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. LNCarden

    1. The hanging of Saddam Hussein was broadcasted for the nation to see; why can't we see the killing of Bin Laden?
    So if there are issues or discussions as to why the pictures of his body or the video taping of his burial then something is fishy, no pun intended.
    2. How coincidently, now that Bama is trying to get his campaign together (when his ratings are at an all time low), does he find the worlds most wanted terrorist?
    3. With that being said, I do personally believe Bin Laden is indeed dead; but do I think that he was killed recently? Without the videos and without the pictures; who knows...maybe Bin Laden has been dead and because of Bama wanting higher ratings he is not showing us the proof because the proof washed away, again no pun intended, years ago.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • sundevil98

      So, who ordered the kill on bin Laden? If it wasn't Obama, it must have been Bush, right?

      Don't you think W would have been ruffling his feathers over getting bin Laden before he left office? It would have been the one thing that would have bolstered his legacy upon leaving office. Don't think for a minute Bush would have kept his mouth quiet this long if it wasn't Obama that ordered the bin Laden kill.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    There should be 100% proof for the WORLD to see and verify. We saw the atrocities he enabled on 9/11, those images engrained and brought to mind, all too often. He was given more respect in death with homage to a religion he did not deserve. His callous acts and commands breached his faith long ago as a true follower of Islam. And if they call his cement compound a mansion again, I'll puke. It was dirty, not lavish, barely furnished and more like a glorified cell. If that is what you get to live in for a million dollars in Pakistan. No wonder we got so little for our 19 Billion.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    CNN would love to show a picture of a man with a bullet in his head just for their ratings. This would be their chance to do it legitimally. Very sad to see this once proud News Organization behave like a circus barker.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tye

    If that's a fake then they did an incredible job in a very short period of time....looks exactly like him and the damage is identical to the reports. My hat's off to whoever created that, if it's not the real deal.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. David

    I recieved the pic this morning. The shot was just above his left eye and it was osama. If you dont think hes not dead your dead wrong! I got my pic from a military source, so go figure. Say goodnight osama youll burn in hell forever.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tye

      I agree with you, can't see that as a faked photo. Hopefully they'll eventually release footage of at least the burial and clear pictures of his face. Otherwise, there's just going to be endless speculation and conspiracy theories.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. billy bob

    lets see it....... if he is really dead. show us the proof...... you dumped his body so .......... whats 2nd best? photos, video...... ......... the world can gut the images. now lets see them.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sean

    They weren't afraid to kill him, but they are afraid to show pictures and videos of it? I thought they said they weren't scared?? Just show the video, or admit you are just trying to get glory before your time in office expires. If bin laden is alive and can stay hidden for a few years, obama gets this for himself in the history books. Even if we find out later it was a hoax. hasn't someone else done something like this before??? hmmm?

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

    I believe Bin Laden is dead. I also believe the pictures should be released. The people that backed Bin Laden are likely to retaliate anyway after seeing some of the citizen of the US celebrating after someone's death. I was shocked that so many American behaved that way. That just brought Amerians down to their level.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Krissy

    I recieved a photo of Osama Bin Laden from my brother on my cell phone Monday Morning. It showed a shot by his eye on the side of his head. Dont know if it was a fake. But I think we deserve to see the photo's and Video!

    May 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dennis

    my question is whereeeeeeeeeeee is the bodyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy thats meannnnn the evidenceeeeeeeeee that they really killed himmmmmmmm

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

    Photos and Video if you have it. Yes. We deserve that much.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tye

      You can decide for yourself if it's real or not.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tye

      http://www.tsagoons.com/2011/05/03/the-real-osama-kill-shot-photo/
      You can decide for yourself if it's real or not.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. steve k

    how can a picture prove death? photoshop has made the imposable possible. i have pictures of tupac and osama, does that prove they were together?

    May 3, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Think

      Very true, the answer is you can't.. the government did this on purpose so people would fight about this. This was very carefully planned out ahead of time. They could of easily proved this 10X over but they choose not too..

      May 4, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. Maria

    The longer the White House waits, the more the world will doubt and question if it is all true. Release the photos and be done with it. Hollywood gave us worst.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Pam Malafronte

    Don't we have enough horrible images committed to memory? If you can't trust that Bin Laden is in fact dead then we are essentially saying that we don't trust the integrity of the Navy Seals who went in and conducted this mission. Nobody has mentioned that this branch of the service has retired members who can come out and tell the American public that the brotherhood of the SEALS wouldn't allow such propaganda to be perpetuated–they did kill Osama Bin Laden and it shouldn't be doubted. Also, sometimes I feel alone, but I know that I'm not, we should recognize that our President Obama is a man of integrity and he is humble; he is NOT LYING. I'm so sick of our acts and attacks against one another. So many think everything is a conspiracy. I believe that our Media, and our Government have a few bad apples, because humans are fallible, but for the most part we are told the truth–not everybody is out for fame or political gain. Our insistance that we be shown pictures to beleive shows us as a very mistrusting society and the rest of the world loses more respect for us. How can we say we;re such a great nation when we don't trust our leaders and upstanding citizens (Navy Seals)?

    May 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Think

      I have/will never doubt the integrity of the NAVY SEALS. But this isnt about the NAVY SEALS its about the government or leaders of our government i should say. The fact is that they do LIE, Have been lieing for decades. Thats just the truth.. all governments do that. Its know secret. I would love to believe whatever my government told me is the uptmost truth, but that's not reality. To govern is to LIE to a certain extent. Remember that!

      May 4, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. RED

    We as American People need some closer! So, show them. Like LN Carden said if they show the hanging live, why not show some pictures of Osama? After all he did take something pretty important from us all and we had to watch it....

    May 4, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Liars

      How hard do you think it was for them to find that many intelligent comments AND replies?

      May 4, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
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