Sarah Palin and other Republicans have been calling on President Obama to release photographic evidence confirming Osama bin Laden’s death. But Obama announced on Wednesday that he’d decided against releasing any photos out of fear that they could incite violent responses from Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. He also said that he does not want them to be used as a propaganda tool.
Soon after, Palin, the former Republican vice presidential nominee, posted a statement on Twitter calling on the president to stop “pussy-footing around” and 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 mission,” she wrote.
Palin wasn’t the only Republican calling for the release of the photos. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani agreed with Palin, arguing that the pictures would erase any doubts that the Al Qaeda leader is still alive. Giuliani also believes there’s a likelihood that photos will be leaked anyway.
“The pictures are eventually going to get out, and then you are going to relive the intensity of all of this a month from now or two months from now or three months from now,” he told reporters Wednesday. “Why not put them out now and satisfy at least the rational people who have questions about the identity of Bin Laden?”
Moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine also supports releasing the photos. “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 told ABC News.
But many other Republicans, including Obama's former presidential campaign rival, supported the president’s decision. “My initial opinion is it's not necessary,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona). “I think there is ample proof that this is Osama bin Laden.”
(Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESSAP)