Obama doubles down on refusal to release bin Laden photos
The White House seems to have decided that satisfying skeptics is not worth the risk of releasing 'gruesome' photos of Osama bin Laden, which could enrage radicals.
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"There is no doubt that [bin Laden] is dead," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday. "Certainly there is no doubt among Al Qaeda members he is dead. We don't think a photograph in and of itself will make any difference."
Mr. Carney also said that the administration does not want to "spike the football" in celebration of bin Laden's death. "That is not who we are," he said, adding that it's important that very graphic images are not "floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool."
The decision indicates that alleviating the doubts of skeptics isn't as important to the Obama administration as concerns that the photos – which the White House describes as "gruesome" – could inflame Islamist radicals.
"What we don't want to do is to release anything that might be either misunderstood or that would cause other problems," President Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan said earlier this week, according to Reuters.
The Obama administration used facial recognition software and a DNA test to confirm that the body is bin Laden's.
Monitor poll on Facebook: Should the President release photos of a dead Osama bin Laden?
According to ABC News, both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Obama against releasing the photos. And the number of congressional leaders who lined up behind that opinion seems to be sizable.