Boehner Supports Obama on Keeping bin Laden Photos Private

Posted May 5, 2011 at 12:11pm

Correction Appended

Congressional lawmakers are standing by President Barack Obama as he takes heat for choosing not to release photos of a deceased Osama bin Laden.

Speaker John Boehner said at a press conference Thursday that he had not seen the photos of the al-Qaida leader and backed Obama for keeping them under wraps.

“I think they’ve made a responsible decision and I support it,” the Ohio Republican said, noting that he had “no doubts that Osama bin Laden is dead.”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Wednesday “there’s no end served” by releasing the photos, which Obama described as “very graphic” during an interview with “60 Minutes” that will air Sunday.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi maintained earlier in the week that she would support any decision that “is in our national security interest,” and a spokesman for the California Democrat upheld that Pelosi supports Obama’s decision not to release the photos.

Pelosi said on Thursday, however, that the death of bin Laden “isn’t an end to the threat to our national security” and should expedite the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan. Pelosi traveled to the war zone in March and said she observed “very strong progress taken for us to transition ourselves out” of occupation there.

Boehner also said Thursday that “no decision has been made” yet on whether the House will do an honorary resolution in the wake of bin Laden’s killing. The Senate unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday honoring the Navy SEALs who carried out the mission to kill the man responsible for planning the 9/11 attacks.

“We’re pretty well committed to the House doing substantive work on the floor of the House,” Boehner said.

Correction: May 5, 2011

The article misquoted Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. She said the death of bin Laden “isn’t an end to the threat to our national security”