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Posted at 04:11 PM ET, 05/04/2011

Reaction to Obama’s decision not to release bin Laden photos


A 1998 file photo of Osama bin Laden. (Anonymous - AP)

Updated: 4:11 p.m.

Lawmakers and key political figures are reacting to the president’s decision not to release photos of Osama bin Laden’s body.

Individuals on both sides of the aisle are coming out both in support of and in opposition to the president’s decision. We are collecting their reactions here and will continue to update this post as we receive them.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) released a statement Wednesday saying:

“I understand the president's decision and will not oppose it. While I have said that a photo release may be a good way to combat the predictable conspiracy theories about bin Laden's death, this is a decision for the President to make, and I respect his decision.”

House Speaker John Boehner’s (Ohio) spokesman told CNN that the Ohio Republican “supports the president’s decision.”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) said, “I share the president’s view. In my opinion, there’s no — there’s no end served by releasing the picture of someone who has been killed. And I think there’s absolute proof that Osama bin Laden was in fact the preson that was taken into custody, was killed in the process, in the firefight. But I don’t think there’s any necessity to release the picture.”

CNS News Correspondent Nicholas Ballasy recorded this video of Hoyer delivering his statement in response to a reporter’s question Wednesday:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) came out against the president’s decision to withhold the photos. He released the following statement in response:

“I respectfully disagree with President Obama’s decision not to release the photos.  It’s a mistake. 
 “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. 
 “I’m afraid the decision made today by President Obama will unnecessarily prolong this debate.” 

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) tweeted in response to the president’s decision, calling on him to release the photos:

Show photo as warning to others seeking America's destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama;it's part of the missionless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

By  |  04:11 PM ET, 05/04/2011

 
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