WASHINGTON, May 4 (Xinhua) — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Wednesday that President Barack Obama has decided not to release photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse.
“The president has made the decision not to release any of the photographs of the deceased Osama bin Laden,” Carney told reporters at the White House.
“There is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden,” Carney quoted the president as saying on CBS’ “60 Minutes” program. ” There are going to be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is you won’t see Osama bin Laden walking on this Earth again.”
Carney said releasing the photos would bring about a national security risk by feeding resentment in the Arab world.
“It is very important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of someone shot in the head are not floating around … as a propaganda tool,” he said.
The spokesman added that the administration has “established beyond any doubt” through DNA tests and facial recognition that the slain man was indeed bin Laden, and a photograph of the dead body is not going to make any difference.
It’s not clear what caused the president to make such a decision after CIA Director Leon Panetta indicated earlier that a photo might be released, but obviously there are voices opposing the release.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, is one of the opponents.
“(There) is a real risk that releasing the photos will only serve to inflame public opinion in the Middle East,” he said in a statement, adding that he does not “want to make the job of our troops serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan any harder than it already is.”
A new CNN poll showed that a majority of Americans support making the photos public.
Fifty-six percent of those polled said the government should release a photo of bin Laden’s dead body, while 39 percent said it should not.