Panetta says he thinks bin Laden photo eventually will be released
Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda's leader, seen in an undated photo.
May 3rd, 2011
10:35 PM ET

Panetta says he thinks bin Laden photo eventually will be released

[Updated at 10:33 p.m.] Vice President Joe Biden commended the team responsible for taking down Osama bin Laden in a stealth operation that showed "there's no place you can hide" from the United States.

"It was a staggering undertaking and there was no one else, I believe, other than an American group of military warriors who could do it. And the world is a safer place today, not only for the American people but for all people," Biden said in a speech at the 2011 Atlantic Council Awards Dinner in Washington.

He also said he was a little surprised by the overwhelming global reaction and offered prayers to victims of terror worldwide.

"They remain in our thoughts and our prayers. But I think one clear message has gone out to the world - there’s no place to hide, no place you can hide. The United States decides, from one administration to the next, that we will in fact reach a goal, we are determined and we will relentlessly without any hesitation follow on that commitment. Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter."

[Updated at 7:08 p.m.] CIA Director Leon Panetta said Tuesday he thinks a photograph of Osama bin Laden's body will be released at some point, but that it is up to the White House to make the final call.

[Updated at 6:39 p.m.] A few U.S. congressional staffers who received a briefing Tuesday about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan were shown photos of bin Laden's body, a congressional source familiar with the briefing said, according to CNN congressional producer Deirdre Walsh.

One staffer who reviewed the photos suggested they might be too graphic for public release, according to the source.

U.S. officials are weighing whether to release an image of bin Laden's corpse.

[Updated at 6:18 p.m.] A widely distributed photo of a dead Osama bin Laden is fake. A photographer consulted by CNN said the gruesome photograph is most definitely not real, and the Guardian newspaper in Britain reported the picture is actually a combination of two photographs.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials are weighing whether to release an actual image of bin Laden's corpse.

"I'll be candid that there are sensitivities here in terms of the appropriateness of releasing photographs of Osama bin Laden in the aftermath of this firefight," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. "We're making an evaluation about the need to do that."

[Updated at 5:03 p.m.] U.S. commandos shot Osama bin Laden when he made a threatening move during the Americans' raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a U.S. official said, according to CNN's Pam Benson.

Earlier today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said bin Laden was not armed when U.S. forces shot and killed him.

When Benson asked the first U.S. official whether bin Laden tried to grab a weapon or physically attack a commando, the official said only, "He didn't hold up his hands and surrender."

Recapping the five compound occupants who U.S. officials say were killed in the assault: Bin Laden; two al Qaeda couriers; one woman; and a son of bin Laden. A second woman - one of bin Laden's wives - was shot in the leg, but not killed, after she rushed the commandos, Carney said earlier today.

The woman who was killed was shot "in crossfire" on the first floor where the couriers were killed, and it's not clear whether anyone was using her as a human shield, Carney told reporters today.

The official who spoke to Benson said no other person - dead or alive - besides bin Laden was taken from the compound.

[Updated at 4:10 p.m.] The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday praising intelligence and military officials for the operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

[Updated at 3:22 p.m.] A fuller account of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: He said two teams of U.S. Navy SEALs cleared two buildings, one of which was a three-story building where bin Laden was living with another family. A third family lived in the second building, Carney said.

In bin Laden's building, three people were killed on the first floor, including two al Qaeda couriers and a woman "who was killed in crossfire," Carney said. Carney said it's unclear whether anyone used the woman as a human shield; U.S. officials previously said that a woman was used as such.

The U.S. team found bin Laden in a room with one of his wives on one of the upper floors, Carney said. Bin Laden's wife rushed the U.S. commandos, and was shot in leg but not killed, he said. Bin Laden resisted and was shot and killed, Carney said.

Carney said bin Laden wasn't armed. When asked Tuesday why the decision was made to shoot and kill bin Laden if he was not armed, Carney responded that "he resisted" and that the U.S. personnel "handled themselves with the utmost professionalism." He did not explain how bin Laden resisted.

On Monday, President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said bin Laden was resisting and had a weapon, though he added that it was unclear whether bin Laden had fired a shot.

[Updated at 2:50 p.m.] White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says that it's unclear whether anyone in Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, used a woman as a human shield during the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden early Monday. One woman was among five compound occupants - including bin Laden - who were killed in the raid, U.S. officials have said.

A different woman who was shot in the leg - previously identified by U.S. officials as a wife of bin Laden - had tried to assault or charge the U.S. commandos, Carney said.

[Updated at 2:29 p.m.] White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that the United States has a "complicated but important relationship" with Pakistan. Top administration officials have been in regular contact with the Pakistani government, he said.

"The idea that these kinds of complications exist is not new," he said.

"There has also been a great deal of important cooperation" in the fight against Islamic extremism, Carney said. He warned against "tarring" everyone in Pakistan's government because of the revelation that bin Laden had been living so close to Islamabad.

American officials need to learn more about the "support network" that allowed bin Laden to live there, he said.

[Posted at 2:27 p.m.] Osama bin Laden was not armed when he was shot and killed by U.S. forces in the assault on his compound in Pakistan, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.

The al Qaeda leader resisted the assault on his compound, Carney said, adding: "I think resistance does not require a firearm."

Carney described how the U.S. Navy SEALs carrying out the operation went floor-to-floor clearing the three-story compound where bin Laden's family lived with another family.

Three people were killed on the first floor, including a woman, and then the U.S. forces moved upstairs where they found bin Laden, Carney said.

"Bin Laden was then shot and killed," Carney said. "He was not armed."

On Monday, President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said bin Laden was resisting and had a weapon, though it was unclear if bin Laden had fired a shot.

soundoff (930 Responses)
  1. Christina

    Who cares if he was unarmed. No one on those planes or in the towers or in the Pentagon were armed either but he had no seconds thoughts of ending their lives for no reason. He deserved what he got, unarmed or armed.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike f

      right on sister

      May 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Christian

    To the U.S. media (CNN especially):

    Please stop making a big deal about whether he was armed or not, whether his burial was in accordance with Islamic law or not, etc.

    Your obsession with political correctness does not reflect the concerns of the majority of American people.
    You are making us appear weak. This man DID NOT DESERVE A PROPER BURIAL, and DESERVED A FAR WORSE DEATH.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Murder and deception are "a big deal".

      May 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christian

      Believe me, the 3000 mourning families of the innocent victims from the 9/11 attacks understand that murder is a "big deal".

      You, apparently, do not understand that justice is also a "big deal".

      May 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      @Christian: Do you mean justice or revenge?!? There is a huge difference. Go look it up.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Cyberdog–this is the last time I'm going to tell you! Take your medicine and go outside for a walk. If you wear your tin helmet when you go outside, the black helicopter people won't be able to read your thoughts.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      @John: Personally, I think it is crazy not to want to know the truth, but I guess ignorance really is bliss.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TheTruth704

    Well Bin Noggin was armed but maybe he threw a Pakistani cuisine at the Navy Seal which resulted in getting shot in the head.......Ok so who is right, the press secretary in saying Bin Noggin wasn't armed or the counter terrorism adviser who says he resisted with a weapon.

    Personally, I don't see why they couldn't have released ALL of the information at one time rather than trickling out all of these inconsistencies fueling conspiracy theories........

    May 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. American Knowhow

    Sic semper tyrannis.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tima Kooko

    Obama just announced he has received a jar with Bin Laden's balls that he will display in the oval office

    May 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sickpnai

    And I will say it again, OBL give up your iphone! it will kill you everytime!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Done Deal

    I believe the wanted posters said Dead or Ailve. Dead was chosen, armed or not.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      And why would you choose dead when you could interrogate him and obtain valuable intelligence about terrorist operations? Perhaps a trial with the accompanying risk of truthful disclosures was too large of a risk?

      May 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Done Deal

      A trail? You mean put him on TV for the next couple of years, give him a soap box, give him some more "in your face" time? Interrogate? You mean have to liberals from around the world watching every move to be sure he is interrogated fairly? Nah.... DEAD is better.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      @Done Deal: No, actually I meant a trial. I guess you don't have a spell checker.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. anti allah

    Screw the middle east, pull out and let them fight their thousand year war. If you carry out a terrorist attack on US soil, we will nuke you. THATS IT
    they only understand utter destruction over there, so lets give it 2 em
    Iraq, we want 500 billion in reparation. NOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW (OIL)
    the oil & gas industry,they all need to be brought up on charges of treason arrested and hung in public to send a message to WALL STREET.TO BIG TO FAIL FUK U

    May 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      I am very frightened knowing that Americans have nuclear weapons at their disposal.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Cyberdog–do you hear that sound in your head? That means that the Black Helicopters have zeroed in on your brain and are recording your thought patterns. Soon, they will start downloading new conspiracy theories into your brain. It's all part of their plan for One World government, orchestrated by the Pope, the Hibernian Society, and the British Royal Family. For your sake, put your tin helmet back on before it's too late!

      May 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      @John: I know that the truth can be scary and difficult to accept, especially for a child like you.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kirk

    I am NOT impressed knowing it took 10 years to get the job done. Anything can be done with persistence. And you would think with all the advance military capabilites in the ground and air ,the US military couldve accomplished this earlier during the Bush administration. But congratulations nonetheless.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Congratulations for lies and deceptions???

      May 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dragonfly

    Who cares if he was unarmed. So were our americans he had killed on 911. Get rid of all the "MOOOOOSLUM" cows

    May 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Norm

    Osama wasn't armed and people get upset. He was buried at sea with little fanfare and people are upset. What about Daniel Pearl? He was unarmed. He was filmed while they cut his head off. I don't remember so many people getting upset about that.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sam

    They would have killed him one way or the other anyway....So whats the big deal if he was armed or not.

    Plus you dont want to put this guy on trial and give him a platform to talk and let him create a 100 more maniacs who will be ready to blow themselves.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      You mean a platform for the truth about the CIA, the Saudis, Pakistani intelligence and 9/11???

      May 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Get some rest Dr. Nash...This aint hollywood

      May 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Justthefacts

    All this rhetoric going around (Mainly by people who were just kids in 2001) means absolutely nothing! Bin Laden's death will not make a difference. Only one person was killed. It's not like they killed the Queen of a Bee hive. There's thousands who are presently jockeying to take his spot. And this sort of jockeying, goes on within all, the different cultures around the globe.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ronvan

    ANYONE arguing agianst what has happended needs to do some soul searching! This afluent, that's "rich", animal had everything and he made the choice to kill not only Americans, but his own people. Torture, beheadings, you name it! The decision to KILL him and then dump him in the ocean was the absolute right decision! Those military involved, SEALS, whoever, will never be known to us, and all we can do is to praise them. Now we can be correct when we say "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" I totally agree that although we have cut off the head of these butcher animals, that there are many more waiting in line. So lets just say, WHO WANTS TO BE NEXT!!! And politics be damned!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bob

    Well – our murdered people in the towers were not armed either!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
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