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. T10050

    Are people really celebrating bin Laden's death or the end to his leadership of a movement?

    May 4, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      BOTH! Wouldn't you say they go hand in hand?

      May 4, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. John

    There is no need to show pictures of OSB. He is dead- end of story- because if he wasn't al Qaeda would have a media blitz dispelling the report. The burial was more than he deserved from his enemy.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Exactly. These nuts demanding to see the guy's lifeless bloodied corpse are as bad as these al Quaeda maniacs. Bloodthirsty weirdos thinking its the US government's responsibility to help them get their jollies. I don't understand some people. GHOULISH BONEHEADS.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Amanda

    I first thought the pictures should be released but now I have second thoughts. I bet you his followers would need to see the picture to believe he actually has been killed, so why even give them that. Lets keep the pictures private, I think they'd be more bothered if we did so:-)

    May 4, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. kacey.

    You know he is dead when those brave seals gambled their lives to kill him.
    Why question them unless you just need to see more bloody pictures of death?
    I agree with Sec. Clinton don't show..........

    May 4, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. fred andree

    Show the Pictures !!!!!!
    Let's be clear on this: OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden. An American soldier, who Obama just a few weeks ago was debating on whether or not to PAY, did. Obama just happened to be the one in office when our soldiers finally found OBL and took him out. This is NOT an Obama victory, but an AMERICAN victory!!
    Besides Bush Ordered the Dead OR ALIVE Posters on Bin Laden in 2001

    May 4, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Denim

    Screw the Muslim world. We don't live there. They don't care about our sensibilities, I see no reason why we should care about theirs. Release the whole video in maximum resolution.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Wow. That was intelligent.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. cmac

    I believe America has the right to see the photos, we deserve that, for all the people that lost thier lives in either the 9/11 attacks, War..etc. this is owed to them....

    May 4, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      There is a new low. Using the victims of 9/11 to justify your sadistic demands. Unbelievable.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. BAG

    We all mourned and grieved for the victims of this monster, we should be given the peace of mind in seeing his dead body. Too graphic??? 911 and all of the events surrounding it was more graphic than anything that I will have memories of in my lifetime. His lifeless body needs not hold any dignity, his dignity was murdered many times over with each American life he took. Post the pictures. Those that do not want to look, don't have to.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Danielle

    I don't understand, when Uday and Qusay died their photos were everywhere. Whats the difference really?

    May 4, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      That was allowed by a different President. George Bush is not the most thoughtful of strategic thinkers.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ronny

    Release the pics already printed on T-shirts, and solve the deficit problem at the same time.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Danielle

    yeah but we all survived it no? No one freakedbecause the pics were graphic. People were glad to see it, wether or not it was right.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Fred

    The lack of intellect displayed here is astounding. Have a good day. I don't hate you all, just most of you.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Denim

    What's more, with stills from the video, we can make dartboards and other targets. Think of the commercial possibilities! BTW, Fred, no one cares about what you're saying. You're welcome to STFU.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ian Webster

    How awesome that Obama chose the covert ops path, and not the "destroy everything in our path" path. It was carried out by the Seals and Intelligence communities with great precision. Now, as far as the pics, I don't care either way. I guess, for all the skeptics, they might as well release them, so conspiracy theories do not abound. One thing I do want to mention, though, is let's remember something: they celebrated when our towers were knocked down...and we despised it. And now look at us, celebrating the death of their leader. We're no different from them.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      They celebrated over the death of innocent people – civilians. Celebrating the death of a killer like UBL is very different from their actions.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. bsprat

    Hey maybe the WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION are on the compound as well in plain sight..why doesn't anyone ask questions about that..That's what we originally went over there for, OR DID WE? NONE THE LESS..CAN THE TROOPS COME ON HOME NOW!!! AT LEAST A GOOD VACATION, SOME GOOD R AND R WOULD BE A NICE PAYMENT FOR THE A JOB WELL DONE!

    May 4, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
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