US President Barack Obama rules against releasing post-mortem images of al Qaeda leader.
by News Agencies
US President Barack Obama Barack decided Wednesday that the post-mortem photographs of al- Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's body would not be made public
The president announced the decision an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes."
The White House had been considering making the images public following the growing demand to offer proof that bin Laden was actually killed during the raid on his compound. However, officials had cautioned that the photo was gruesome and could be inflammatory.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill who have seen the pictures agreed with the president.
"In my opinion there is no end served by releasing a picture of someone who has been killed," Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said.
"Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos are doctored anyway," GOP House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said, "and there is a real risk that releasing the photos will only serve to inflame public opinion in the Middle East."
The decision came a day after CIA director Leon Panetta said that a photo proving the death of bin Laden "would be presented to the public," but the comment quickly drew a response from the White House saying no decision has yet been made.
"The bottom line is that, you know, 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," Panetta said.
He added that the photos leave no question that bin Laden was killed. "Obviously I've seen those photographs," he said. "We've analyzed them and there's no question that it's bin Laden."