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Durbin, Kirk Disagree On Bin Laden Photos

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U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin (CBS file)

U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin (CBS file)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM) – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) do not agree on whether photos of the slain Osama bin Laden should have been released to the public.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Dave Dahl reports


Durbin says releasing the photos would change few minds and inflame many more.

“I totally agree with the White House decision. I’ll tell you why – I think we have ample evidence from videos, and from the statement from al-Qaeda – that knowledge that Osama bin Laden was killed,” Durbin said. “Further, I think that releasing those could, in fact, inflame a lot of opponents and enemies around the world and endanger our troops.”

But U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) does not agree.

“Conspiracy theorists, especially in the Islamic world, may gain some traction,” he said.

President Barack Obama has said photos of bin Laden will not be released.

A week ago Sunday, Durbin got an unexpected phone call from the vice president, announcing that bin Laden had been killed.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Dahl reports, Durbin is now reflecting on what has happened since then.

Durbin says he is happy with what he has seen – a video of bin Laden at work.

“I’ll tell you what – that tape was important, because it showed a scared, old man hiding, watching himself on television, wrapped in a blanket with a gray beard, which he colored every time he had a TV shot and looked a lot younger and more powerful,” Durbin said. “That, I think, will serve to destroy the image of this almighty bin Laden in the eyes of some of those extremists.”

Durbin said he is troubled at the idea that Pakistan may have harbored bin Laden, but he wants the investigation to play out fully.

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