A good case can be made for releasing or not releasing the photos of the deceased Osama bin Laden. The WH has determined that it would do more harm than good and that decision is supported by Clinton and Gates.
Conspiracy theories here and abroad have already begun but the majority of Muslims and Americans believe Osama is dead. Details of his death will vary. For instance, Osama’s 12 year old daughter, who was present during the raid, allegedly claimed that Osama was captured, questioned and then assassinated but she’s 12.
In addition to the conspiracy theories that will arise, is this more a policy of appeasement? The fact that the pictures have been described in detail seem to negate any argument for not releasing the photos. However, they are gruesome and in all likelihood no good can come from it. In the end, will they be leaked anyway? Assange, where are the photos?
Photos of the men killed at the compound have been sold to Reuters. Reuters is confidant of their authenticity.
“The White House will not release grisly photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse, sources told ABC News.
Officials said the photos show a bearded bin Laden, 54, after being shot above the left eye and in the chest during a 40-minute raid by elite Navy SEALs Sunday. The two shots killed the al Qaeda leader and terrorism mastermind who ordered the attacks on the twin towers.
The Obama administration had debated releasing the gruesome photo, which reveals exposed brains and blood. Sources told ABC News that the president was increasingly skeptical about the need to show photographic proof of bin Laden’s death.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton advised the president that releasing a picture could prompt a backlash against the United States for killing bin Laden, sources told ABC News.
“Here’s the problem, if you’re a sergeant in a town in … Afghanistan and you’re trying to get some local elder to cooperate on what’s happening in your village, are you going to do it if this inflames into some kind of trophy of Osama bin Laden,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
After monitoring voices in Arab and Muslim media, the president and some members of his national security team reasoned that few people in the Muslim world were skeptical of bin Laden’s death, sources said. Such apparent lack of skepticism, along with bin Laden’s wife’s identifying the terrorist to the Navy SEALs and Pakistani intelligence officials, made the president increasingly doubtful of any compelling reason to release a photograph…”Read more here: ABC News
Jon Swaine’s article in the Telegraph: Prosecutors representing the US government are expected to file papers this week asking a judge to dismiss the case against bin Laden, the late leader of al-Qaeda, due to the death of the main defendant.
The first indictment against bin Laden was filed in secret at a federal-district court in Manhattan on June 10, 1998, before most of his most renowned acts of terrorism.
It was eight pages long, and stated that the then-41-year-old should be convicted of conspiring to attack United States defence installations throughout the 1990s.
Over the following years, the case grew with every outrage al-Qaeda perpetrated, with dozens of bin Laden’s subordinates added to the list said by prosecutors to have been responsible.
Just two months after the first indictment, the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, were bombed by al-Qaeda agents, killing more than 200 and wounding hundreds more…Read here:”NYC criminal case
From CNN’s National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin
A Senior US Official tells CNN 10 hard drives, 5 computers and more than 100 storage devices which includes discs, DVDs and thumb drives were taken from the compound.
The senior us official also says the White House received 3 sets of photos yesterday. The photos included:
1. Photos of OBLs body at a hangar after he was brought back to Afghanistan. This is the most recognizable with a clear picture of his face. The picture is gruesome because he has a massive open head wound across both eyes. It’s very bloody and gory.
2. Photos from the burial at sea on the USS Carl Vinson. Photos of OBL before the shroud was put on and then wrapped in the shroud.
3. There are photos of the raid itself that include photos of the two dead brothers, one of OBLs dead son (adult adolescent, maybe approx 18 yrs old) and some of the inside scene of the compound.
The official says the challenge is that the picture that includes the most recognizable image of OBLs face – from the hangar in Afghanistan – is so gruesome and mangled its not appropriate for say the front page of the newspaper. On the other hand, this is the one that is most identifiable as him.