Obama rejects bin Laden photo release, but debate continues

At Ground Zero, the U.S president joins dozens of families of the 9/11 victims.

WASHINGTON / N.Y – Despite mounting pressure from some lawmakers and dissent within the ranks of his top advisers, President Barack Obama decided not to release photos of Osama bin Laden’s dead body, a White House spokesman said Wednesday, CNN informs.

“It is not in our national security interest … to allow these images to become icons to rally opinion against the United States,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “We have no need to publish those photographs to establish that Osama bin Laden was killed,” he said.
Shortly after U.S. officials announced the decision, a news agency published photographs it said were taken by a Pakistani security official shortly after the raid.

White House officials re­mained firm in their assertion that releasing graphic photos of bin Laden could incite more violence.

“That’s not who we are. We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies. The fact of the matter is that this is someone who is deserving of the justice he received. … We don’t need to spike the football,” Obama told CBS News.

Obama’s choice comes as a poll shows that a majority of Americans support making the photographs public. In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday, 56% of those asked said yes, the government should release a photo of bin Laden’s body. Another 39% said no. The poll of 700 adults had a sampling margin of 3.5%.  The government has said it matched DNA to confirm that the body was bin Laden’s, and most have accepted that news as evidence of the outcome of the operation. Some groups, however – including the Taliban – have questioned the assertion. Similar doubt and demands for evidence that bin Laden is dead echoed on the streets of Islamabad. “I believe this is all fake,” one man said. “Wherever he is, he’s alive.” But the White House has dismissed such criticisms. “There are going to be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is, you will not see bin Laden walking on this Earth again,” Obama told CBS.

The White House has received three sets of photographs, according to a senior U.S. official.

Hundreds of the people most affected by Osama bin Laden’s murderous attack on 9/11 gathered on Thursday in lower Manhattan to meet President Obama. According to ABC news, many were torn over the president’s decision not to release photos of the slain terrorist, while other victims’ family members feel slighted at not receiving an invitation to the event. Obama was not expected to make a speech, but was due instead to lay a wreath and meet with selected family members invited by the White House.

Pakistan reacts angrily to tone of u.s. questions

A senior Pakistani intelligence official reacted angrily Wednesday to comments by CIA Director Leon Panetta, who told U.S. lawmakers in a closed-door session Tuesday that Pakistani officials were either “involved or incompetent” in bin Laden’s case – and, “Neither is a good place to be.” The official, who did not want to be named, said his country had been generously sharing intelligence with its American counterparts. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, said his government will conduct an inquiry to find out how bin Laden managed to maintain residency there.

The government was not complicit with bin Laden because having him there was harmful, Haqqani said. Any official who was aware of the fugitive’s presence and failed to act will be held accountable, he added

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