Sarah Palin has slammed the Obama Administration for not revealing the photos of the dead body of Osama bin Laden.
The White House explained that the photo was “graphic” and might presumably inflame passions in the Muslim world.
Palin, a possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate, tweeted: show photo as warning to others seeking America's destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama; it's part of the mission.
In defending his decision, President Obama reportedly told CBS News today: It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. We don't trot out this stuff as trophies. The fact of the matter is, this is somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received.
Another GOP stalwart, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, agreed with Palin.
“I respectfully disagree with President Obama’s decision not to release the photos. It’s a mistake, Graham said in a statement.
“The whole purpose of sending our soldiers into the compound, rather than an aerial bombardment, was to obtain indisputable proof of Bin Laden’s death. I know Bin Laden is dead. But the best way to protect and defend our interests overseas is to prove that fact to the rest of the world.”
Graham added: “I’m afraid the decision made today by President Obama will unnecessarily prolong this debate.”
John McCain, who challenged Obama for the President in 2008, also agreed with the White House,.
My initial opinion is it's not necessary, McCain told reporters. I think there is ample proof that this is Osama bin Laden.
Republican Susan Collins, a Senator from Maine, told ABC News I understand that this is a very difficult debate. But what I'm worried about is there will be this mythology that will arise that somehow Osama bin Laden escaped, or isn't really dead or someone else was killed, despite the fact that it clearly was Osama who was caught and killed in this raid.
She also said: So I think if there's a way to release a couple of the pictures, hopefully ones that aren't as gruesome -- they are going to be inherently gruesome because there were shots to his head -- that it would help prevent that mythology from arising.
Still, opposition to Obama’s decision was not universal among Republicans.
Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush’s former press secretary, supported Obama’s decision.
If you doubt he's dead, no photo will satisfy. For the rest of us, Navy SEALs don't miss, Fleischer wrote on Twitter.
No reason to feed this debate.
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Congressman Mike Rogers of Michigan praised the President.
“I don’t want to make the job of our troops serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan any harder than it already is,” he 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 said: “Imagine how the American people would react if Al Qaeda killed one of our troops or military leaders, and put photos of the body on the Internet. Osama bin Laden is not a trophy -- he is dead and let’s now focus on continuing the fight until Al Qaeda has been eliminated.”