Obama’s refusal to release photographs of Osama Bin Laden


In a pre-recorded interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes, President Obama answered questions on why he had chosen not to release graphic images of Osama Bin Laden.

STEVE KROFT: Did you see the pictures?


KROFT: What was your reaction when you saw them?

OBAMA: It was him.

KROFT: Why haven’t you released them?

OBAMA: You know, we discussed this internally. Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain this was him. We’ve done DNA sampling and testing. And so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden. It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence. As a propaganda tool. You know, that’s not who we are.

You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies. You know, the fact of the matter is this was somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received. And I think– Americans and people around the world are glad that he’s gone. But we don’t need to spike the football. And I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk. And I’ve discussed this with Bob Gates and Hillary Clinton and my intelligence teams and they all agree.

KROFT: There are people in Pakistan, for example, who say, “Look, this is all a lie. Obama, this is another American trick. Osama’s not dead.”

OBAMA: You know, the truth is that and we – we’re monitoring worldwide reaction. There’s no doubt that Bin Laden is dead. Certainly there’s no doubt among Al Qaeda members that he is dead. And so we don’t think that a photograph in and of itself is going to make any difference. There are going be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is, you will not see Bin Laden walking on this Earth again.

Perhaps Obama is saving the pics for his re-election campaign, they will make great posters 😛

Latest on Bin Laden

Nevine Mabro, a journalist for Britain’s Channel 4 News who produced a video report from outside the gates of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad on Tuesday, reported on Twitter a few hours ago that Pakistani police had sealed off the neighborhood for a time on Wednesday morning and were “guarding all houses near OBLs compound.”

Lindsey Hilsum, a Channel 4 News correspondent who is also reporting from Abbottabad, wrote on Twitter at about the same time: “I’m told there are police in the houses of Bin Laden’s neighbors this morning. Area blocked but may open up later.”

The video report Ms. Hilsum and Ms. Mabro produced there one day earlier featured interviews with three men from the neighborhood around the home who suggested that it was not accurate to say that the high-walled compound had not drawn any notice at all from the neighbors. One young man even said that the fact that the compound had its own independent supplies of gas and electricity had raised eyebrows locally. He added: “Everyone thought that this house was very strange.”

About two hours ago, Ms. Hilsum posted a new update on Twitter, reporting that the crew had finally been allowed back in to the neighborhood, but noticed a significant change: “At the Bin Laden house again, but all the eyewitnesses are mysteriously absent leaving only police and children.”

She also reported that the absence of visual evidence of Bin Laden’s presence in the compound was fueling speculation in Abbottabad that the raid was an elaborate hoax.

Many outside #binladen house say they don’t believe he was there, this is ‘just a drama’. So will the US release the picture?