News | Osama bin Laden

White House Won't Be Releasing Photo of Bin Laden's Body

President Obama has told 60 Minutes reporter Steve Kroft that the White House won't be releasing photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse, CBS reports:

Whitehouse Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Wednesday that the Obama administration should not release the gruesome post-The killing of Osama bin Ladenmortem (sic) 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," he 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," he 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."

The photo is said to be extremely graphic, featuring a bullet wound to the head and exposed brain matter.

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  1. this is the best decision the administration could make about the pics. their release would not benefit the US in any way - and what the "arab street" can't see can't increase tensions there. as for homegrown conspiracy types who don't believe he's dead - they wouldn't anyway even if a pic was released (think birth certificate). I hope the President sticks to this decision.

    Posted by: ant | May 4, 2011 2:10:46 PM

  2. What hypocrite. He was all for releasing photos of flag draped coffins arriving in Dover and also there to support releasing the Iraq prison photos. That wasn't damaging to the troops moral and putting safety of troops in jeopardy? So funny when your ass is in the senate and there's a different President than your party you don't worry about stuff...then when you ass is in the Oval Office it's time to be sensitive...the DNC needs to run someone else...this guy is a waste.

    Posted by: Darren T. | May 4, 2011 2:16:09 PM

  3. I find myself in the unusual position of agreeing with a Republican Congressman. Justice was served with the killing of Osama, releasing the pictures of his body serve no useful purpose. President Obama is doing the honorable thing and the smart thing.

    Posted by: AUSTIN | May 4, 2011 2:17:16 PM

  4. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Darren

    Please, as if you ever did vote for him or ever would

    try peddling your little violin act somewhere else

    Posted by: | May 4, 2011 2:20:12 PM

  5. GOOD.

    I'm rather disheartened by the Bloodlust Culture that wants to give in to the ugliest sides of human nature.

    I never viewed, and never will view, the video of Saddam being hanged. I hope others won't "want" to see the Osama death photos. I hope we move forward as a culture that celebrates peace, not the deaths of admittedly-evil men.

    He's gone. We're relieved. I hope people accept this relief and embrace it, and not give in to their feelings of vengeance and negativity.

    Will some conservatives spin this? yes. these people are, though, the scum of America.

    remember nobility.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 4, 2011 2:20:41 PM

  6. For all of those demanding to see photographic proof, I'd like to remind them that nowhere in the US Constitution is there listed a right to see Military Evidence - just as they are so keen to point out that the same Constitution does not guarantee equal rights for LGBT Americans. It goes both ways.

    Posted by: Chadd | May 4, 2011 2:25:12 PM

  7. Totally agree with this decision. If proof of OBL's death is what people need, there has got to be a different way to do that besides showing a gruesome photo of the actual moment. I have no hesitation in saying that I am glad he is dead, but I don't think we should do anything to inadvertently worsen the conditions for the troops overseas right now.

    Posted by: Austin | May 4, 2011 2:26:27 PM

  8. A smart if unpopular decision. No good came from the publication of JFK's autopsy photos, or from the endless loop playing of the Zapruder film. No good would come from the publication of OBL's death photo. It will just stir things up in the Muslim world, and the anti-Obama crowd here would just say it's a fake. The President is taking a principled stand here.

    Posted by: Hank | May 4, 2011 2:27:29 PM

  9. Do not compare a flag draped coffin to OBL. As long as the appropriate members of both parties have seen the photos, then I'm fine with it. The public does not need to see everything and I believe most of this has been fueled by the media because they would love to show these pics every 10 minutes to get a quick ratings boost. I think it's sick and I'd be glad if no one ever said that man's name aloud again.

    Posted by: dk | May 4, 2011 2:28:13 PM

  10. Bottom line: If the Navy says they killed OBL, I believe them.

    Posted by: Hank | May 4, 2011 2:30:33 PM

  11. Thank God for common sense and common decency.

    Posted by: coolbearinmd | May 4, 2011 2:32:54 PM

  12. "...the DNC needs to run someone else..."

    This President is the DNC. He runs IT.

    I'm still sort of surprised when I run across Gay Archie Bunkers. I never remember seeing them at Gay Pride festivities...but then I haven't been to Gay Pride stuff in years. Maybe they've just started to come out of the closet...wearing polyester.

    "...Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again...didn't need no
    welfare state...everybody pulled his weight..."

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 4, 2011 3:00:14 PM

  13. Entirely wrongheaded decision. If Bush had said: by the way, we killed bin Laden the other day, just about everyone would demand proof. Now we'll cede all the ground to conspiracy nuts, religious fanatics and insanity in general. The first rule of bureaucracy is to never throw anything out. Keep a record of everything. Now we basically have nothing. We have nothing to argue with against the inevitable drone of obstreperous opinion mongering.

    Posted by: anon | May 4, 2011 3:00:14 PM

  14. How about inviting the NYT, Al Jazeera, CNN, FOX, etc to look at the photos without cameras, etc? The photos wouldn't be published and outside partied could verify.

    I am not arguing at all that he isn't dead. At the same token. the government isn't exactly always honest and outside verification couldn't hurt. Think: Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman.

    Posted by: tranquilo | May 4, 2011 3:01:07 PM

  15. ANON

    ur point falls short in that REPUBS on the defense and Intelligence committees have seen the photos and the REPUB chair said do not release them

    If bush never showed the pics to dems on the defense and Intelligence committees then you would have a point

    Posted by: | May 4, 2011 3:16:57 PM

  16. Smart decision - however I WOULD show it to every single member of Congress from all parties (eyes only). They could vouch for their constituents if there is any doubt he is really dead.

    Posted by: Ian | May 4, 2011 3:23:48 PM

  17. Obama and Co. are totally classy. Giving the monster a decent burial shows the difference between our values and our enemies', as does not releasing the photos.
    The hick mob always want to see gore, but this time they'll have to do without.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | May 4, 2011 3:30:45 PM


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 4, 2011 3:32:29 PM

  19. @ Little Kiwi: Beautifully said.

    Posted by: jim | May 4, 2011 3:35:34 PM

  20. The photos could be sealed and released later for future historians. That would avoid inflaming Islamist hatred and the bloodlust of American nationalists.

    Posted by: Xtab | May 4, 2011 3:39:08 PM


    I think you mean dignity, not nobility. Nobility is the divine right of kings and hereditary monarchs. What we need is dignity.

    Posted by: Xtab | May 4, 2011 3:41:46 PM

  22. That's not the only meaning, Xtab. Kiwi said it perfectly! "Noble implies a loftiness of character or spirit that scorns the petty, mean, base, or dishonorable." Also,

    Posted by: gaga queen of everything | May 4, 2011 3:48:54 PM

  23. Hey! I want PROOF the boogeyman is dead!! And no rumours he is spotted walking around Singapore somewhere. No "Wag The Dog" B*******. Government and media are the ideal spin-doctors. Why, oh why STOP showing these political images now? After Saddam's hanging; all the result of people jumping from the WTC. Trust me, I am not a war monger or advocate to unseamley imagery. However.. we waited a decade for this monster. Show me the money, or at least humour me! Post it on a 21+ website then. Al Queada publicized Daniel Pearl's beheading and many others. And YES...OBL was a trophy! Hell even the President of Pakistan does not claim him... (sorry for typos..I'm just pissed. I lost someone during 9/11) If we can't have justice...I want the 'effin' photo. Trump should go dive for that damn body.

    Posted by: Ash | May 4, 2011 3:56:23 PM

  24. Good decision not to release the photos.

    Posted by: adam | May 4, 2011 4:00:14 PM

  25. The right decision. Releasing the photos serves no good or constructive purpose. Those who buy into conspiracy theories will certainly not be satisfied with photos. Having photographic (and other) evidence does not mean that everyone has the right to see it.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 4, 2011 4:36:37 PM

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