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. DW

    Unarmed is a fair fight by Al Qaeda standards.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kumar

    I heard they had an Islamic prayer for him before the sea burial, why all this ? Just throw his ass out ,no one cares about Bin Laden, I wish they lit his ass on fire.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emmanuel Goldman

      Not Understanding/Disrespecting other cultures and religions is a big part of what got us in to this mess.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      Bury him in bacon grease !!

      May 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • JG

      If we give in to hate and become monsters like him, then the whole world will burn.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pablo

      I understand the culture and the religion – that is something Osama bin Laden did not understand. The true meaning of the koran.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • ztank

      I think this was a perfect play by the US. Go after and kill anyone that kills americans, but respect the deceased and prevent a focal point for future hate and agrression. IMO it was very well played.

      Put this in context...when people are executed then do you think that they receive what people think they would want at their executions with respect to last rites and burial? If he was Catholic then they would have had a priest pray over him, right?

      This doesn't seem any different to me.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Incorrect as usual

      @Goldstein, you get it wrong once again. The US was founded on religious tolerance. Show me any place where so many people celebrating so many religions live peacefully together. If you want tolerance the US is the place to be.

      Treating OBL in this manner sends a message that the US respects Islam, as it does other religions, and that the war isn't about religion. Disrespecting OBLs religion doesn't accomplish anyone's goals.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Vienners

    He was armed with his evil brain!!

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

      The CIA says they have no evidense that shows Osama Bin had anything to do with 9/11.
      .
      The World knows 9/11 was a False Flag operation

      Evil beyond belief!

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

      that is now splatered on the wall of that compound!!

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

      Yeah, no evidence except that he confessed to it, right Roland?

      May 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SHAKEBUTDONTSTEAR

    The news says Osama fought to his death. All the Osama news forcast pictures of Osama carries AK-47 all the time until his death.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fidgetwidget

    Unarmed or not, I'll bet you there are roughly 2900 individuals who died on US soil who are resting a lot better now that OBL is dead. He might not have had a gun, but he resisted and was terminated with extreme prejudice. Well-deserved...

    May 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PARROT

    ANOTHER INNOCENT AND UNARMED MAN KILLED BY THE WORLD'S LARGEST CRIMINAL....!! OH WELL

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

      Innocent?

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

      Parrot, how would you like to jump out of a 100 story building, rather than burn to death, or perhaps be on a airplane, know it is going to crash. What is wrong with you? Are you a sick lunatic? Get an exorcism, please.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lance

      Your an idiot PARROT. I'm certainly no obama lover at all. In fact, quite the oposite, but I do like the fact that he ordered the "kill". He was able to finish what Bush started. And now to my point you terrorist lover... How many people in the tower's, on the ground in PA and the Pentegon were armed on 9-11? Probably not many you jack a$$ so who cares if he was armed or not! The pig is dead!

      May 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rolland Miller

      So true Parrot

      May 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vienners

      I think he was being sarcastic.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lou50

    so, obama assassinated a peaceful visitor on retreat in a friendly country after invading it.

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

      Peaceful, but not necessarily innocent... I don't like the look of it, too.

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

      Spin it any way you want. He did the right thing. I'm proud of our president and the guts it took to take out bin Laden, and I'm glad he did it. Anyone who doesn't like it–tough.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      If you are that paranoid, please seek professional help immediately.

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

      Why don't you jump out of a 100 story building like the 9-11 victims had to, or crash in an airplane like the victims in Pennsylvania, or lie smoldering under a heap of metal with your body never being able to be identified for your family. Are you one of those evil, satanic Lucifers?

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

    The WH is already not getting their story straight. We have been told that a women (presumed one of his wives) was used as a shield, now PS Carney says, "three people were killed on the first floor, including a woman, and then the U.S. forces moved upstairs where they found an unarmed bin Laden and shot him". The "only" women killed can not be in two different places at the same time. This while the entire WH Staff observed the raid second by second on a closed circuit. Who is to believe. It never ends and will never end. Somebody at CNN please ask a question. Why the change in story now.

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

      Who cares? Laden is DEAD, that is all that matters. I dont care who went with him.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Yes, and this is all terribly damning because Obama himself was leading the charge. Give us a break and find a real fault and then we can talk about it.

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

      Is this the first time you've read the news. Corrections to events that occurred rapidly are common in any and all administrations. When people take the effort to correct their mistakes, it's a good thing. Did no one teach you that?

      May 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Penny

      Who cares? At least, they are trying to correct the information. Quit trying to stir up something. You must be a RePuke or a birther.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Just stick to one story. Less info to hand out to the rest of the world gives them less to complain about. You don't need to know everything. You wouldn't know what to do with it anyway.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really

      @Steve

      If you have ever experienced a crisis of any kind, let alone a firefight, you must realize how ridiculous your point sounds.

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

      Don't care, he's dead and that's a good thing. BUt I will at least say the last I heard was the woman bin Laden pulled to him as a shield did not die, she was injured by one bullet.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. nolesfan

    unarmed and hopefully begging for his life when that bullet splashed brain matter aganist the wall.

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

      That is so cruel!! I really like it!

      May 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Phil

    Job well done.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Penny

    He wasn't going to be taken alive–PERIOD! NO WAY!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. khalid

    I often wondered why Bin Laden never commented on what is going on in the Arab world, could he has been dead for a very long time?

    May 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nolesfan

    fish food!

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

    He brought a knife to a gun fight lol.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Phil

    Not armed? Seemed to have two prefectly good ones to me.

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