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. Show Me

    The fact that Obama has decided NOT to release the photos, just further adds to this farce. Every minute there's something else that leads me to believe, or shall I say NOT believe that this actually happened. This is supposed to be a free country, with freedom of the press and all that garbage. Guess not. I've never been more embarassed to be an American. And I don't believe any of what allegedly happened.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. melanie

    what I have to say about the photos of osama is we had to relive and watch the towers fall over and over again. Let us have the chance to see his death. We as americans have had to live on unsure grounds for so long that these pics might help to put some worries to rest. Many of my family members are in the middle east right now fighting and it would give a big boost to our familys that it is not be all been vain.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andrea Rodriguez

    We, the American people, need and deserve to see for ourselves that the mass murderer of many of our people is dead. It will bring a sense of closure to the victims that so badly need it.

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

    I agree with President Obama totally, Osama bin Laden photos SHOULD NOT be released.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pamalama

    NO, NO, NO.....the United States government should NEVEER be"bullied" into doing anything that is not in the best interest of the people of this great nation. Videos indeed. Talk about making some extremist mad. Let's not do that.Stand strong and don't give in. Celebrate in the moment. Some of these folks, media, nay sayers and politicians alike, would not belieive he is dead even if they saw the videos and pictures.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Becca Taylor

    There is a horrible picture of dead Bin Laden on Lebanese news papers and websites. If it is real, it should not be made public.

    May 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kat

    I agree with the President not to release the photos. Bin Laden's image does not need to be immortalized on the internet or in the eyes of his followers. I think terrorists would only use the images to incite more rage to commit murderous acts against Americans and allies. I think we should think about the bigger pictures and potential consequences than give in to the need for instant gratification of seeing the photos.

    May 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dannielle French

    Re: Bin Laden photos.
    Put them on line where anyone who wants to see the photos pays a small fee to fund the war on terrorism. They would generate millions of dollars for a good cause.

    May 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thresa Pigeon

    I feel the plan and execution of osama was of the upmost of brillance,way overdue! no need to view any photos have seen enough of his face for years!THE OCEAN was to good for such a terrible monster! THANK YOU navy seals! PROUD to be an american!! from LAKEVILLE, MA

    May 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Angie

    Well, this will only put Donald Trump on a new war path.

    May 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Yosemiddysam

    As much as I hated Bin Laden, I do not think my kids need to see his dead body in the news. I really think that if 3/4 of you saying "show me the pictures" had ever seen a human after being shot in the head, you might change your mind. This is not a dog and pony show where "OUR" Commander in Chief needs to prove to any of you anything!!!! Wether you like him or not, it is not the decent thing to do. Was Bin Laden decent? NO and he deserves nothing but hell for eternity for what he has done and the lives that he took. If you have never watched the clip of President Kennedy getting shot, then I suggest you, as an adult, watch it and then ask yourself if that is what you want your children to see. Even if you do not like the President, can you not trust the capablilties of the Navy's finest? Trust me.....if THEY say he is dead......Guess what, he is DEAD!!!! Even though I do not know the caliber of the round that struck Bin Laden in his head, I assure you that the image will not be pretty. If this still does not get it through your brains "Pun intended" then you want to see the pictures for the wrong reasons.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Thankanavyseal

    Another good decision by the President. It's to bad this story is so news worthy. Personally, I would prefer never to see Bin Ladens' face on the news EVER again, never mind releasing photos of his body. That is completely unnecessary. He's finally dead. Lets all quietly give thanks and leave him that way. Dead.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kicca migliaccio

    If OBL daughter saw the "KILLING' of her father, do we need a more reliable witness? or is this (girl) a non person?
    I also agree never to see his unkept face again..

    May 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. IPerkins

    Rather than ask for proof that Bin Laden is dead, why not ask for proof that he is ALIVE! He appears when he wants to, give him a time frame to appear.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kat

    Unfortunately USA was not able to catch bin Laden alive & put in front of a justice. Decision of not releasing picture of dead man proves that America is not a nation of barbarian.
    If there are not believers who ignore DNA tests, witnesses, CIA, army, government statements, picture will still keep them in doubts.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41