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. nur amabo nur

    Ok kids todays lesson is two wrongs make a right. Someone kills your mommy you go kill their mommy. So if you were a judge you would execute the first 1 and the second goes scott free. I can't believe I had it wrong all these years.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. river_raider

    They definatley need to show the photos, if that was Obams or Bush they killed they would be hanging in a public street on live television with people peeing and spitting on them and much worse i'm sure, who care if people will be offended, DON"T LOOK!!, They should of took his ass to ground zero and let the people have him alive, if i was in charge of things he wouldnt have been burried at sea...

    May 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Osama Bin Laden's Head Shot


    May 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Unknown.

    I think it is wrong to celebrate the death of anyone.,. But how about celebrate or citizens who can finally be put to peace after 9/11. Osama bin Ladin was not a nice person. And he does not deserve nice praise, but the idea that this terrible beast is gone should deserve a bit of happiness knowing a mass murderer is no longer on the loose!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Madonna Lopez

    What is too Graffic?
    What is too graffic? the images of fellow American's being flown into buildings on National television, or images of fellow Americans jumping to their death from the Twin Towers so as not to burn alive, seeing -feeling their hopelessness, watching our finest charging in with no thought to their own safety knowing they may not survive themselves to save as many as they can. I ask again WHAT IS TOO GRAFFIC? wATCHING OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN IN THE ARMED SERVICES VOLUNTEER TO GO AND PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE TO HUNT AND CAPTURE A MONSTER. We can only know that he will indeed answer to a higher judgement than what was deliver to him May 1st.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Aishah

    S.A, we all kno Hosama's wrong deeds in but i personally dont think celebrating his death was right. Its the most inhuman thing to do. Think about other innocent lives affected by this shocking news n how much pain it adds to the oppen wounds, its nothing personal but we need to look carefully at our ways.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Arla Stuart

    As a US citizen I feel we should get to see his picture. I mean, they showed Saddam's & his sons. I feel like it would bring some kind of closure to the USA. This man and his followers brought so much heartache to us over the past 10 years. If anything, announce when it will be shown and those who do not want to see it can close their eyes! And, with all due respect if it's against Muslim culture or something to not show the dead, why should we listen? Nobody thought it against Christian Biblical belief for the commandment "thou shalt not kill". They didnt respect us either...So I say show the picture. Besides, so many Americans want to see proof he is dead.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey

    My nemesis Troll is becoming better at imitating my writing style.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. monica

    I believe that we have the right to see the pictures! It can't be any worse then the pictures and videos we have seen of them doing thiings to our peaople such as dragging our soldiers around ripping their legs off, beheading them, or the events happening on 9/11! So we deserve to see them so the families and the the people who were tortured by them can R.I.P!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ryan

    Erika Sudz quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., ‎"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

    Um. The first two lines of that aren't from Martin Luther King Jr. He said the second part, but not the first two lines.
    People and their misinformation/crackpot theories.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristy

      Yes, I think we all know now that the quote is fake, but it's been circulating with his name attached to it for 24 hours or so. Ericka is not the only one to be duped.

      May 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    Yes, release OBL's pics. Good for dart practice. Who cares that they hate us. We hate them more. They can never hate us as much as we hate them. Bring it on.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      If you want to hate the Muslims Phunnie boy,please do it under your own name instead of mine. Don't you think that the Muslims have very good reason to hate us? I know they do!!!

      May 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • carolina

      i agree show us the pics please

      May 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Patriot Will

    We had to see our people die on 9/11, let us see him die. They say that we had no right to kill him, but we asked him if he wanted to surrender, and he said, "NO!" He made it clear to us that he didn't want to be taken as a prisoner, but if they US soldiers took him away, they would be criticized for torturing him. Let me be clear. If you mess with the bull, you get the horns. As far as I'm concerned, he doesn't have any rights. He didn't have the right to kill all those innocent people. If given the opportunity, I would walk through every towelhead country with his head on a steak to show them that you can run, but you can't hide. As for the gloating...IN YOUR F***ING FACES AL QAEDA. GOD Bless America, Land of the FREE and Home of the BRAVE.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Your post is one of the most hateful ones here yet. That kind of thinking is exactly what gives this country the bad name it already has. Over the last two days,I've seen such an outpour of hatred as I've never seen before in my lifetime and it was quite appalling.

      May 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pamela dishnow

    I do not think the photos of a dead bin Laden need to be made public. That would serve no positive purpose. He's dead. We all know he's dead. I think it would sensationalize a serious, completed event.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TT

    Without getting overly political, cynical, emotional, religious, etc..., yes, I think seeing some photo's or video of BinLaden dead is worth the trillions of dollars we the American people have spent.

    Dancing and cheering in the streets is not something I would do, nor do I think it's in good taste.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nur amabo nur

    Tomorrows lesson is the Geneva convention. The "other" brand of tp used at white house.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
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