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. moddysbb

    OH GREAT...Now the Libs will be protesting in the streets for killing an unarmed Bin Laden....HERE WE GO AGAIN

    May 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • awaysaway

      (1) They are not protesting in the street, and (2) "They" are not liberals. You are projecting your prejudices.
      Are you reading a different article to the rest of us?

      May 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • moddysbb

      "will be" "will be" "will be" stay focused...love how everybody is prejudice when they dont agree with you....quit being such a racist!!!

      May 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ken in Miami

    The people OBL celebrated killing on 9/11 were unarmed and I'm supposed to GAS that he wasn't armed when they put him down? Give me a break.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whew! I am sooooo glad we didn't have to water board anyone.....

      ...to find out where Osama was hiding. Whew! See - you really can learn more about terrorist operations without water boarding other terrorists. Oh, SNAP! Hold the phone - WE DID find out about OBL's location because of water boarding. How weird is that?????? So, wait - how do Liberals explain that inconsistency??? So, Obama condemned water boarding, yet he's happy to have used that information gained from water boarding KSM to find OBL. That is just too funny. LMFAO!!!!!

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

      They've reported that the info about the courier didn't come from waterboarding.... It came much later

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

    So he didn't have a gun in his hand. What about right next to him?

    There is much more to the story. It is still being reported. One thing I know: ObL is dead, and I'm relieved that this man cannot hurt any more innocents anywhere, ever again.

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

      well, maybe bin laden WASN'T armed.... neither were the people in the Twin Towers.

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

      Unfortunately just Bin Laden is dead and whole the Terrorism is still up...

      May 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Josh

    @Cyberdog
    You have never been in the military have you, and on that i will tell you this, i have been in the infantry for 10 yrs, i have done over a dozen raids. Let me tell you something even people who dont have a weapon can fight back. AND IF SOMEONE WANTS TO bit** about him getting killed and not having a weapon, TAKE YOU A** TO GROUND ZERO. And tell on of the moms or dads, or sons and daughters who lost loved ones that it was wrong. You can kiss my a**. PUT ON THE UNIFORM, AND THEN TALK TO ME ABOUT MILITARY LAW. GOD BLESS THE USA.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • kangapooh 52

      Way to go Josh! You are so right!

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

      AMEN!! He's off the face of the earth. I couldn't care less if he had a weapon or not. Also, it was a TEAM effort that brought him down; from past presidents to the CIA,FBI, JTTF, USN Seals, all the way to the swabbies on the Carl Vinson. God bless the TEAM and God bless the USA.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Crudhafi

    Still wondering how the U.S. overlooked this compound for so many years. Weren't we combing over satellite photos of every Pakistani mountain town? There's a Bugs Bunny cartoon where he's lured into a foreboding castle. Outside there's a big neon sign, EVIL SCIENTIST. I mean, what does it take for the U.S. to figure it out?

    May 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ant

      Definitely not people like you – backseat driver.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brent

    "Wait, Wait, peace, peace, I surrender" BOOM!

    i hope he sh it himself.

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

    People judging people they do not even know, all I see as I read these comments. Is it any wonder the world is the way it is?

    May 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Coger

    Try looking at the situation from the Pakistani side: Packistan is backward and desperately poor. The USA is paying them billions to help hunt Bin Laden. But when Osama is captured or killed, the likelihood the money stream will dry up is a high probability. What to do? They hide the fox, so the hunt, and the money, will continue indefinitely.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bob c

    if i would have been there (and if i had a gun and he didn't), i would have sliced him up slowly so it would have taken hours for him to die!!!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MAGGIE

    Was interested in reading through comments and disgusted, I see people judging people thet do not even know. Is it any wonder the world is the way it is.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Skip

    I hope he suffered a slow and painful death. 🙂

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

      Unfortunately, the S.E.A.L.s are excellent marksmen. I doubt he even saw it coming or had time to wonder "How'd these guys get to be so good?" DAMN THE TORPEDOES, FULL SPEED AHEAD!

      May 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    jeeesh people are real nuts... ok have the WH and the military explain STEP BY STEP how it happened so any other dictators or terrorists can have the gameplan to hide a lil better! Get over it people, you will never know the whole story and it dose NOT matter, why must you know every little detail? only thing that matters is an evil nasty waste of human flesh is gone, GOD BLESS THE SEALS!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Worried

    I feel so much better knowing that he wasn't armed when our Seals put him down. I now know that they were in no real danger. We also know they could have hung out longer than 40 minutes because the Pakistanies could find them unless we offered them a billion and a half to look. Then they still wouldn't find them.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Penny

    He lived in a mansion with his wife and children for five years. The good life. When you are shot in the head, you don't feel it. You die immediately, then he gets a respectful service and burial. American respects others religions.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CJ

    In the words of Clint Eastwood "he should've armed himself". He can work on that when he gets to the 3rd level of hell. Thank you, S.E.A.L. Team VI!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
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