House Intelligence Committee Chairman ‘Reluctant’ to Release Bin Laden Photos

By Kate McCarthy

May 4, 2011 8:02am

The tide seems to be turning against releasing a photo of Osama bin Laden’s corpse. The head of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence told me he’s hesitant to make those images public, echoing the news Jake Tapper broke on “GMA” this morning that President Obama is also doubtful.

“I have to tell you I think I’m where the president is on this. I’m a little bit reluctant, I’ll tell you why. The conspiracy theorists are going to see the pictures and find ten reasons why they think it’s someone else,” Rep. Mike Rogers said.

“I think it’s pretty common knowledge. The wives are talking, ‘Yes it was Osama bin Laden. Yes he’s dead.’ I don’t know what we gain by showing this,” he said.

Rogers – who has seen the images – had a simple way to decide whether to release a photo, answer this question: Could it endanger our troops?

“If you’re a sergeant in a town in Ghazni, Afghanistan and you’re trying to get some local elder to cooperate about what’s happening in your village, are you going to do it if this inflames into some kind of trophy – we have a trophy of Osama bin Laden? I worry about that,” Rogers told me. “And if we can’t answer for sure and for certain this doesn’t make the job of that soldier easier, if it makes it harder, I say it’s not worth it.”

George Stephanopoulos

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