There has been a lot of speculation as to what the post-mortem photos of Osama bin Laden, that the Obama administration has refused to release, show. Member of Congress, however, are being allowed to view them at CIA Headquarters.
The first member of Congress to view them according to “Fox Report” anchor Shepard Smith was Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe. Inhofe appeared on Smith’s show and told him that the photos are “gruesome.”
“They are gruesome, of course, because it was taken right after the incident,” he said. “And so, of the 12, three of them were older pictures so that we could actually compare what he looked like when he had the black beard and what he looked like after he was killed. And that was part — the good way of making that presentation. Then they had some of his ear. Now, what had happened in those, I couldn’t tell whether the bullet went through the ear and out the eye cavity or through the eye and out the ear because a lot of brains were draped out from the socket. But it clearly — what we saw there was it was him. There is no question he was dead. But, the more revealing pictures really were the ones on the USS Vinson and the North Arabian Sea.”
Inhofe then revealed details about the photos that have not been made public yet — that bin Laden was in his underwear at the time of his death.
“See, the beard is a moving target because he dyes it all the time,” Inhofe said. “And the pictures we had older pictures had a black beard. His beard this time was a little bit shorter and it was more salt-and-pepper. You could tell it’s probably the actual color of the beard. Now, what he was dressed in, some of these were just headshots so you only had the head shot. Only two of them showed that he was partially, I would say you would call underwear on, that was about it.”
Inhofe explained that despite some of the reports that his skull was partially gone, that was not the case based on his viewing of the photos.
“It appeared that way at first,” Inhofe said “Then when you saw the other pictures later, you could tell it wasn’t that way. Now, what happened was if the bullet went into the eye socket, then it was an explosive, it detonated once it was in so that caused the brain to come back out of the eye socket. That’s what made it look so gruesome.”
Inhofe added there was no doubt bin Laden was dead. He also gave details about the photos taken on the USS Vinson, including the so-called burial-at-sea photos.
“Alright, on the ship there are three pictures,” he said. “Two of them were the cleaning-up process, one where they are cleaning the body up, taking some of the material off the face and all that. So he was cleaned up. Actually, those two pictures were the ones that I think if the public were to see them are the most revealing because it’s easier to identify him without all that messy stuff on his face. Then, the last picture was, and you could tell it was the same person, they took him on a black, kind of a little couch thing and put it up for the burial at sea and he was kind of tilted getting ready to be buried at sea. Clearly the same person that they were cleaning up just probably minutes before.”
Inhofe said he was glad he saw the photos and dismissed the notion that it would inflame tensions in the Middle East any more than they already were if the photos were released for public consumption.
“Well, I think so, but I think I would go one more step and let the general public see them,” Inhofe said. “Again, I would withhold judgment as to which ones but the two that were taken during the clean-up period on the USS Vinson – they ought to be seen by everyone.”