Obama Admin. Won't Release Bin Laden Pics

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President Barack Obama said Wednesday a photo of Osama bin Laden's corpse would not be released to the public, in an effort to tame propaganda or violence that could take place in response to the graphic picture.

"We don't think that a photograph in and of itself is going to make any difference," Obama told CBS News regarding those who don't believe the al Qaeda leader is dead.

"There's no doubt we killed Osama bin Laden," he said. "There's no need to spike the football."

Since bin Laden's death, the Obama administration had been debating whether and how to release photos of bin Laden's body.

"It's fair to say that it's a gruesome photograph," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Gruesome or not, some argue releasing the photos are necessary to put any doubt and speculation to rest.

"The photos have to be released, most definitely, to make sure we get rid of any conspiracy theorists that think that we didn't take care of bin Laden," said Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

Others, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said the United States had nothing to gain from the release.

John Radsan, a national security law expert and former assistant general counsel for the CIA, agreed that the move would be unwise.

"It will be seen as disrespectful or intended to humiliate by some audiences, and I doubt that it will satisfy the skeptics," said Radsan, whose parents were born in Iran.

"We are a visual society, and people want visual confirmation," he said. "But, at times, we have to take the word of our government, our military, and our intelligence agencies."

Meanwhile, The White House is still fine-tuning its account of what happened during the deadly raid in Pakistan.

Administration officials now say bin Laden was not armed and did not use his wife as a human shield.

Also, CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed intelligence officials were only 60 to 80 percent certain the 9/11 architect was really there.

"We noticed an individual who was pacing in the courtyard who at least had some of the appearances of it. But we were never able to verify that in fact it was him," Panetta said.

U.S. officials believe bin Laden lived in the compound for the last five or six years. They are investigating a possible support network he had in Pakistan, a supposed ally in the war on terror.

Meanwhile, demonstrators gathered in Pakistan's largest city on Tuesday to protest the killing of the terrorist leader.

They chanted "Obama, solve your own problems" and suggested that the president staged the raid to help win re-election.

Omar Bakri Mohammad, a radical Muslim cleric in Lebanon, is also condemning the killing, saying it will be considered as a direct act of war against Allah.

"They tried to humiliate the Muslims by throwing the body of Sheikh Osama bin Laden into the sea," he said. "In Islam this is considered as a direct war against Allah. Therefore, I am expecting heavy retaliation from al-Qaeda and their supporters."

Obama asked former President George W. Bush to join him at New York City's Ground Zero on Thursday to mark bin Laden's death, but he declined.

David Sherzer, a spokesman for the former president, explained he prefers to remain out of the spotlight. Still, he noted that Bush "continues to celebrate with all Americans this important victory in the war on terror."

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

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