Overheard on CNN.com: To release or not release images of bin Laden's body?
May 3rd, 2011
06:13 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: To release or not release images of bin Laden's body?

Photos of bin Laden’s body spark debate

As the White House deliberates on whether to make public pictures of Osama bin Laden's dead body, Americans are debating whether they should be.

CNN.com readers said the release could fuel more hatred from Osama bin Laden’s followers while others say that it’s only fair to release the photos considering the terrorist leader had such little regard for those he killed.

laxfan12983 said, “I for one would like to see the entire video. I have been given not a shred of proof that we even captured anyone. Sure a picture would be nice, but this idea that ‘it’s too graphic for the masses,’ if you don't like it don't watch it.” scratchee responded, “I can't believe that all this could go down without the President delivering a dossier of proof to laxfan12983. Next you'll tell me they didn't even tell you about the raid in advance.”

ford429 said, “Show the live feed of the kill shot, not some static photo of a corpse. I want to see him alive before they shot him. Otherwise it does not explain why they buried him at sea after only 10 hours when they had 14 more hours before the 24 hours was up.” tjaxxx said, “The conspiracy theories have reached an unbelievable high all over the world since Bin Laden's death was announced. The White House needs to release the photos, as graphic as they may be.”

JimfromTexas said, “Release the photos and the videos as well. No consideration or social value was given to our citizens and other citizens of the world on 9/11 as they lay dead and dying on TV and in the news print. No worry about how explicit that was!” SthPhilly said, “I've had to see videos and pictures of 9/11 and what Osama had done to our country, I think it's only fair that I get to see what we've done to him.” ddiamondd said, “I believe he's dead AND I want to see the pictures. I don't care who gets mad. If they get mad, chances are they hate us anyway.”

Dulcimer said, “Don't do it! Conspiracy/hoax theorists do not operate on logic and evidence. Do not offer any memorial to this guy.” snowbelle said, “Nothing to be gained by showing any dead person's photo. Why inflame anyone, why continue to make this entire scene more emotionally overheated?” Tetrapod said, “They have to consider the impact of such images in the Muslim world. Is it worth it to release pictures and video that may enrage Muslims and trigger violence, just for the meager reward of maybe convincing a few people that he's dead? It's not an easy choice.” But TheDopePope simply said, “We don't need this crap released. He's dead, it's done, moving on.”

Should we celebrate bin Laden’s death?

Less than an hour after Osama bin Laden’s death was announced, hundreds of Americans spontaneously celebrated in front of the U.S. Capital and at Ground Zero in New York City. The images of the celebrations were captured on television and in print for the world to see, but some religious leaders question whether death is ever something to celebrate.

Many CNN.com readers agreed with them (even those without religious affiliations) while others said they are still (unabashedly) celebrating.

Erika Sudz quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., ‎"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Peter F said, “Celebrating death? How is that morally right? As a Christian, I will celebrate when good triumphs over evil, when God's will is done, but that is totally different from celebrating someone's death.” David said, “I don't like the blatant (and somewhat pious) link between religion and moralism this article implies. As an atheist I find the celebration of anyone's death wrong. Did bin Laden deserve death for his actions? Absolutely! Should we celebrate his death like a bunch of 18th century cowboys at a public hanging? NO!” Artemisia said, “I am an atheist. I am a secular humanist. When I heard that Osama bin Laden was killed, my first reaction was sadness. Not sadness at his death, but sadness for his life and all the despair and destruction it fostered. Osama bin Laden could have done great things; he could have left this earth in better shape than he found it. He chose the opposite.”

GetReal said, “Let's face it – we're humans, not saints, so I say CHEER! If you want a moment of silence, take it for all the American and British troops who risked and lost their lives.” Ty quoted Proverbs 11:10, "When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting.” Joepa said, “I celebrate Bin Laden's death because it means no others will die by his hand.” j01 said, “Morally right? If it was up to me I would dance down 5th Ave with his head on a stick.” Guedde said, “I'm very happy that he was killed in the morning on Monday, May 2nd. This has been my best birthday present in a long time!” Jesse R said, “All I can remember are those poor people on that September morning throwing themselves off of the burning towers. It was awful that day and to finally, finally, kill the animal that was responsible for it is worthy of a celebration.”

Michelle defended the revelers, “The kids who celebrated assembled in a spontaneous manner and maybe they went a little overboard in hindsight, but I do NOT fault them for feeling joyous! This generation of kids has lived half their lives in fear of the boogeyman, Osama bin Laden. They were not old enough to be angry, but they were definitely old enough to be afraid. Leave them alone!”

How much did Pakistan know?

The last of a three-part series of posts by journalist Fareed Zakaria focused on whether Pakistan knew of Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts. In the post, Zakaria points out that Osama bin Laden was not killed in a remote cave in Waziristan, rather that he was living in a large compound near Pakistan’s capital which houses a prestigious Pakistani military academy. And, he says, “It is beyond belief that there could be a compound like bin Laden’s in that location without some elements of the Pakistani military knowing about it.”

So what did CNN.com readers think?

Weird said, “Yeah, it would seem pretty weird if Pakistani officials deny any knowledge of his compound sticking out like a sore thumb. It's too unusual not to notice.” Javier said, “The only thing Pakistan can say is ‘Yeah we were all over it. We co-operated fully with the US.’ What's the other alternative? ‘Yeah, sorry. We've been lying to you for the last 10 years?’” Rob in Atlanta said, “That such a compound could have been constructed five years ago and bin Laden moved in without drawing any attention? Impossible.” Adi said, “Quickest way to earn10 billion and remain relevant in world politics? Hide a 9/11 suspect and pretend to search [for] him!” SK said, “As one of the analysts on Indian TV put it, ‘Pakistan has been caught with its pants down...’”

But AA said, “Have you ever been to a developing country like Pakistan? These types of big houses are every where in big cities. The culture is different and people have high walls around the houses all the time (for privacy). That is very typical.” And Adnan said, “Cheers to all. Pakistan has lost [the] most lives than any other nation on earth due to [the] war on terrorism. Besides getting appreciated for its sacrifices and cooperation Pakistan only gets condemnation.”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (822 Responses)
  1. Erika

    Just come on and release them already, we have already been lied to enough, we deserve proof!! Those who don't want them released just DON'T look, no one is forcing a gun to your head making you look, but we should be able to see them if we want to!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • MickeyCee

      Yeah, why not also publish the names and addresses of the seals who conducted the raids. That way their families could also pay the price for the death of Osama. If you think the president is lying about this then shame shame on you. You are probably one of the birthers who "still" believe he was foreign born. Don't you realize that inflaming the muslins who cherished Osama will just make it more dangerous for all of us. We were right to kill him, but let it go at that and move on. GET OUR BOYS HOME!!! I personally don't need any more proof than the president's word.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. koltin

    i want to see the pic, we as americans need proof that our enemy numero uno is dead and rotting at bottom of sea, if they can release the death photos of suddams sons, why cant they release these? whats the difference? WE WANT PROOF!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AnActualThinker

    Releasing "proof-of-death" photos and/or video would be carelessness and a mistake from one group of humans to another. This true no matter how many died on September 11th or during the related war(s). As an educator, its hard to teach Middle School students that violence is not the way to solve issues that they have. This is especially true when discussing current events during which you can't gloss over the fact that our very own government uses this method so freely. I certainly present the many sides of the issue, but they are zombified by the mainstream media's portrayal of people celebrating a human death at Ground Zero, in D.C. and elsewhere. If photos and/or videos are released it makes teaching children to solve problems without violence all the harder. Why is murder not murder when its done in uniform?

    May 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • DN

      Amen man. Couldn't said it any better.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuckie Wuckie

      Come on man... I respect your ideals but are not your naievity. If an unrepentent serial killer is captured and put to death in an electric chair, you don't call it murder. It's JUSTICE! If I intentionally murdered your child, I would expect you to bring me to justice. The problem with our liberal minded country is that we are breeding a Naive Generation of Political Correctness Incapable of Doing What is Necessary and Just. I suggest you visit another country, perhaps in the Middle East or Africa, so your eyes can be opened to the Real World. I was politically Left, until I visited Tunisia and Morrocco, now I'm politically Right. I was Blind, but now I See!

      May 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tye

    There are already photos out there, you just have to look. Somebody obviously leaked some if they haven't been released yet.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      I got the pic. Its not a very pretty sight. He was shot above his left eye, it looks as if the shot took part of his eye also. You can tell it is osama.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tina

    I do want to see the pictures. I don't like blood, and it's a very sad thing that we as human begins can do this to one other. I'm not religious or anything but I am a human being.. I don't know who did 9/11 to be honest like everything about 9/11 and osama being dead now is weird. The government can't even get their story straight of what happened and yes why not keep him alive if he didn't have any weapons don't you want to know the truth of why he did 9/11 IF he did 9/11 I am not dumb just because I think all of this I just believe everything doesn't add up and guess what the government lies lies and lies some more. This world is F***** up and we all know it. And if you don't want your kids to see the photos umm then don't let them watch the news or dont let them have a tv in their room or play freaking video games or have a facebook and so onn etc

    May 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cj

    YES!! look at all the public killings of our reporters and soldiers they have posted. they celebrated too! let the people and families of 9-11 have some closure! embarrass osama.....him and his followers have NO sympathy for Americans at all...so why should we for him. We need to cut that country off...stop givin them OUR money. no turning back now.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dajInn

    another fake story form the same gang who created 9/11 and trying to find a happy ending to what they made.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • AnActualThinker

      I agree that this a fake bin Laden death is quite possible and an inside job on 9/11 is definite. . . on top of the fact that no one in the mainstream media is focusing on the fact that the U.S. funded and armed this man against the Soviets way back when. What a foolish government we have!

      May 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tye

    I doubt it. http://www.tediosity.com/realosama2.jpg

    May 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Optimus Prime

    Megatron was buried at the bottom of the sea and look how well that worked out...... This theater of absurdity and polarization will go on with or without an end to Al Queda..

    May 3, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      you're so right Optimus!!!

      May 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Taylor

    cmon for ten years we watched the deaths of thousands in world trade and in the wars that he caused. and we cant see 1 picture i guess the white house needs time to photoshop the pics

    May 3, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tye

      If you look up a couple of posts, there's a link to one of the photos. It's definitely him, not some photoshopped crap.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chuckie Wuckie

    I think Osama is alive and well.... in US custody. Could you imagine the awesome intelligence that can be taken from that SOB... if he could be tortured? So now, since his body was "buried at sea" nobody will ask questions about his "rights" or well being. We can torture the living Sh** out of him untill he tells us everything he knows. Then, once we're done with him, kill him and bury him at sea. Don't get me wrong, I am against torture of those who fight for their country or ideology, and target those who forcefully oppose that country or ideology. But when you plot and/or commit acts that intentionally target innocent people, then all bets are off. In my eyes, you lose the right to treated like a human being. I say, torture the SOB untill he tells us everything we need, then free him... into the ocean in keeping with the cover story. BRAVO MR OBAMA! BRA-VO!

    May 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ellol

    i think we must see the photos

    May 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Think

    Of course the photos need to be released. I can't understand how so many americans are so gullible and automatically believe whatever their government tells them. How can anyone believe that the WORLDS MOST WANTED MAN (can't express that enough) is dead without proof? I mean come on.. I also find it out odd that they choose to just kill him instead of taking him alive in which he would be more vaulable in the war on terror. They could of easily interrogated a 54 year man on the whereabouts of his top Lieutenants. Here in the US they can take down the MAFIA hundreds at a time without any deaths but cannot raid a compound with 18 people, most of which are children and take him alive.
    It is also odd that his body is deposed of within 12 hours of his death, according to islamic burial traditions the body has 24 hours to be buried.. (another story the government tells you that is inaccurate) . They still had another 12 hours atleast.. So far they have not released even evidence indicating that they have killed OBL. So i am not convinced at all.. That government does lie people.. over and over it has been proven. Im simply saying stop believeing something someone tells you to be true.. Use your own reason to come to an conclusion... EVIDENCE!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      The best comment! We neeed answers we should not stand to be lied too enough is enough

      May 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Psyclops

    @Tye: That picture is a fake. The human brain is so soft and slimy that it would not maintain it's shape inside a head that was just split open that badly. Fake pic from someone trying to make it as a journalist or hollywood makeup artist.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Boiler96

    My opinion:: do not publish Osama's pictures. Instead, have a viewing of the images with a selective group of Ambassadors/Diplomats to other countries. Allow those chosen to confirm the death rather than post the images to the world. Do not add anymore fuel to the fire.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
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