The Corner

Obama Decides Not to Release OBL Photos

Chuck Todd is reporting that the administration has elected to keep Osama bin Laden photos to itself.

UPDATE: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Bob Gates reportedly both advised President Obama against releasing the photos, fearing an anti-U.S. backlash. CIA Director Leon Panetta, by contrast, had lobbied the administration to release the photos as proof. More from ABC News:

The president, according to sources, is not convinced that there is sufficient worldwide skepticism about bin Laden’s death that the release of any of the pictures would not do more harm than good. Bin Laden’s wife identified her husband corpse to Navy SEALs and to Pakistani authorities. Officials also say that anyone who doubts that bin Laden was killed would likely not be convinced by a photograph in this era of Photoshop and forgery.

The picture is said to be so gruesome networks such as ABC News would likely not carry it, though it might end up used as an inflammatory iconic image in other parts of the world already hostile to the U.S.

UPDATE II: In an upcoming 60 Minutes interview President Obama says his decision not to release the photos extends from worries that they will serve as an “incitement to violence or propaganda tools.”

“We don’t trot this stuff out as trophies,” POTUS said. “We don’t need to spike the football.”

“The fact of the matter is you will not see bin laden walking on this Earth again.”

Good tick-tock and interesting analysis from Marc Ambinder on this.


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