News broke on Wednesday that the Obama administration will not release pictures of Osama bin Laden’s body as evidence of his death.
HuffPost's Jen Bendery reports:
Obama announced his decision on the matter during an interview with “60 Minutes” set to air Sunday.
Top U.S. intelligence officials have been increasingly divided over the benefits of releasing photos as proof that the al Qaeda leader was killed Sunday during a U.S. raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
"There's no doubt we killed Osama bin Laden," explains President Barack Obama in the interview. "There's no need to spike the football."
The AP reports:
Photos taken by the Navy SEAL raiders show bin Laden shot in the head, numerous officials have said. CIA Director Leon Panetta said Tuesday he expected at least one photo to be released. Asked about that, Carney said the decision had not been made at that time.
But Carney also said the president never doubted his position on not releasing the photos.
The president cites a possible national security risk in explaining his decision to withhold the images. "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," he says.
Some big names within the Republican community have expressed agreement with the president's position on the matter. Others have signaled a different stance.
Below, a slideshow highlighting where some notable GOP faces stand on the issue:
HuffPost's Jen Bendery reports: House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) announced Wednesday that he opposed the photos' release because the action could complicate matters for U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. "The risks of release outweigh the benefits," Rogers said in a statement. "Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos are doctored anyway." He questioned how Americans would react if al Qaeda killed a top U.S. military leader and released photos of the body on the Internet. "Osama bin Laden is not a trophy," he said. "He is dead and let's now focus on continuing the fight until Al Qaida has been eliminated."
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told CNN on Wednesday afternoon that the House Speaker "supports the president's decision" not to release the photos. National Journal reported before the administration's decision became known: "That's a decision for the administration to make," Boehner said when asked if it was necessary to release any of the bin Laden photos, which U.S. officials have described as carrying the gory imprint of a gunshot wound to the head. "They have to decide what to do. I'm convinced. I have no doubts."
CNN relays the following statement released by the congressman on Wednesday afternoon: "While I have said that a photo release may be a good way to combat the predictable conspiracy theories about bin Laden's death, this is a decision for the president to make, and I respect his decision," King, R-New York, said.
ABC News reports: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, believes President Obama's decision not to release the Osama bin Laden photos is "a mistake" that will "unnecessarily prolong this debate" over the death of the world's most wanted man. Click here to read more.
NBC News' reported before the administration's decision to withhold the photos became known: After an intelligence briefing on Capitol Hill, McCain said it was a "judgment" the president has to make, but that he believes it's "not necessary to do," NBC's Joel Seidman reports. McCain said he had himself not seen any of the photos.
Sarah Palin wrote on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, "Show photo as warning to others seeking America's destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama;it's part of the mission."