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. MASHU

    Yes they have to make his pictures public . Positive or negative it should be made public.that was the right thing to do.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mattp210

    Yes, please get the video up. I need to see if it was him, not just me, but everybody does. A picture would be nice but please, get the entire video up so we can all see the death. And, so what if we see somebody dying? Americans watched thousands of people die in 9/11, as they jumped out of the buildings plundering to the ground or just having the buildings collapse on them. Put up either numerous photos, or a video would be better.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. brianne merrill

    show us the video, pictures all. we deserve to see, if someone doesnt wanna watch it dont!!!!!!we saw what happened to our innocent Americans,let us have more truth to he is dead

    May 3, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey

    I want those pictures shown as to expose the murderous thugs in the Navy Seals for what they really are,the creeps!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey M

      Yu got some cojones to call the Seals Thugs. These fine Men did their job just like I have in the service. Before yu talk why dont yu walk in our shoes!! Lets drop yu off in Afghanistan or even Iraq and see how fast yu will end up shooting an insurgent whos aiming to kill yu!! Im a veteran been deployed back to back to back and I kno how hostile these people can get. Bin Laden would of had ur head on a stick in a heartbeat. Yu sound sooo sympathetic about him. He deserved wat came to him. He killed unarmed people so he got wat was coming to him.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. donaldflump

    I wont believe he's dead until I've seen his birth certificate.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Oz

    Here is a Interesting article to say the least............This is why you need to SHOW PROOF.


    May 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. aaron jewett

    celebrate his death, sometimes being the bigger person just isnt worth it........ should be hackey sacking bin laden's head at ground zero just for the slim chance that it could be part of his hell and maybe he could feel it from beyond.

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

    I think we need to see what ever footage – be it video, still shots, thermal imaging, anything – of bin Laden's demise. It will prove to the world that the U.S. is to be taken seriously; that we will take action; we say what we mean and we mean what we say when it comes to terrorism or anyone that threatens the safety of the American people or it's land. They should just put a huge disclaimer on a webpage saying that the images are graphic. Then let the user click again on a link if they want to view them. Very simple. Me? I want to see the pictures. Thanks Seal Team 6 – you're my heroes!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Avery Baker

    I, as well, have no proof that O'Sama is even dead. Relaese a picture and the video, it could just be a look alike. We should be able to see things like this when it happens. Not days and weeks after.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jimmy

    I donn't believe they gave killed Osama. This a political manipulation. The moment for Obama who wants to reelected.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Brady

    I think you should show the pictures for many reasons mainly because alot of people dont belive that he is dead cause it took so long to finally do so. And i think any american would like to see pictures of him dead.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jimmy

    I donn't believe they have killed Osama. This a political manipulation. The moment for Obama who wants to be reelected.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey

    I really dont care how gory the pics of Osama Bin Laden are!!!!! They should release them to everyone. These terrorist put videos of our people getting their heads chopped off with no sympathy and use them as visual victory trophies. Why should we show sympathy to the terrorist who want us dead? Eye for an eye lets show off our TROPHY !!!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Im not that joey that disgraces the Seals. I wrote this one above I forgot to put instead of joey Joey M.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Patriot Will

    If these people, or lack there of, already hate us, then what do we care if they hate us some more. They are taught to hate America from the day they learn to speak. You know, if they want to die for allah, go ahead and be my guest, but if they take even 1 American with them, we will kill them for God and America. With the technology they have today, the worst threat to Americans is a nuclear warhead sent over to American "air". I say "air" and not "soil" because the technology we have today can intercept that missle in mid-air and destroy it. By the time that happens, the US will have already sent a barrage of missiles over there, killing everyone. I have my sources that work for the government, and they recently planned out that if they wanted to destroy every person in Pakistan, hitting every in of land, it would take 178 tomahawk missiles to do it. Let's do some simple math. It takes 7 seconds to launch 1 missile, 4 seconds to get the next 1 loaded, and so on and so forth. 4 7=11. 11×179=1969 seconds, which is about 33 minutes to wipe out an entire nation... BRING IT ON, WE'LL BE READY!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      HOAAAAAAHHHH !!!!!! God Bless America for ever.We are unstoppable.

      May 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tyrone

    I think they should release them. Tired of disbelievers.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Rink

      Time to get out of Afghanistan - sheltering OBL was our only reason to be there.
      Cut off all $ aid to Pakistan - they are NOT an ally. What are they gonna do to us? Harbor a terrorist? Whoops. Done that; still got $. Shame on us.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darion

      I dont think there is any necessity once so ever to reveal the photos of Osama Ben Ladin because if his followers see those photos they might decide to retaliate and a you ever think about the possible things that we U.S.A could go to war. Or that his followers may target U.S and take control.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nancy

      Google "dead osama bin laden" under images. I see where they show mangled face bfore and after they shaved him.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darion

      Also he took the millions of lives and plus there is no reason us U.S.A to feel any sympothy especially when he resisted to getting arrested and got sniped by a soilder. Military was absoulutley correct to shoot him if he tryed to escape or tried to run.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • JULIUS19997

      its a sad day when the government doesnt post photos of bin ladens dead body... but they sure allowed us to see president kennedys autopsy photos and assasination video and also the people jumping out of the twin towers and terrorist pushing a man in a wheelchair out of an airplane or the saddam hussein hanging video or his sons death pics. we are allowed to see our tragedies but for the sake of hurting the feelings of those in the arab countries we dont post bin laden pic. shame

      May 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
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