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. Vinny

    All of us have social security cards....I'd like to see each of those seals with a "beer" card....so they'll never have to buy another beer as long as they live. Congrats to the seal team for getting the important ones (yourselves) outta there alive.

    For the terror network and to the families of 9/11, I say show the photos. Then, increase security because hatred for America just ramped up a bit more.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Felix1877

    It's a story goes on that between a nation from 19th century and a group from 10th century.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I keep seeing notices that bin laden was not armed. The 2,752 victims of 9/11 were not armed either.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Devin

    To all those saying:
    "Dont believe everything you hear?"

    Well dont believe everything is a conspiracy either....its just sad. Go put your tinfoil hat back on.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      And I suppose you think that the U.S. government has been completely open and truthful about everything, huh? What about Weapons of Mass Destruction? Gee, no conspiracy there, huh?!? Wake up.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. herb666

    if Osama didn't comply with an order, or an effort on his part, to surrender then he was resisting. One possibility is that he could have had access to a trigger that would detonate the entire compound, killing all and destroying all. Kudos to the Seals. They did it right!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      An excuse for murder.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric

    Osama binlampin.. in a mansion. he must like being able to have a mansion built just for him, sounds like a true anti-capitalist to me! I wonder if he ordered any takout food and watched movies with his children and wife and family while the world has been suffering his gigantic pile of death and destruction in his name. if there was any dumber, weasely voiced wastes of skin, you would have to look no further than the mindless sheep that follow this terd into hell I would have loved to see there faces as they realize that their are no virgins, and they "may have been wrong about this guy afterall" regrettful droopy sad-eyes as they burn for all eternity. Enjoy yourselves cowards.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jimbowt

    It's a fact – Sea levels ARE rising... thanks to Osama 🙂 GO SEAL's !

    May 3, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      I can just see all the bin laden turds comin out of the little fishies right now.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ExaltedMan

      It is not BIn Laden Turds, rather "Bin Laid-Down Killer Heroes' !!!

      May 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      Ok exaltedman, its ""Bin Laid-Down Killer Heroes Turds"

      May 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brittany Gonzalez

    show us the picture of OBL already! if someone doesnt want to see it then they dont have to look!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • ruth milcarek

      absolutely, I want to see this satanic persons face. God Created all equal, so he was definitely not from God. And the ruler of Pakistan said on tv that he was for the teleban because the united states was done for, but now he says he was helping to get Osama (satan) Ben Laden. Slip of words on his part on the tv for sure. And of course he wants to keep a low profile for now cause the teleban is still there. And I am sure they sheltered Osama if for no other reason than for fear of him. SHOW US HIS FACE.

      May 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Marv

    Most likely he wanted to die and perceived as a martyr than spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement/prison.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. William Bergmann

    This lack of clarity is unfortunate and should not be happening. Clearly, the history of the event can be easily described by the people involved. Why is there any confusion?

    May 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Liars have a hard time keeping their stories straight.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jon

    God Bless our Navy Seals. Armed or unarmed....this terror to society needed to die. One less maggot to worry about.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chance

    It is interesting that everyone is speculating who will be able to beat President Obama in the next election. The President did nothing of significance related to this event. It was the people who found him and took action to put an end to this tragic episode. I think it is inappropriate to give anyone credit for the outcome of this operation except the people who accomplished this mission.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Devin

      He played no part at all I hear. He was out back sneaking a cigarette. No, he set up the team, set up the initiative, followed the lead, made a gut decision.

      A phenomenal president. And he deserves some respect.

      May 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kman

      He ordered the operation under extremely sensitive conditions. If Osama wasn't there then Obama would've basically hung himself and America. If noy for one man, Obama, Osama would be still living in his mansion. To say otherwise is simply idiotic.

      May 3, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Scott

    THE US Government should make a one time pay per view special showing Bin Ladens Demise & All of George W Bush's Cabinet should have to individually match the total proceeds & the money should go tax free to the surviving victims of all who lost someone on 9/11!!And to all the familys who have lost a soldier for having to fight the resulting wars thereafter! The Bush Administration should have to pay for being asleep @ the wheel on 9/11

    May 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Oz

    Here is a link to a story that is pretty interesting to say the least..................
    http://www.infowars.com/inside-sources-bin-ladens-corpse-has-been-on-ice-for-nearly-a-decade/....

    I CAN ONLY HOPE WE ARENT DRINKING THE KOOL AIDE!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nancy

    It's over and done and time to move on. The graphic photos will not do anyone good so the government should not agree to release them. They will serve no purpose except bring more questions into play and keep this story going over and over. We as Americans have enough in the USA to focus on without seeing the grimy pictures of someone killed. There are too many needs from mother nature's destruction and aftermass with the economy, to once again let al Qaeda operatives completely take over our visions.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Oz

    Here is a link to a story that is pretty interesting to say the least..................
    http://www.infowars.com/inside-sources-bin-ladens-corpse-has-been-on-ice-for-nearly-a-decade/....

    I CAN ONLY HOPE WE ARENT DRINKING THE KOOL AIDE!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • betty

      I dont know what you've been drinking Oz, but I am steering clear of it!

      May 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
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