Bin Laden Corpse Photos Won't Be Released

Originally published on May 5, 2011 11:16 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, Host:

This is a day to ponder events of the past 10 years - from September 11th in New York to last Sunday's events at a compound in Pakistan. President Obama visits the former site of the World Trade Center today. We'll have more on that in a moment.

INSKEEP: NPR's Rachel Martin begins our coverage.

RACHEL MARTIN: President Obama explained his decision in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," taped yesterday. Mr. Obama said bin Laden got the justice he deserved and there was no need to publish photographs to prove it.

BARACK OBAMA: We've done DNA sampling and testing and so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden.

MARTIN: Some members of Congress wanted the photos released to head off possible conspiracy theories. And earlier this week, CIA Director Leon Panetta said the photos would ultimately come out. But the president described the photos as very graphic. U.S. officials say bin Laden was shot twice - once in the head and once in the chest. And the president suggested that releasing the photos could incite a violent response from bin Laden supporters.

OBAMA: 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, as a propaganda tool. You know, that's not who we are.

MARTIN: Rachel Martin, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.