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Palin on Bin Laden photos: 'No pussy-footing around'

May 04, 2011|By James Oliphant
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola )

Suffice it to say, Sarah Palin does not agree with President Obama's decision to keep graphic photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse from the eyes of the world.

The possible 2012 GOP presidential candidate tweeted her displeasure almost as soon as the announcement came earlier Wednesday from the White House.

Photos: Osama bin Laden dead

"Show photo as warning to others seeking America's destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama; it's part of the mission," Palin wrote.

Palin had company in Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has been calling for the release of the photos, described by White House spokesman Jay Carney as "graphic."

“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.

“I’m afraid the decision made today by President Obama will unnecessarily prolong this debate,” he added.

However, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, applauded the president's move.

“I don’t want to make the job of our troops serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan any harder than it already is. 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 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.”

Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary under President George W. Bush, also supported the 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.

He said releasing the photos would "only create debate" about whether the body was really Bin Laden's.

"No reason to feed this debate," Fleischer said.

Photos: Osama bin Laden dead

james.oliphant@latimes.com

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