CHICAGO (CBS) – U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says President Obama should be prepared to release photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse to counter skepticism in some quarters about whether U.S. elite forces truly killed the terror figurehead over the weekend.
President Obama announced Sunday the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks had been killed by Navy SEALs who raided bin Laden’s Pakistani compound.
Officials said bin Laden was shot in the head and chest and that DNA tests proved his identity. It’s not clear whether bin Laden’s features were discernible after the firefight with the U.S. commandos.
His body was quickly buried at sea from a U.S. aircraft carrier, in accordance with Islamic tradition.
Kirk, a North Shore Republican, says the method of disposal was a sound strategy.
“We denied al Qaeda a burial site, a meeting ground, a place where they can organize against the Pakistani government,” he told reporters Monday night at O’Hare International Airport. “The administration made the right call.”
But Kirk says that the U.S. government may ultimately have to release a photo or two of bin Laden’s dead body.
“Conspiracy theorists, especially in the Islamic world, may gain some traction, and in the end, while grisly, it will probably in the end confirm that … Osama bin Laden is dead,” he said.
Kirk says it’s “completely certain that we got our guy,” but he added: “The media’s pretty rough in the Islamic world, and releasing a photo probably would help the United States.”