Look, I’m not gonna release the photos of Osama!”
“And now, I’m going to the golf course.”
All this hemming and hawing over releasing the OBL photo, but we were inundated with pictures from Abu Gharib.
“Then why is he going to New York?”
Good point. Also why did he run out the second he had if confirmed and make a big announcment. They don’t even have the details down. There are so many contradictory stories out there right now.
Amatuer and narcissist.
The decision not to show the photo is very gruesome.
You gotta pity the guy to some extent.
He’s caught in the same dillema that the Pakis are/were -
if they gave up bin Ladin, the Muslims would get really mad,
and if they refused to, they are opposing the United States.
Obama’s in the same boat - piss off the Muslims or piss off Americans. He’ll choose to offend Americans every time if this is his choice.
It was the people who took the pictures that released them. I don't expect that from the SEALS.
..and, PHOTO = NO PROOF. The administration knows that even a picture won't satisfy many. So, there is no incentive to release it.
“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,”
Yeah. Like if they cut off the head of some journalist and then posted a video of it.