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Washington (CNN) -- Not wanting to inflame passions or appear to gloat, President Barack Obama decided Wednesday against releasing a gruesome photo of Osama bin Laden's corpse.
"There's a long history of images like that being used to rally opinion against people, to turn people into heroes," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
A senior Democratic official close to the White House told CNN that Obama was "never in favor" of releasing a photo.
The photo decision -- following intense debate within the administration and by the public -- came as the United States continued pressing the Pakistani government on how it could not have known the al Qaeda leader was living near a military academy in Abbottabad when he was killed by U.S. special forces early Monday