Poll: Most want U.S. to release Osama's death photos

8:33 AM, May 4, 2011   |    comments
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Dec. 24, 1998 file photo of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.


Do you think the US should release Osama death pictures?

St. Petersburg, Florida - The results of a new CNN poll finds that 56 percent of Americans want the U.S. government to publicly release a picture of Osama bin Laden's body, while 39 percent say no.

Rick Jonasson says, "I say show us whatcha got. We don't need to hide anything."

Photo Gallery: Osama bin Laden is dead

But Robert Bean says, "As far as proof, what will actually serve as proof? I mean, if we show them pictures everyone's going to say Photoshop, but I think there's proof enough."

Still, a great number of Americans have their doubts. Even Taliban leaders are questioning whether Osama bin Laden is actually dead. Many say the U.S. hasn't provided concrete proof. But government officials say the results from DNA and facial recognition technology are proof that he's dead.

According to CNN, a senior U.S. official says the government does have a clear picture of bin Laden's face after his body was taken to a hanger in Afghanistan. It's said to be the most identifiable of all the photos and it shows a clear picture of his face.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says, "It's fair to say that it's a gruesome photograph. It could be inflammatory."

There are also photos from bin Laden's burial at sea on the USS Carl Vinson. 

Some in Congress say releasing the photos would put conspiracy theories to rest. Senator Dianne Feinstein says, "I think for purposes of 100 percent identification there's value in doing so."

10 News spoke with a professor from the University of South Florida who is an expert on Islam and the Muslim culture. Chris van Gorder, Ph.D. says, "It would be very unconventional to release the photographs of anyone who has died - specifically after his death. That would be very inappropriate."

Even if the government decided to release the photos of Osama bin Laden's body, the pictures are said to be so graphic and so gruesome that there's a question over whether most news outlets would even air them.

A senior U.S. official says one photo shows Osama with a massive open head wound across both eyes. The official says it's bloody and gory. Photos from the burial at sea are said to have been taken before the shroud was put on and then after he was wrapped in it. 

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