It’s been over two days since Osama bin Laden was killed, and still no photo. What gives? Deliberations reportedly continue to hinge on whether the photo is so gruesome that it would do more harm than good to release it to the public. Here’s what press secretary Jay Carney had to say about it earlier today:
CARNEY: I’ll be candid that there are sensitivities here in terms of the appropriateness of releasing photographs of Osama bin Laden and in the aftermath of this firefight. And we’re making an evaluation about the need to do that because of the sensitivities involved. And we do — we review this information and make this decision with the same calculation as we do so many things, which is what — you know, what we’re trying to accomplish, and does it serve or in any way harm our interests. And that is not just domestic, but globally.
TAPPER: Could you explain “sensitivities”? Just because it’s a gruesome photograph? That —
CARNEY: It’s fair to say that it is a gruesome photograph.
TAPPER: That could be inflammatory? That’s the sensitivity you’re —
CARNEY: It is — it is certainly possible that — and this is an issue that we are taking into consideration, is that it could be inflammatory.
In addition to the “gruesome” photo, the White House is also in possession of photos of bin Laden during his sea burial, both before and after he was covered in a white shroud. There’s also video of the sea burial, as well as video from helmet-mounted cameras of the special-ops soldiers who took part in the raid. But the “gruesome” photo, despite its gruesomeness, still “includes the most recognizable image of OBLs face,” according to CNN.
When it comes down to it, we’ve all seen Saw, and this photo is probably nothing we can’t handle. We’re all adults here. Except the kids. The kids will be emotionally scarred forever.
Update: CIA chief Leon Panetta tells NBC News, “The government obviously has been talking about how best to do this, but I don’t think there was any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public.” He added, “I think there’s no question that there were concerns and there were questions that had to be debated about just exactly question kind of impact would these photos have. But the bottom line is that, you know, we got Bin Laden and I think we have to reveal to the rest of the world the fact that we were able to get him and kill him.”