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.
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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid