White House officials are reportedly hesitant to release a series of “gruesome” photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse and burial at sea. Calls for proof of death are whipping the media into a frenzy, as loved ones of 9/11 victims seek closure and skeptics demand evidence. Reports early Tuesday indicated that at least one photo would be released, but press secretary Jay Carney later said the Obama administration would prefer not to release any of the images. —KDG
[A] senior U.S. official also says the White House received 3 sets of photos yesterday. The photos included:
1. Photos of OBL’s body at a hangar after he was brought back to Afghanistan. This is the most recognizable with a clear picture of his face. The picture is gruesome because he has a massive open head wound across both eyes. It’s very bloody and gory.
2. Photos from the burial at sea on the USS Carl Vinson. Photos of OBL before the shroud was put on and then wrapped in the shroud.
3. There are photos of the raid itself that include photos of the two dead brothers, one of OBL’s dead son (adult adolescent, maybe approx 18 yrs old) and some of the inside scene of the compound.
The official says the challenge is that the picture that includes the most recognizable image of OBL’s face – from the hangar in Afghanistan – is so gruesome and mangled its not appropriate for say the front page of the newspaper. On the other hand, this is the one that is most identifiable as him.