No Bin Laden Photos

President Obama on Wednesday officially decided not to release any photographs showing the dead body of Osama Bin Laden, three days after the secret operation that killed the leader of Al Qaeda.

At a White House briefing for reporters, Press Secretary Jay Carney read the transcript of an interview that the President did today with the CBS program "60 Minutes," where he made clear no Bin Laden photos would be released.

Question: Did you see the pictures?

The President: Yes.

Question: What was your reaction when you saw them?

The President: It was him.

Question: Why didn’t you release them?

The President: We discussed this internally. Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain that this was him. We've done DNA sampling and testing and so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden. It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. That's not who we are. We don't trot out this stuff as trophies.

The decision drew immediate support on Capitol Hill.

"In my opinion, there's no end served by releasing a picture of someone who has been killed," said the number two House Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

"I trust the White House on that," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Several Senators told reporters during Wednesday that they had seen a Bin Laden photograph, after he was shot and killed.

"It is Bin Laden," said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

"And he's dead," Chambliss bluntly added.

But later in the day, there were questions as to whether Chambliss and several other Senators had seen an actual photo of a dead Bin Laden - or were they like the rest of us - looking at a photo on their blackberries or Ipads that is most likely a fake.

Chambliss told me late Wednesday night that what he saw might not have been the real thing, but he and several other Senators weren't really saying where the photo came from, just that it had been shown  on "an electronic device" - by who - Chambliss wouldn't say.

The Georgia Republican did make clear that he was not shown a photograph in any kind of official briefing by the Obama Administration.

In other words, it might be like all of the photos that listeners have sent to me, or offered to send to me over the past few days, just another Bin Laden fake that shows a bloody, swollen face that looks like the Al Qaeda leader.

Several lawmakers I spoke to in the Capitol said a Bin Laden image will probably make it on to the internet at some point.

"I have a lot of respect for the American media, and sooner or later there's going to be a picture out there," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK).

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