News / USA

Obama Will Not Release bin Laden Death Photo

A roadside vendor sells newspapers with headlines about the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in Lahore May 3, 2011.
A roadside vendor sells newspapers with headlines about the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, in Lahore May 3, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama decided Wednesday not to release photographs of al-Qaida terror network leader Osama bin Laden after he was shot and killed.  The president’s decision ended three days of debate on the issue within his administration.   

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president made the decision not to release the photos of Osama bin Laden’s body for several reasons.

Carney read excerpts from the transcript of an interview Mr. Obama gave to CBS television earlier Wednesday.  According to Carney, the president said he is concerned that making the gruesome images public could damage U.S. national security.

"It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool.  That is not who we are.  We do not trot out this stuff as trophies," he said.

Carney said the president told the interviewer that there is no doubt among al-Qaida members that bin Laden is dead.  The White House spokesman quoted Mr. Obama as saying, "You will not see Osama bin Laden walking on this Earth again."

Carney told reporters that the president has held his position on the issue very firmly, and that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed with his decision to not to disclose the pictures.

But CIA Director Leon Panetta, whom Mr. Obama has chosen to be the next defense secretary, said publicly, several times before the decision was announced, that the photographs should be released.

Whether the president should make the pictures public also caused some disagreement on Capitol Hill.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that keeping the photographs from the public would be a mistake.  Another Republican Senator, Kelly Ayotte, said that doing so will foster doubts that bin Laden is really dead.

"We have seen that in many instances around the world, there can be conspiracy theories about these types of events.  And so, I think it is important in terms of closure that, while nobody wants to see disturbing photos, the closure aspect of it, I think, is very important," he said.

But many other lawmakers, Republicans among them, support Mr. Obama’s decision.

Republican Mike Rogers is Chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. "If you are a sergeant in a town in Ghazni, Afghanistan and you are trying to get some local elder to cooperate about what is happening in your village, are you going to do it if this inflames?  We have a trophy of Osama bin Laden?  I worry about that," he said.

President Obama made a similar decision in May, 2009, when he reversed an earlier decision and decided against releasing photographs of the abuse of detainees at U.S. military prisons.  In that case, he also based his decision on the potential for the images to incite violence.

Mr. Obama is scheduled go to New York on Thursday, to lay a wreath at the National September 11 Memorial, on the site of the World Trade Center.  About 2,800 people were killed in 2001, when the 110-story twin towers were destroyed in an al-Qaida attack.

The president will not speak publicly at the event.  He will meet with the families of the victims and emergency workers who died that day.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid