President Barack Obama yesterday decided not to release “gruesome” photos of Osama bin Laden's body because they could incite violence and threaten U.S. security.
"We don't need to spike the football," he said.
Obama resisted arguments that publicizing the pictures that show the 54-year-old al-Qaida leader with part of his skull blown off from a bullet wound above his left eye and another gunshot to his chest, would quell skeptics who argue that there is no proof bin Laden is dead.
"There's no doubt that bin Laden is dead," Obama said. "And so we don't think that a photograph in and of itself is going to make any difference. There are going be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is, you will not see bin Laden walking on this earth again."
During a "60 Minutes" interview yesterday, Obama said “it is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos ... are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence. As a propaganda tool."
Meanwhile, pictures bought by Reuters and taken by a Pakistani security official about an hour after 25 Navy SEALs attacked bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan early Monday, show three dead men lying in pools of blood, but no weapons.
None of the men resembled bin Laden.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.), joined some family members of those killed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks and Arab-world skeptics, in disagreeing with Obama’s decision.
“The whole purpose of sending our soldiers into the compound, rather than an aerial bombardment, was to obtain indisputable proof of bin Laden’s death,” Graham said. “I know bin Laden is dead. But the best way to protect and defend our interests overseas is to prove that fact to the rest of the world.”
Bin Laden was living in the compound with several relatives among those were his youngest wife and their 13-year-old daughter who reportedly were speaking with investigators in Pakistan yesterday. Reports said the teen said she saw her father killed “in front of my eyes,” ABC News reported.
Bin Laden had an escape plan, two emergency phone numbers and 500 Euros ($800) on him when he was killed, officials said.