THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Brown won’t say whether he’ll look at body photos

By Glen Johnson
Globe Staff / May 12, 2011

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A spokesman for Scott Brown refused to say if the senator will travel to the CIA to see photos of Osama bin Laden’s body, after the agency offered yesterday to show them to members of several congressional committees.

The only other member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation who would qualify under the same offer, Democrat Niki Tsongas of Lowell, will decline.

“The congresswoman is convinced that Osama bin Laden was killed and will not be requesting to see the photos,’’ said spokesman John Noble.

Brown spokesman Colin Reed said, “No comment on this.’’

Tsongas serves on the House Armed Services Committee, and Brown serves on its Senate counterpart. The Central Intelligence Agency has offered to show the photos to members of those committees and of the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Brown became enmeshed in controversy last week after he said in several interviews that he had seen the photos and was convinced bin Laden was dead. The photos turned out to be fakes.

The senator spoke as President Obama considered whether to release the photos. Obama later decided not to do so.

Hours after Brown spoke last week, though, the senator’s staff issued a one-sentence statement saying he had been duped. The photo he saw, the statement said, was a fake that had been circulating on the Internet.

Democrats gearing up to challenge him for reelection next year have delighted in criticizing him.

“While most Americans were celebrating our nation’s most important victory to date in our war against Al Qaeda, Scott Brown wanted to be a part of the story so bad that he was careless with the facts and misled Massachusetts families,’’ a spokesman for the Massachusetts Democratic Party said in a statement.

Glen Johnson can be reached at johnson@globe.com.