A key Republican lawmaker has come out strongly against releasing photos of Osama BIn Laden’s bullet-riddled corpse, adding an influential voice to the mix as the White House formulates its plan on the issue.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) warned in a statement that releasing the gruesome images of Bin Laden would not only fail to quell conspiracy theories about whether the Al Qaeda leader is still alive, but was antithetical to American values and could lead to blowback in the Muslim world.
“I don’t want to make the job of our troops serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan any harder than it already is,” Rogers said. “The risks of release outweigh the benefits. Conspiracy theorists around the world will just claim the photos are doctored anyway, and there is a real risk that releasing the photos will only serve to inflame public opinion in the Middle East. “
Rogers also worried that the grotesque display would reflect poorly on America’s honor.
“Imagine how the American people would react if Al Qaida killed one of our troops or military leaders, and put photos of the body on the internet,” he said. “Osama bin Laden is not a trophy - he is dead and let’s now focus on continuing the fight until Al Qaida has been eliminated.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.