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. Justin Kutz

    what dna evidence? i dont understand how u can use dna to prove he was indeed osama..without having original dna to match it with?

    May 5, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bonnie Coppola

    There is nothing positive to be gained by displaying the body of Bin Laden. The media machine, both nationally and internationsally, has its story (without the body) and will make sure it lasts by giving air time to endless rounds of conjecture and debate, as well as second-guessing parties on "how taking out Ossama" was handled. This would ocur either way, body or no body.
    To those who are second-guessing the stealth operation and the way Bin Laden was killed, I say: "None of the victims of 9/11 were armed!"

    May 5, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. mary

    I think President Obama should release the photograph of the death of Osama Bin Laden. It was a gutsy move, to go in and Kill Bin Laden. So, he need to go display an even more gutsy move and display the evidence. He he doesn't display the evidence, we don't have to believe it.
    At least President Bush displayed the evidence of Sudan Hussian and all of his partner in crimes. There were no questions as to their deaths.
    The President is going to get slack either way, whether he show the pics or not. But, at least everyone will know the truth. A wise person once said "prove all thing."

    May 5, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Timothy Gummert

    I would like to commend our NAVY SEALS for a job well done.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Wanda

    I don't believe it and I won't believe it until I see his dead body. He was sick what if he died from his sickness. Also why did you rush to get rid of his body? He had no respect for us so why did we have to respect him. Sadam we saw him til his end. Why can't we see the most wanted man how he left this world.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. darrell

    I don't need too see his body, I believe he is dead, and burning in hell , But I wonder how they used DNA. to what did they compair it too, did they have a sample, or what?

    May 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ashley

    yes we should see his photos that is the only way people are going to believe its true so just show us

    May 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ncourt

    We have people in the South who just lost lives & homes, and their communities, and all the other catastrophies in this country, let's focus on healing them. We don't need to waste more energy on a Terrorist!

    May 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joseph

    I am sick of hearing about Osama Bin Laden. It;s done move on there are many more things to talk about in the country and around the world this guy has taken up more press time then is needed Take a pole or something I cant be the only one who is glad he is dead and cont want to herew another thing about him MOVE ON.

    May 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Molly

    Frankly, I don't care whether they show photos, videos – but it won't prove anything to the nuts, so it wouldn't accomplish anything. As soon as they would release something, the wackadoodles on Fox News will be picking it apart which is an insult to the President and the Navy Seals. I'm just glad he is dead. Bush let him go in Afghanistan and even said in 2002 he didn't care where he was. If you want a conspiracy theory how about Bush's rational for letting planes fly right after 9-11 to get the bin Laden relatives to Saudi Arabia? I don't care what his motives where – it as wrong!

    May 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ryanlax1

    I think it would be appropriate to show picture of Bin Laden. Don't they always show pictures of others passed away on the news? This is the same thing just a new person. If they don't show the pictures soon, they will leak and that will become a problem. Then others in government will start to worry about this and not the economy.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tonymlt

    CNN is reporting that it is "obvious" that Osama is dead. There has been NOTHING obvious that has been shown that he is dead. This is a big mistake by the administration withholding confirmation of the death to the American public.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. john

    I Think we need to Release The Photos To The World To Show the World We Are Still Going To Hunt All The Terriost Down No Matter Where you Think you Can Hide Will Find You And Kill you All. America Didnt Ask for This Fight But We Sure Will End It At All Cost And To Make Sure America And The World Are Safe. But It Was Ok For The World To See A Person Beheaded But We Cant Show The Photos Of A Dead Terriost Leader. America Wants Proof He Is Dead.

    May 6, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kathleen Kachalla

    The government says they collected DNA, as well as having facial comparisons of Osama bin Laden. What did they have available to use as a comparison to his DNA? We have been told bin Laden's parents are dead but he has two half-sisters.

    May 6, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kassi

    people can say that he is dead. its easy. Osama is dead. I don't believe it. All news broadcasts should show the video of bin laden getting shot, the DNA confirmation, and the photo of him dead. If i was that navy seal i would shoot his legs to hell. I wouldn't kill him. I would tourture his ass for years. so just show people and tell them what they are about to see is graphic and make most of the world happy.

    May 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
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