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. Tim

    As far as DNA ? Wasn't he in a USA hospital just before the Attack? Don't you think we Had it!

    May 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ken

    We should NOT show the pictures of the body of Osama bin Laden. I WOULD like to see them but I understand why we should not. We are offended of them showing our dead and captives and they do but we should not.

    Ken – Chicagoland

    May 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      ok but when sadams family were killed those pictures were nasty why show them , do you mind explaining that or is it kind of pick and choose, they werent much affraid of letting the public see when i lost both of my legs in nam, we we murderers and killers, defending or country i just dont get it.

      May 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    listen people you heard the white house, no and no means no,we are the white house and we can do whatever we want got it. it kind sounded more like are ya all brain dead dont ya understand no, we said no pictures no we never fired a shot at waco, and no we arent for big business, and no we couldent of solved our gas problems with propane cars just cant run on propane. no no no now you got it.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Johnny Rotten

    it's BS that after being subjected to watching innocents murdered on 9/11 & numerous other misdeeds attributed to OBL and seeing beheadings of US & Allied civilian & military personnel,seeing & feeling the effects the War on Terror has had on the freedoms we had including the gradual discontinuation of the Bill Of Rights in the name of Homeland Security and now after being subjected to Obama's mistakes during his first & hopefully last term as our President while he gambles & loses most of the time we are suffering the results of his "on the job training"-As for the human feces attempting to dishonor our US Special Ops for doing their duty,following orders without question and dispensing justice to OBL or any other mass murderer of innocents-I say that those directing their treachery against USN ST-6 are cowards & they do not represent the mindset of the majority of US citizens including those of us who are skeptical or feel let down by the politicians using the event to gain momentum for the elections. Regardless of who was in charge when the order was given to carry out the mission-they did save the taxpayers a lot of money & spared us the circus-like atmosphere that would've ensued,not to mention the likelihood of more attacks during any attempt to put the evil wretch on trial. As far as the decision to withhold proof after changing their stories repeatedly,that's another story that lends itself all too well to conspiracy theorists,Jihadist Fan clubs & kooks who'd take it upon themselves to commit some atrocity during the trial. For those who seek closure & proof and an accounting of the story that they all finally agree upon-we'll just have to wait until Obama uses the material to bolster his approval ratings closer to Election Day. To the people taking aim at our USN SEALS for following orders-YOU are the most "DISGUSTING"example of the population that those guys put their lives on the line for!!Grow some testes before you come out here crying "murder"you snivelling little coward!!

    May 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tony the Prophet

    Bin Laden is better off dead for the US, alive would have embarrassed the US with the truth about 911, the CIA made sure of that

    May 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cory

    If were not allowed to see the photo of him dead or after he was killed then why not let us see part of the "raid" video that Obama and the rest of the White house got to see. I'm sure he should be on there in full HD. Just take that moment the soldier approached him and cut it off. There you go no more speculations and its PG for the kids. Since it seems that our big brothers up at the WHite House seem to believe that we as Americans will take this as a ploy to make funny jokes and t-shirts. This is the man that killed 2,000 people, and remember the government allowed that to be televized, and as I might add we still see every once in a while on T.V. So this bothers me we get to watch our people die. But were not allowed to see one to three pictures of the deceased man that caused those deaths? Doesn't make since. Seems to me that there might be something behind all of this.

    May 7, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Maggie

    I think they should show the body I mean after all he is dead. In addition, showing the pictures isn't going to hurt no one .Also they hunted him down for years and now they say they can't show his dead body. I mean he was the mastermind behind the worst attack on the U.S soil he deserves to have his body publicly shown

    May 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. paula

    I think they should show the pictures of Bin Ladens body just post it on a sight let people look or not look its up to them
    after all they showed the pictures of the other dead people in the same room he came out of why not him?????? what is the difference some of them were shot in the head too.

    May 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
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