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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According to National Journal, House Speaker Sen. John Boehner (R) of Ohio, often a vocal critic of the Obama administration, said "I'm convinced. I have no doubts." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D) of California both also voiced support for keeping the photos under wraps. Senator Feinstein said the DNA evidence convinced her, while Sen. Reid called the desire to see the photos "morbid," according to Reuters.Skip to next paragraph
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ABC News also reports that Rep. Mike Rogers (R) of Michigan, head of the House's Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has seen the images and is hesitant to release them because doing so could "endanger our troops" if there is an angry response somewhere with US troops on the ground.
"I’m a little bit reluctant. I’ll tell you why. The conspiracy theorists are going to see the pictures and find ten reasons why they think it’s someone else,” Congressman Rogers said. “I think it’s pretty common knowledge. The wives are talking, ‘Yes it was Osama bin Laden. Yes he’s dead.’ I don’t know what we gain by showing this."
Other legislators against the photos' release include Sen. Carl Levin (D) of Michigan, chairman of the armed service committee, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) of Georgia, the top Republican of the intelligence committee. Both of them called for at least a delay while anger over bin Laden's death cools down, CNN reported.
But without the photos release, expressions of doubt from groups such as the Taliban are likely to continue.
"This news is only coming from one side, from Obama’s office, and American has not shown any evidence or proof to support this claim," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement emailed to journalists. "On the other side, our sources close to Osama bin Laden have not confirmed or denied the news."