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. GoBackTaSleep

    Indeed! Why stage all this exciting intrigue if bin Laden has been dead for years? Furthermore, why not line your tin foil hat with felt for comfort? Why not take another hit from that mayonnaise jar full of corn liquor? Why not invite the Martians who live next door over for barbecue? Why not engage the "cone of silence" during your deep intellectual conversations with Oliver Stone? Why, I ask you!

    May 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jane Tarz

    Bin Laden got Alzheimers and too ill to carry guns defending himself. He got kidney and liver ulcers requiring medical attention at all time. He thought he could fool US Repbulicans and miscalculated on Obama action fatally at his hideout mansion in an isolated Parkistan area. Obama acted onbehalf of his country as opposed to Repbulicans scared by their interests not acting bravely. That's why he (Bin L) got caught unarmed and unguarded. Now he 's on his way home to get reprimanded by his Allah for mission unaccomplished. No True God or Allah urge their followers killing anybody BUT EVIL disguise.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      i didnt know he had all those problems where did u hear tht

      May 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chip

      You really need to take your meds you lunatic.

      May 3, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      r u talking to me or jane? jw

      May 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Doc

    It really doesn't bother me that he was unarmed. Most of the the people he killed on 9/11 were unarmed also.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Agreed.

      May 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      yes thats true doc my brother wasd in the towers as a firefighter and he was unarmed....................i wish we could of tortured him alil bit just to get even more revenge on him i hate the lunatic and im glad he is gone oh and what do u think about the hole obama wanting more votes for the 2012 election

      May 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I wouldn't care if he was holding puppies and kittens, cut him down!

      May 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      haha ya we could of done tht too lol

      May 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      ooooo my bad tht wa sretarded mike and ya obama shouldnt become president again he did nothing but sign a paper giving the ok and then he sat there and watched

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

      is this jeremy person also known as jeremy southwick

      May 3, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sxray04

    Autopsy??? Autopsy??? 5.56 MM to the head.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Much more likely a 9mm.

      May 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      They would have been using assault rifles, not sidearms.

      May 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ?

      agreed

      May 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      Are you two nuts? This are the Navy SEALs. Only a crossbow can be just as silent as effective. Besides- how else would you propose gaining the ultimate headshot bonus? Assult Rifle? please.

      May 3, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jon

    All right – so he wasn't armed?! So why wasn't he captured?

    May 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocket Scientist

      He wasn't captured because he had a bullet through his head.

      May 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      well we did capture him jon except it was with a bullet in his head personally i would rather find him with 10 bullets in his head before i found him alive

      May 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pike County

      This way there he can't be a martyr

      May 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixoh

      He was busy hiding behind a woman

      May 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ?

      hiding behind a woman like a coward

      May 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Nytechilde

    Now we discover Bin Laden wasn't armed. Well neither were then nearly 3,000 innocent citizens he murdered on 9/11. Was Pakistan complicit? Let's not fool ourselves, people, that we have all the information about our relationship with other countries. And that is as it should be. Some things must remain confidential if we hope to have any sort of intelligence community. That is a very complex give and take and we mustn't presume to think we can possibly judge what the government is doing with regard to that alliance. I know that saying we must trust our elected officials is almost an oxymoron these days, but these decisions are being made by men and women we elected and they appointed. We cannot second guess them. We're just not informed enough to do that.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Oh and we should just blindly trust the same people who told us about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and who want to suppress the truths being disclosed by WikiLeaks. Yeah, let's trust those people.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nytechilde

      I never said blindly follow...I said give them the benefit of the doubt.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sdar

    If he wasn't armed why kill him instead of bringing him in for a trial? Did they want to cover up something by silencing him for good?

    May 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      No, they simply wanted him dead. Just as his feelings were almost 10 years ago....

      May 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kumar

      There is no need to waste tax payers money on bring him to justice. I agree kill his ass and kick him overboard.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • hermiem

      They NEEDED TO KILL HIM so that a media frenzy for a continued length of time would not give the Muslim extemeists time to rally the troops for his release by using violence, demonstations etc. This WAS the best solution. However, I do wish that they decide to release the photos, video or whatever regardless how gruesome they are so that it puts to rest that he is actually dead. The American right wing is already floating ideas that he isn't dead to start another Obama "witch hunt" that it was for political purposes.

      Love him or hate him Obama eventually comes through on his major promises.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Ever heard of the Death Penalty? And, in what courtroom do you really think this mastermind would have been able to have a trial? He was executed in a much more passionate and humane way than anyone who died as a result of his evil. In fact, a little too humane in my opinion.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RR

    Whatever happened to due process. Isn't this what America stands for???? Justice wasn't it was simply a planned killing. Vigilantism.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      There are rules of war that should be followed. If they are not, then the gloves are off.

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

      Jeremy – the only ones that had their "gloves on" from 911 has been the US and NATO. (But particularly the US.) The gloves should have "been off" almost 10 years ago when this all started.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tvar

      ^uck you & your "due process". He got the same "due process" he gave the people on 9/11. Take your Bible and go thump it somewhere else.

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

      Actually, it is murder and a violation of military and international law.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • pondrthis

      I agree that "due process" should have been followed, but it should have been quick. Just keep him from making any moving religious speeches.

      @ the bloodthirsty people who say "screw it kill him!11!"... you don't know what it means to be American. And if you say "Osama bin Laden didn't care that the 3000 people in the WTC were unarmed", you forget that he is a terrorist. If you want to make this fine country into a terrorist organization to follow BL's lead, you should be tried as his conspirators. Assassination is against the Geneva convention, chums. We need to be in the right here if we're going to convince fundamentalists that we aren't evil.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Due process? What planet do you live on. Due process was his breathing for 10+ years after his first attack on Americans. Due process was the many lives that died while searching for the coward. Due process – are you really serious? Death row for him lasted much too long.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Veteran

      As an American, we our willing to die to protect our country from both enemies foreign and domestic. Anyone that thinks of Americans as Infidels should receive the same treatment as any confirmed Terrorist as an enemy of our country! For every TERRORIST ACT that is committed, we should retaliate equally in the suspects hometown and country! Bomb us, and we bomb you right back with no discretion!!! Too bad we do FOLLOW THE LAWS otherwise we wouldnt have to HIDE nor worry about collateral damage as you TERRORISTS do.
      Kill our Innocent People, well Kill YOURS!! EYE FOR AN EYE!!! TERRORISTS NEED TO BE BOILED ALIVE!

      May 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      Pakistan ain't no America. Say 'Due Process' to one of 'em, and all you'll get back is 'ہہ؟.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Osama Been Gotten

      RR and pondrthis. Bin Laden is exactly the kind of person who does NOT deserve due process nor could have have ever received it. He spent the past 10+ years terrorizing, torturing and killing thousands of people and willingly admiting it. He wanted nothing more than to kill as many Americans as possible and recruited and encouraged legions of followers to carry out the deed. Armed, unarmed, sitting on the toilet ....quit trying to show compassion for him. Our country is at war today because of an event he planned and executed almost 10 years ago...an event that we as a nation must never forget. Thank God we have a military and a President that had the testicles to act quickly and kill him when they had the chance.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave in DC

    "This just in, Al Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, is still dead."
    – Chevy Chase, Weekend Update

    May 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      You're cute. If you can find my number via internet, call me.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mauidano

    Dead is dead. Gone is gone. NO sympathy. He got exactly what he deserved and knew was coming. Who's next?

    May 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      You jerk. PITA would be furious you cared so little for a defenseless pig.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rocket Scientist

    The only thing I care about is that he is dead.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      Bad drivers kill themselves everyday. Where's their congrats, you Muslim hater.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JOE

    "Don't retreat, reload." Rush limbaugh, Hannity/Beck, Palin, Bachmann, Cafferty, Bush W. Chaney, Rumsfeld, Rice Powell = Perpetrators of hate, war tyrants and domestic terrorists.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alter_Ego

      Give up, apologize, start learning arabic = JOE, unpatriotic, weak, liberal (no doubt attempting to stick his hand into my pocket for my spare change).

      May 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • sambo

      You forgot to list yourself here. woodhead

      May 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      I'll just take a wild one – You're a liberal, right?

      May 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Anthony

    Thats right.....walk in and pop the SOB, he should have never of lasted this long. How many people from 9/11 had a gun in there hands.....F him, glad he is gone.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JOHN

    WHO IN GODS NAME CARES IF HE HAD A WEAPON, HE'S A KILLER, OR DID WE FORGET,( DEAD OR ALIVE) DID WE FORGET 9/11/2001. I SURE DIDN'T. SEMPER FI ( SEALS)

    May 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Murder is still murder.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • X

      Unless, of course, it's a

      head
      shot.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Huh?

    The logistics of keeping him alive were not an option, of course he was executed, and that's just fine. Get over it...

    May 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
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