After much debate, President Barack Obama today decided not to release the gruesome and grisly Osama bin Laden death photos.
There have been several fake death photos of the former Al Qaeda leader circulating on the internet, however the real photos will be kept under wraps, according to the President.
As recently as yesterday, CIA director Leon Panetta told NBC News that a photo proving that Osama bin Laden was dead “would be presented to the public,” however that comment quickly drew a response from the White House saying that no official decision had yet been made.
“The bottom line is that, you know, we got bin Laden and I think we have to reveal to the rest of the world the fact that we were able to get him and kill him,” Panetta said.
Now, though, in an interview with Steve Kroft for this Sunday’s 60 Minutes, President Obama says he won’t release the Osama Bin Laden death photos.
Video of Obama’s remarks will air on the CBS Evening News program later today (Wednesday).
Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers says that releasing the gruesome death photos would complicate things for our troops overseas.
“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 Qaida 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.”