decision not to release pictures of Osama bin Laden's dead body. The fact that he is shark food at the bottom of the ocean and no longer a source of terrorist activity, murder, mayhem, and jihadist inspiration should be enough satisfaction for those of us in the U.S. and everywhere else in the civilized world who believe that the U.S. government wouldn't lie about THIS. In fact, they could not lie about it because the truth would leak out eventually. And for those that seriously want proof, I am sure they can approach the White House for the DNA evidence and other evidence, which some press outlets like 60 Minutes, The New York Times, or The National Enquirer will likely do. Besides, photographic evidence is almost worthless these days with the easy digital photo manipulation of photographs that goes on.
Already a horrible, fake, dead Osama is floating around on Facebook and probably scaring some kids whose newsfeed it shows up in because some friend or family member commented on it. The fake is really gruesome as I am sure the original is.
What would be the good reason to release the pictures? To assure our enemies the Islamic Jihadist terrorists, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbolla, and Ahmadinejad that we are not lying, Osama really is dead? Will that suddenly convert them to our side? No. We don't even need to think for a second about releasing it for their sakes. Should we release it for the sakes of the people of Afghanistan who may be on the fence about whether to support the U.S./Afghan government or the Taliban? Maybe, if it will convince the leaders and the citizens of Afghanistan that the main source of funds to the Taliban in the past is out of the picture and that they can side with the forces of good, then it may be a useful tool in ending the hostilities in that country.
As far as skeptical governments, the U.S. can work directly with any of these and show them directly all evidence it has, including the photographic evidence. But this is the problem.
Unfortunately, the way the world works today, information can't be kept secret for long if there is a desire for it. Think wikileaks. At some point the real photo will leak out, by someone within the government, or someone who the government shows the evidence to, then the U.S. government will feign anger at the leak, but then admit that the photo or photos are authentic.
It is just a matter of time before evidence or photos of Osama bin Laden's death leak from the sieve that is the U.S. government, so unfortunately, the arguments for or against releasing them are really a moot point.