Will bin Laden death image silence doubters or fan flames?
A passer-by looks at newspapers reporting the death of Osama bin Laden.
May 3rd, 2011
12:56 PM ET

Will bin Laden death image silence doubters or fan flames?

While the White House and the CIA deliberate whether to release a photo of Osama bin Laden's body, there's debate outside the White House on what impact such graphic images might have.

A key counterterrorism adviser to President Barack Obama said that if the White House does decide to release images, it wants to do it in a "thoughtful manner."

"We also want to anticipate what the reaction might be on the part of al Qaeda or others to the release of certain information so that we can take the appropriate steps beforehand," John Brennan, deputy national security adviser for counterterrorism and homeland security, said on CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday. "So any other material, whether it be photos or videos or whatever else, we are looking at it and will make the appropriate decisions."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, said he was conflicted over whether the administration should release an image of bin Laden.

"It's something that we're gonna have to work through," Rogers said. "We want to make sure that we maintain dignity, if there was any, in Osama bin Laden, so that we don't inflame problems other places in the world, and still provide enough evidence that people are confident that it was Osama bin Laden."

A senior government official involved in the discussions told CNN's John King that the photo release "could" come Tuesday by the CIA, adding that no decision has been made at the White House.

A government official familiar with intelligence matters says deliberations are leaning toward release and said that there is "growing consensus" to release the photo but emphasizes, "it isn't unanimous and everyone has understandable hesitation."

A senior U.S. official told CNN's Jessica Yellin that the photos were taken at a hangar in Afghanistan. The official described it as a clear picture of bin Laden's face, but he has a massive open head wound across both eyes.

Emad El-Din Shahin, a professor of religion at the University of Notre Dame, said the administration is in a "tough situation."

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Osama bin Laden • September 11 • Terrorism
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. ABRAHAM

    First week in May a holiday

    May 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sandyk

    there were pictures of Elvis dead but people still claim he was alive. If you are of that mindset it isnt going to matter one way or the other. I believe he is dead.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. curious

    Elvis is bin laden

    May 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Enrique

    pics need to go up, I dont believe anything anymore unless i see it myself

    May 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brian

    Pics and post the Seal video

    May 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tiffany

    How come we saw hussain's pics and they r afraid to show bin laden's?????

    May 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben Alcobra

      Because Hussein's pics were first leaked by an unauthorized source.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Psyclops

    CIA was ordered to let OBL go prior to invading Afghanistan. The picture would shut me up and I could defend our president against the doubters. Sorry, but our government likes to lie to people. If they didn't do it so often then more people would trust them. Kennedy's autopsy photos are pretty grim too, but those are made public.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. OMGOMGOMG

    Anyone ever notice that (Obama/Biden) is eerily similar to (Osama BinLaden)???!!!!! OMG!!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Enrique

    Well said Psyclops

    May 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. insider

    Soon as you prove you're legal to be in the country theyll post pics sorry too many people claim to be american but arent

    May 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sandyk

    the gov`t put the people on a need to know status... sometimes they think we need to know the truth sometimes we need to know a lie!! good post psyclops

    May 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Enrique

    wow, way to go into left field lol lets stay on topic please 🙂

    May 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. charlie crack

    Should silence them! Dont speculate! If you dont know s&@$ dont say s@%&. Buncha idiots! Doubters??? If you doubt the USA soldiers protecting us, (one being my brother 94th mountain BSB afghanistan) you are absolutely unpatriotic and ud say you just have it out for our president. Get a clue. Losers!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Diane

    I'm sure we have seen as bad or not worse on television than these picture of Bin Laden. The doubters are going to be doubters either way. Personally I would like to see a picture of him dead.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ben Alcobra

    Of course Osama's death will not silence doubters. It will instead fan flames. It's not about rational thought or facts – it's all about bias and hatred against Obama, regardless of what he does or doesn't do.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
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