Overheard on CNN.com: To release or not release images of bin Laden's body?
May 3rd, 2011
06:13 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: To release or not release images of bin Laden's body?

Photos of bin Laden’s body spark debate

As the White House deliberates on whether to make public pictures of Osama bin Laden's dead body, Americans are debating whether they should be.

CNN.com readers said the release could fuel more hatred from Osama bin Laden’s followers while others say that it’s only fair to release the photos considering the terrorist leader had such little regard for those he killed.

laxfan12983 said, “I for one would like to see the entire video. I have been given not a shred of proof that we even captured anyone. Sure a picture would be nice, but this idea that ‘it’s too graphic for the masses,’ if you don't like it don't watch it.” scratchee responded, “I can't believe that all this could go down without the President delivering a dossier of proof to laxfan12983. Next you'll tell me they didn't even tell you about the raid in advance.”

ford429 said, “Show the live feed of the kill shot, not some static photo of a corpse. I want to see him alive before they shot him. Otherwise it does not explain why they buried him at sea after only 10 hours when they had 14 more hours before the 24 hours was up.” tjaxxx said, “The conspiracy theories have reached an unbelievable high all over the world since Bin Laden's death was announced. The White House needs to release the photos, as graphic as they may be.”

JimfromTexas said, “Release the photos and the videos as well. No consideration or social value was given to our citizens and other citizens of the world on 9/11 as they lay dead and dying on TV and in the news print. No worry about how explicit that was!” SthPhilly said, “I've had to see videos and pictures of 9/11 and what Osama had done to our country, I think it's only fair that I get to see what we've done to him.” ddiamondd said, “I believe he's dead AND I want to see the pictures. I don't care who gets mad. If they get mad, chances are they hate us anyway.”

Dulcimer said, “Don't do it! Conspiracy/hoax theorists do not operate on logic and evidence. Do not offer any memorial to this guy.” snowbelle said, “Nothing to be gained by showing any dead person's photo. Why inflame anyone, why continue to make this entire scene more emotionally overheated?” Tetrapod said, “They have to consider the impact of such images in the Muslim world. Is it worth it to release pictures and video that may enrage Muslims and trigger violence, just for the meager reward of maybe convincing a few people that he's dead? It's not an easy choice.” But TheDopePope simply said, “We don't need this crap released. He's dead, it's done, moving on.”

Should we celebrate bin Laden’s death?

Less than an hour after Osama bin Laden’s death was announced, hundreds of Americans spontaneously celebrated in front of the U.S. Capital and at Ground Zero in New York City. The images of the celebrations were captured on television and in print for the world to see, but some religious leaders question whether death is ever something to celebrate.

Many CNN.com readers agreed with them (even those without religious affiliations) while others said they are still (unabashedly) celebrating.

Erika Sudz quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., ‎"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Peter F said, “Celebrating death? How is that morally right? As a Christian, I will celebrate when good triumphs over evil, when God's will is done, but that is totally different from celebrating someone's death.” David said, “I don't like the blatant (and somewhat pious) link between religion and moralism this article implies. As an atheist I find the celebration of anyone's death wrong. Did bin Laden deserve death for his actions? Absolutely! Should we celebrate his death like a bunch of 18th century cowboys at a public hanging? NO!” Artemisia said, “I am an atheist. I am a secular humanist. When I heard that Osama bin Laden was killed, my first reaction was sadness. Not sadness at his death, but sadness for his life and all the despair and destruction it fostered. Osama bin Laden could have done great things; he could have left this earth in better shape than he found it. He chose the opposite.”

GetReal said, “Let's face it – we're humans, not saints, so I say CHEER! If you want a moment of silence, take it for all the American and British troops who risked and lost their lives.” Ty quoted Proverbs 11:10, "When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.” Joepa said, “I celebrate Bin Laden's death because it means no others will die by his hand.” j01 said, “Morally right? If it was up to me I would dance down 5th Ave with his head on a stick.” Guedde said, “I'm very happy that he was killed in the morning on Monday, May 2nd. This has been my best birthday present in a long time!” Jesse R said, “All I can remember are those poor people on that September morning throwing themselves off of the burning towers. It was awful that day and to finally, finally, kill the animal that was responsible for it is worthy of a celebration.”

Michelle defended the revelers, “The kids who celebrated assembled in a spontaneous manner and maybe they went a little overboard in hindsight, but I do NOT fault them for feeling joyous! This generation of kids has lived half their lives in fear of the boogeyman, Osama bin Laden. They were not old enough to be angry, but they were definitely old enough to be afraid. Leave them alone!”

How much did Pakistan know?

The last of a three-part series of posts by journalist Fareed Zakaria focused on whether Pakistan knew of Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts. In the post, Zakaria points out that Osama bin Laden was not killed in a remote cave in Waziristan, rather that he was living in a large compound near Pakistan’s capital which houses a prestigious Pakistani military academy. And, he says, “It is beyond belief that there could be a compound like bin Laden’s in that location without some elements of the Pakistani military knowing about it.”

So what did CNN.com readers think?

Weird said, “Yeah, it would seem pretty weird if Pakistani officials deny any knowledge of his compound sticking out like a sore thumb. It's too unusual not to notice.” Javier said, “The only thing Pakistan can say is ‘Yeah we were all over it. We co-operated fully with the US.’ What's the other alternative? ‘Yeah, sorry. We've been lying to you for the last 10 years?’” Rob in Atlanta said, “That such a compound could have been constructed five years ago and bin Laden moved in without drawing any attention? Impossible.” Adi said, “Quickest way to earn10 billion and remain relevant in world politics? Hide a 9/11 suspect and pretend to search [for] him!” SK said, “As one of the analysts on Indian TV put it, ‘Pakistan has been caught with its pants down...’”

But AA said, “Have you ever been to a developing country like Pakistan? These types of big houses are every where in big cities. The culture is different and people have high walls around the houses all the time (for privacy). That is very typical.” And Adnan said, “Cheers to all. Pakistan has lost [the] most lives than any other nation on earth due to [the] war on terrorism. Besides getting appreciated for its sacrifices and cooperation Pakistan only gets condemnation.”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (822 Responses)
  1. Rose Ellen

    No, we do not need to see photographs of his body. Gapers and gawkers require such nonsense. Those who need this for the security of our government and our people have already done so; plus, they have DNA evidence for concrete proof. As for the rest of us, enough. We have more tasks at hand, such as striving for peace on earth, good will towards all men, than to stare at photographs of a mutilated body, even if it was that of the most wanted terrorist. We are Americans, not animals. Let us behave as such and continue forward.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Nicholas Swann

    Yes I would like to see the video and pictures.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. john fara

    hats off to president obama for the raid on bin laden however why delay the photo of his death? no one gave as much consideration to burning americans who were forced to jump out of the burning towers. show the photo's and dont worry about what the radicals think!

    May 4, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Brad Skauge

    After the United Stateshas spent 1-2 billion dollars a week of taxpayers money in the search for Bin Laden and Afghanistan, we deserve the right to see the photos of the dead Osama Bin Laden. The followers of his
    teachings and the radicals of Islam are already inflamed and angry with the U.S.. I want the option to view the
    photos of his dead body as soon as possible.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Richard Laverdiere

    Hello to all.
    I do not want to see the pictures of Bin Laden's body. If they are aired I will have no choice to see it because it would be on every television station. I wouldn't be able to get away from it.
    What are the chances that the pictures get set up on a website that people have to pay to join and have them posted. Use the money to fund an organization that fights against terrorism or any project along that line.
    Please do not air the pictures. It will cause more anger in the world. There are enough situations that cause people to be upset.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Anne

    Yes ,Americans are owed the pictures and video's of him being taken out. We had to watch our loved one's jump to their death and hear their voices during their last phone calls. Bring it on.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Craig Lyman

    Showing the pictures of Osama death willonly legitimise his life,he'sanothinglets keep him that way.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Ann

    I do not think that showing the photos of Bin Laden will result in any productive measure. If we can STOP one
    more innocent person, soldier, photographer or anyone from losing their life from the revenge of the AlQuida, then
    we have learned well from the last 11 years. He should never be memorialized, he is no hero or anyone who
    should be looked up to. It is what it is, Bin Laden was a Mass Murderer and his fate was totally orchestrated by
    none other than himself.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Bigbobber

    Yes show the pics to show the Terrorists what dead looks like! Do these Terrorist even know why their doing what they do? Why?

    May 4, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Spencer Roberts

    There is no need to display photographs of a dead enemy. Our military did their work . Our citizens payed the taxes that made the raid possible. Our sons and daughters gave of their time, talents and lives to bring our justice upon bin Laden. Showing his body and excessive celebration does nothing to decrease the threat of terrorism. What about dignity and not letting your enemy see every aspect of your emotional victory?

    May 4, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Susan Reeder

    The people who don't believe he is dead will not be convinced by any photo. They will claim all evidence is doctored.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. CHRISPEN

    release or not osama dead whatever his supporters will do doesnt matter bcoz the world is anxiously waiting
    its better for them to see the pictures some will change ways and they should know that even after 100 yrs hell will follow them

    May 4, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. saw the light

    Do not show anything but the DNA results. Through the years Islamic funerals or protesters have taken place with just a picture pasted on billboards or on posters/signs held up during those processions. The more bloodier the picture the more rabid the crowd. As far as I'm concerned they could have put him through the garbage disposal, on board ship, to make bin laden burger and molded it into a body shape and then wrapped it in white and poured into the sea. That way there would be NO possibility of body washing up on shore. LET SLEEPING DOGS LAY.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. ronvan

    At some point in time we have to trust our government. This rabbid animal is dead & gone. Lets move on and see who we can get next!

    May 4, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. cjonlline

    Romans 6:7 – For he who has died has been acquitted from his sin.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
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