The Debate Over Releasing Bin Laden Photos

CIA Director Leon Panetta says the administration has graphic images of Osama bin Laden's corpse, at least one of which is likely to be released. Officials hope that doing so will quiet any doubts that bin Laden is indeed dead. The worry is that anti-U.S. sentiment could be further inflamed as a result and the internal debate apparently isn't over yet.



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Some people have expressed the need for more proof that Osama Bin Laden was killed, but the U.S. government has struggled with whether releasing photos of bin Laden's body will appease conspiracy theories or incite radicals.

WITN spoke to Dr. Jalil Roshendal at ECU, an expert in international security and terrorism.

Dr. Roshendal says the purpose of releasing the photos is not just to satisfy Americans' curiosity, but it could silence rumors bin Laden is still alive. "It's not to satisfy the Americans it's to satisfy the Jihad websites and therefore the CIA has to consider all the implications because it could go either way, they could be satisfied or not satisfied."

The number one concern about releasing the photos is the safety of the American people and fear of possible retaliation from radicals. Dr Roshendal says, "We just need to be on alert, but I am not expecting a major threat to happen on U.S. soil. Americans overseas are the ones most at risk."

Some U.S. leaders say the pictures could be the final word in making sure bin Laden goes down in history as a terrorist America took down.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by fact bringer Location: greenville on May 4, 2011 at 07:50 PM
    I think what's most interesting about this conversation is how drippingly angry and insulting the commenters are to one another here. Get some help. Our enemy are terrorists, not the other domestic political party. Geez.
  • by so on May 4, 2011 at 04:31 PM
    they put pictures everywhere of some poor jewish journalist getting his head sawed off with a steak knife. i think we are above all that, even if we are drawn to everyones misfortunes and drama. i hope most americans even still have respect for human life when that life was wasted on evil against them. thats what separates us from them.
  • by Obama Snake Oil co Location: Washington on May 4, 2011 at 04:29 PM
    Soldiers say he is dead...he is dead. Too bad you got those 72 fat women with aids for being a coward killer and mass murderer. I am sure Allah turned his back on you when you killed at the twin towers. Enjoy being crab and fish food!
  • by photos on May 4, 2011 at 04:25 PM
    the photos are showing up in places like facebook--as scams/viruses when you click on them. and theyre not official anyways. i say, who cares? what does it take to believe the event? how will we know if its a real photo, osama bin ladens real blood (we cant know what his dna is) etc..? we will only have to take the word of the officials who reported it. id think that the al queda would get wind of all the conspiracy theories and produce a look alike just to mess with us! personally i dont care, theres more evil than osama bin laden in the world, hes just one less, which is great, but not worth worrying if its real.
  • by Gville on May 4, 2011 at 04:14 PM
    Is he really dead?
  • by american Location: usa on May 4, 2011 at 11:47 AM
    If we were like the al Qaida, we would have pour fuel from an airplane on him, set him a fire and pour a ton of concrete and concrete brocks on him while he was still alive and not given him a burial....GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE...
    • reply
      by BLAH on May 4, 2011 at 12:54 PM in reply to american
      I personally would have shipped him to japan and throwed him in that nuclear reactor.
  • by Daniel Location: Greenville on May 4, 2011 at 10:39 AM
    No way he is dead, Obama is full of it.
  • by mom Location: nc on May 4, 2011 at 10:32 AM
    I've already seen the pictures on Facebook. I don't see what the big deal is...Everything gets out eventually ...
    • reply
      by ncyankee on May 4, 2011 at 12:23 PM in reply to mom
      where on f/b did you see the pics, please let us know, this corrupt govt, wont post them, which makes me believe O is lying again...
      • reply
        by photos on May 4, 2011 at 04:25 PM in reply to ncyankee
        if youve seen them on facebook your computer has a virus now.
  • by Theresa Location: Martin Co. on May 4, 2011 at 10:32 AM
    I do not want to see the pics of him dead. Heck, I didn't want to see him alive. I fully realize that al Qaida tortured, beheaded, and paraded Americans on the streets for all to see. I thought it was appalling then and I still do. But I do not believe showing the pictures, celebrating in the streets, etc. is right either. we are no safer as there are men groomed and ready to take his place. There always will be. We need to remain a proud, DIGNIFIED people. We are leaders NOT followers and 2 wrongs do not make it right even if it would feel good. He is dead, the families can now have some closure, please leave it at that. A death, no matter how deserving, is not something to publically celebrate and the war with al Qaida is far from over. I sincerely hope the U.S.A. and Americans do not stoop to the levels seen in third world countries and done by terrorists. We are better than that. God help what is becoming of America.
  • by BLAHammed on May 4, 2011 at 10:28 AM
    I doubt oBlahma will release any pictures.
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