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. SUSAN

    Who cares if OBL was unarmed, in bed, reading a book, we weren't there is deliver a pizza! The Seals are awesome as is all our military. GO USA!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tomoyo

    It's 2011–if something exists it will be seen regardless of any efforts to the prevent it whatsoever.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Pedant

      Come again?

      May 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • WikiLeaks

      Here it is: http://tinypic.com/r/15yelc1/7

      May 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. SUSAN

    I hope OBL knew it was absolutely the USA who were about to put a bullet in his head!! Let's face it, who would care if someone said, How do you like us now, you (*&^%$# er????

    May 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John Pedant

    Why do Muslim radicals always feel the need to wag their fingers? Amost every photo and video of bin Laden and Zawahiri shows them in the same posture–wagging the index finger as they give the world a piece of their mind. But I have to admit that the good ol' US of A has its own share of finger-waggers. Donald Trump is such another. But at least his hair wags in sympathy.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. renaldo

    This just in...OBL dead, Moammar Gadhafi craps pants.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • bam

      the assassination of quadalfi failed the last bomb did not explode.
      It was planned to kill Muamar and 1-2 days later kill Osama so the world would forget we targetted Muamar was a Brilliant idea but ah well

      May 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Greg

    How is it that there was no discussion of this magnitude when pictures were released of our own citizens dying on September 11th. Just because there wasn't blood doesn't mean the pictures were not graphic. An image of an innocent United States civilian jumping to their death rather than die in a burning business building is just as graphic as showing the body of the man who caused that tragedy. The question of giving him respect after his death is a joke. What respect did that madman ever give any person who did not agree with his radical ideas. As for the viewpoint it is too graphic, don't look if you do not want to. No one is forcing anyone to view it, but some people may want visual proof that a madman and mass murderer is dead. Al Qaeda has no respect for any of our citizens and even less for our brave soldiers who are fighting to defend us, while we talk about giving respect to the very man who is one of many direct reasons why U.S. citizens are dying as we speak. We showed pictures of the kids behind Columbine, we showed pictures of JFK after his death, we showed pictures of Uday and Qusay Hussein, but we can't show a picture of one of the biggest mass murderers of the last 200 years brought to justice? Al Qaeda mutilate our soldiers bodies for all to see, publicly. So let them be mad, they can be hypocritical, as usual. They're radical terrorists, who cares what they think. They'll always find some reason to hate us and want to attack anyone who isn't a radical anyways, picture or no picture.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Greg, its not really showing respect to UBL but to Islam nation. The Feds have a balancing act, show the body to prove he is dead but they may make a martyr out of him with the pics. This would be allied troops and civilians at greater risk for no reason other than to quinch the blood thirsty population that wants to see the photo. I believe he is dead and if not, then in US customer and never to be seen again. There is no way this administration says he is dead if they don't control the situation. It just takes a simple cell phone pic of UBLwith today's paper of him alive to show Obama as a liar and UBL alive.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bman

      How is it CNN was still in the stone ages. fyi I heard about the planes flying into WTC on my way to work at around 8:45 am. the reports were still sketchy but to me the attacks were clearly in progress and I didn't have to count on too many fingers to think of the culprits and why. I did however have to make it to work on time. I worked until lunchtime then came down and met some coworkers, one was crying, the others were standing around dumbfounded. I learned of the events that had transpired in those few hours. Once again I was not surprised. This time around I missed the announcement because i had gone to bed before 10:30 PM on Sunday. I heard the news on my drive in to work, I was once again not surprised but once again I did not have time to listen to any details. My salary now is probably less than it was in 2001. Noone I knew was in that building. Why did we even bother with starting two wars killing hundreds and thousands of civilians if this is the kind of justice we get... Where is the trial? how about the right to confront your accusers? I'm sure there's lawyers that will debate all that to no avail, however, how come the bankers got all the money and we got the shaft? Wheres the lawyers when we really need them? Why is educating our children under attack just because we refuse to teach them creationist dogma? How come some people think their reasons are better than others? How come people are worried about saving the jobs of prison guards?

      May 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      And before someone says we don't need to show respect to Islam we do. They believe (Islamic radicals) that this is a religious war. Some would say its about oil or nation building. Either way we are fighting a small band of Muslim fighters compared to the greater Islamic population. We need to show respect to the whole Islamic population as to not anger current allies of that religion and region.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Leo from East Texas

    The photos should be released... Back in the 1930's The FBI put up pictures of Public Enemy #1 in the form of John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, Ma Barker & her son's, Bonnie & Clyde, etc... That was almost 80 years ago... I think we can handle Osama Bin Laden................

    May 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, Ma Barker & her son's, Bonnie & Clyde, etc. were in the days before photoshop and psychops.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Conny

    I want to thank our President to have the courage to do what he had to do. This monster killed thousands of Americans and other Nationals. Anybody that questions that decision, must have their head examined. I am very proud of the Navy Seals, their training, and putting their lifes on the line to complete this mission. I hope we will never find out the name of the person who shot him, but thank you to take out this monster.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Arran Webb

    Thank God Osama bin Laden is gone. I wish the CIA left Geronimo out of. Geronimo and Osama bin Laden have little in common. Geronimo was defending his people's land – the land right beneath his feet. Osama bin Laden was a terrorist.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WikiLeaks

    The pic is already released here: http://tinypic.com/r/15yelc1/7

    May 3, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    I need a bath.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. wikileaks
    May 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bman

    He didn't hold up his hands? Why the f should he hold up his hands? He was in Pakistan, these soldiers were from the United States. One might like him to hold up his hands and even command him to do so but the fact of the matter is, the soldiers in question were violating the sovereign law of the country they were operating in. They had no authority to tell him to do anything. The fact that they tried to terrorize him into complying with their wishes speaks volumes. Since they shot him in violation of our and pakistani law, it is either murder or assination of a foreign national. Both are against the law. So why are we feeling so big and bad? How does this give anyone peace of mind?

    May 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mt

      Except that Bin Laden declared war on the United States.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ron

    Maybe scrambling his brains took a lucky turn, and, for a very, very short time, brought him into the 21st century.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    I need a bath of sorts.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
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