Obama Refuses to Release Osama Death Photos

Kompas.com - 05/05/2011, 04:28 WIB
EditorJimmy Hitipeuw

'What we don't want to do is to release anything that might be either misunderstood or that would cause other problems,' said President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, speaking on National Public Radio.

On Monday an obviously faked picture of his corpse spread round the world, giving conspiracy theorists new material to fuel their speculation.

As well as pictures of Bin Laden’s body – reportedly with a bullet hole above an eye, and another to the heart – the U.S. has video of both the raid and his burial at sea.

Last night CIA director Leon Panetta said that ‘ultimately’ a photograph of Bin Laden’s corpse will be released - although the President has contradicted him today.

Speaking on NBC Nightly News, he said: ‘The government obviously has been talking about how best to do this, but I don’t think there was any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public.

‘Obviously I’ve seen those photographs. We’ve analysed them and there’s no question that it’s Bin Laden.

‘I think there’s no question that there were concerns that had to be debated about the impact these photos would have.

‘But the bottom line is that we got Bin Laden and I think we have to reveal to the rest of the world the fact that we were able to get him and kill him.’

Earlier White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that the photo of Bin Laden’s corpse was ‘gruesome’ but said ‘it could be inflammatory’ if released. He said the President was mulling over whether to release the image but that there were concerns about the ‘sensitivity’ of doing so.

But the evidence so far suggests that even with a photograph of the corpse, conspiracy theories will continue. For just as in life Bin Laden was the terrorist who launched a thousand conspiracy theories, in death, it seems, he is no different.

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