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)

    u guys should show his body tht people actually belive it!

    May 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JC

    Yes fire up the Photo shop and get it done. Makes no difference. Fake just like the President who was born in a different land. It will be a good day when he is out of the WH in the next election. Worst ever.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • charles bowen

      Idiotus Gigantis !

      May 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      JC you are one dumb f.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. white

    show the pics and the videos. The conspiracy theroies have reached a fever pitch and shows how little the American people trust our government.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The People


    May 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • charles bowen

      I'll get you the location You can search all you want, hope you can dive, watch the sharks . Buried at sea is buried at sea. SEE? Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

      May 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    Release the video of the operation so we can see our Navy Seals kicking ***.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JessicaC

    SHOW US THE PROOF THAT HE IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE WANT PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE WANT PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE WANT PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cadet Colonel Richard Heflin, USAJROTC

    We have a right to know. Under the freedom of information act and the freedom of speech and press we should be allowed to see them UNCENSORED

    May 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • charles bowen

      With all due respect Cadet Colonel You need to get a life ! You"ll see plenty once you enter the real military. Dead Is Dead.................................................. Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

      May 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    I really think Obama should Show the Picture(s) of osama bin ladens death. The reason is, Osama Caused a Whole in alot of people Hearts, And im pretty sure it will help a bit if they show proof that he is dead. The aftermath of 9/11 was Very terrifying. Too all those people that lost love ones, God bless. Hopefully those terrorist are convinced to not cause anything like 9/11 again. Thanks.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. firefighter19

    or sure hes dead they just want to tell people tht of the 9/11 the goverment lies thats all they no how to do WE WANT PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!! WE WANT PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. shishkabob13587

    Deliberately releasing photos of bin laden would be a bold and coercive move by the White House, especially with the treat an al qaeda retaliation looming over our heads. A better plan of action would be NOT publicly releasing the photos of bin laden, but eventually allowing the photos to leak once the dust settles and further intelligence is gathered regarding the capability of al qaeda.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. paul


    May 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Big Moose

    Government needs to let us know about the Aliens they been hiding & breeding in Area 51

    May 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tango_Chaser

    After almost 10 years of watching video's of them blowing up our troops, video's of be-headings and pictures of their propaganda, I think they should release any and all pictures and video.

    It would make me proud to watch the Seals fast rope in and take that compound out.


    May 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Zach

    When we got Saddam they showed him being hanged what is it going to hurt seeing atleast a pic of the guy. I just want proof anyone that doesnt is lying and if anyway believes our government is 100% truthful about everything well that right there tells you something about them. I am happy for our Country and want to belive that it is true but with the current details that we were giving something just doesn't seem right.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TomP

    There is no excuse to not show his body, but I am confused to hear that there is an actual video? I believe multiple photo graphs, but is that even procedure to record an operation taking place? Seems kind of fishy to me, because I have never heard of any videos being released to do with highly classified operations like this one.
    However, I can look up on youtube and find the entire execution of Saddam Hussein. Pictures of the people who are free falling from the towers just after they were hit in my opinion are just as bad. If it is too graphic to show, put many warnings and restrictions, if kids see it, it should not be the fault of anyone but the parents.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yes, they videotape operations all the time, what even makes you think they don't? because you have not seen a videotaped operation? what a poor use of logic. Have you ever heard of military photographers ?

      May 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveNY


      I agree. People have the choice to view any images (be it pictures or video), or not. I have no problem with putting warnings up that the images about to be view are graphic. I want, and in a way need to see the pictures. I was there a saw people jumping out of the towers. I personally want to see the pictures of the end of what he brought upon himself.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimmy

      Read this article linked here from a newspaper in Pakistan. The author says why did they rush off with OBL, there is no muslim rules saying that the body needs to be burried in 24 hours or less, and further more no muslim ritual that says sea burial is okay. Ponder the idea that Obama was handed the body of OBL a while back and paid under the table to who ever produced the body. This isnt a very brave operation that Obama thinks he deserves credit for so they stick him in a freezer and wait til he is needed. He then makes a raid for another target (possibly most wanted #2) that turns out to be a false alarm in Pak, but to cover his tail and avoid a war with Pakistan Obama pulls out of the freezer some dna and pics of OBL. Obama looks like a hero and avoids other countries criticism bc he can show and old video and dna. Is it plausable?


      May 3, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveNY


      You're an idiot. First of all, WHY would Obama (who I do not like) hold on to the body of Bin Laden if he had it before? Wouldn't he tout his international policy and state that because of it, 'another nation backed him and delivered Bin Laden because of him'?

      Secondly, Pakistan got caught hiding Bin Laden. So far, ALL of the Pakistani government officials interviewed can't answer the question of how they didn't know Bin Laden was there (within miles of their own major military site) for 3+ years, have waffled in their statements, and have gotten caught and nailed in their own lies when interviewed...and can't answer or defend what they just said. Pakistan is in full panic / propaganda mode to try to cover themselves because they lied about hiding him / knowing he was there...and got caught. And now the rest of the world is looking directly at them and demanding answers.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
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