Fearing that their release could pose a risk to national security by inciting violence, President Obama has decided not to release any photos of Osama bin Laden's body, the Washington Post reports. The White House explained today that there was concern that the images could be interpreted as a display by the United States of "trophies" of the killing.
"That's not who we are," Obama told CBS's 60 Minutes, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney. "We don't need to spike the football." Explaining the decision (which officials have said show a gaping wound in bin Laden's head) to interviewer Steve Kroft, Obama emphasized that it was important to make sure that graphic photos didn't become a "propaganda tool" for terrorists. He added that he did not think that photos would make a difference in convincing conspiracy theorists who are determined to believe that the United States had faked bin Laden's death.
So, in summary, the decision to keep the images private will avoid unnecessary gross-out imagery, possible retaliation by terrorists and probably some additional conspiracy theories about Photoshopping? Works for us.
The interview will air on Sunday.
Read more at the Washington Post.
In other news: Osama's Dead: Will Things Get Better for U.S. Muslims?