Obama Decides Not To Release Photos Of Bin Laden's Body
Obama decided any photos released would do little to silence skeptics and could engrage the Muslim world.
The president announced his decision in an interview for a "60 Minutes" episode that will air on Sunday. Clips of the interview, though, will be shown on the CBS "Evening News" Wednesday.
"The risks of release outweigh the benefits," said Mike Rogers, chairman of the Republican House Intelligence Committee. "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."
Obama's decision came amid great speculation as to whether the White House would release images of bin Laden's body silence those skeptical of bin Laden's death.
On Tuesday, the Drudge Report sent the Internet abuzz after the web site reported Obama had decided to release a photo of bin Laden.
Since President Obama announced bin Laden's death Sunday, many people have asked for proof, saying that the Obama administration's release of DNA identification and details of the top secret mission aren't enough. They want photos.
"I have wondered where the photos have been," said Abigail Carter, whose husband, Arron, was killed in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. "I just assumed the photos would get plastered everywhere."
"Psychologically, it's a sense of vindication, but the reality is it changes nothing," she added.
The Taliban said Tuesday that it wouldn't believe bin Laden is dead unless more proof is offered.
"As the Americans did not provide any acceptable evidence to back up their claim, and as the other aides close to Osama bin Laden have not confirmed or denied the death ... the Islamic Emirate considers any assertion premature," said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman.
A senior U.S. official who has seen the photos say there is not doubt the images are of bin Laden. But the photo that clearly shows bin Laden's face reveals a gruesome head wound across both of his eyes, showing blood and his brain.
The Obama administration received three sets of photos Tuesday: images of bin Laden's body at the hangar his body was brought to in Afghanistan, photos of the raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad, Pakistan compound, and images of bin Laden's burial at sea.
White House officials fear that the particularly graphic photo of the al Qaeda leader's face will anger some people.
"We also want to anticipate what the reaction might be on the part of al Qaeda or others to the release of certain information so that we can take the appropriate steps beforehand," said John Brennan, deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, on CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday.