Gates, Clinton Advising President to Not Release OBL Photograph


robert-gatesPresident Obama is increasingly doubtful that there’s a compelling reason to release a photograph of Osama bin Laden’s corpse, ABC News has learned.

There don’t seem to be many skeptics of bin Laden’s death in the Muslim world, with bin Laden’s wife having survived the attack to identify bin Laden’s death both to the Navy SEALs and Pakistani authorities.

Meanwhile, sources say, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are advising the president about concerns at the Pentagon and State Department that releasing a photograph could prompt a backlash against the US for killing bin Laden where one does not seem to currently exist.

The internal debate at the White House is then informed by this question: why are we releasing this photograph if no one seems to really doubt his death and releasing it could cause more harm than good?

US official: “The only skeptics are extremists and they wouldn’t be convinced by a photograph anyway. So the president has to weigh the potential negatives and they’re huge, there’s a tremendous risk of the photo becoming a rallying cry for attacks against US soldiers, government personnel, and Americans in general.”

{ABC News/ Newscenter}


  1. I agree with not releasing the photo, but for other reasons. It cheapens death. Do you not think there would be t-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse-pads with this image on it? Do children really need to see it? For that matter, do adults? I’m pleased that a woman, Hillary Clinton, put the brakes on this effort.