Panetta says he thinks bin Laden photo eventually will be released
Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda's leader, seen in an undated photo.
May 3rd, 2011
10:35 PM ET

Panetta says he thinks bin Laden photo eventually will be released

[Updated at 10:33 p.m.] Vice President Joe Biden commended the team responsible for taking down Osama bin Laden in a stealth operation that showed "there's no place you can hide" from the United States.

"It was a staggering undertaking and there was no one else, I believe, other than an American group of military warriors who could do it. And the world is a safer place today, not only for the American people but for all people," Biden said in a speech at the 2011 Atlantic Council Awards Dinner in Washington.

He also said he was a little surprised by the overwhelming global reaction and offered prayers to victims of terror worldwide.

"They remain in our thoughts and our prayers. But I think one clear message has gone out to the world - there’s no place to hide, no place you can hide. The United States decides, from one administration to the next, that we will in fact reach a goal, we are determined and we will relentlessly without any hesitation follow on that commitment. Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter."

[Updated at 7:08 p.m.] CIA Director Leon Panetta said Tuesday he thinks a photograph of Osama bin Laden's body will be released at some point, but that it is up to the White House to make the final call.

[Updated at 6:39 p.m.] A few U.S. congressional staffers who received a briefing Tuesday about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan were shown photos of bin Laden's body, a congressional source familiar with the briefing said, according to CNN congressional producer Deirdre Walsh.

One staffer who reviewed the photos suggested they might be too graphic for public release, according to the source.

U.S. officials are weighing whether to release an image of bin Laden's corpse.

[Updated at 6:18 p.m.] A widely distributed photo of a dead Osama bin Laden is fake. A photographer consulted by CNN said the gruesome photograph is most definitely not real, and the Guardian newspaper in Britain reported the picture is actually a combination of two photographs.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials are weighing whether to release an actual image of bin Laden's corpse.

"I'll be candid that there are sensitivities here in terms of the appropriateness of releasing photographs of Osama bin Laden in the aftermath of this firefight," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. "We're making an evaluation about the need to do that."

[Updated at 5:03 p.m.] U.S. commandos shot Osama bin Laden when he made a threatening move during the Americans' raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a U.S. official said, according to CNN's Pam Benson.

Earlier today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said bin Laden was not armed when U.S. forces shot and killed him.

When Benson asked the first U.S. official whether bin Laden tried to grab a weapon or physically attack a commando, the official said only, "He didn't hold up his hands and surrender."

Recapping the five compound occupants who U.S. officials say were killed in the assault: Bin Laden; two al Qaeda couriers; one woman; and a son of bin Laden. A second woman - one of bin Laden's wives - was shot in the leg, but not killed, after she rushed the commandos, Carney said earlier today.

The woman who was killed was shot "in crossfire" on the first floor where the couriers were killed, and it's not clear whether anyone was using her as a human shield, Carney told reporters today.

The official who spoke to Benson said no other person - dead or alive - besides bin Laden was taken from the compound.

[Updated at 4:10 p.m.] The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday praising intelligence and military officials for the operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

[Updated at 3:22 p.m.] A fuller account of the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: He said two teams of U.S. Navy SEALs cleared two buildings, one of which was a three-story building where bin Laden was living with another family. A third family lived in the second building, Carney said.

In bin Laden's building, three people were killed on the first floor, including two al Qaeda couriers and a woman "who was killed in crossfire," Carney said. Carney said it's unclear whether anyone used the woman as a human shield; U.S. officials previously said that a woman was used as such.

The U.S. team found bin Laden in a room with one of his wives on one of the upper floors, Carney said. Bin Laden's wife rushed the U.S. commandos, and was shot in leg but not killed, he said. Bin Laden resisted and was shot and killed, Carney said.

Carney said bin Laden wasn't armed. When asked Tuesday why the decision was made to shoot and kill bin Laden if he was not armed, Carney responded that "he resisted" and that the U.S. personnel "handled themselves with the utmost professionalism." He did not explain how bin Laden resisted.

On Monday, President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said bin Laden was resisting and had a weapon, though he added that it was unclear whether bin Laden had fired a shot.

[Updated at 2:50 p.m.] White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says that it's unclear whether anyone in Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, used a woman as a human shield during the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden early Monday. One woman was among five compound occupants - including bin Laden - who were killed in the raid, U.S. officials have said.

A different woman who was shot in the leg - previously identified by U.S. officials as a wife of bin Laden - had tried to assault or charge the U.S. commandos, Carney said.

[Updated at 2:29 p.m.] White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that the United States has a "complicated but important relationship" with Pakistan. Top administration officials have been in regular contact with the Pakistani government, he said.

"The idea that these kinds of complications exist is not new," he said.

"There has also been a great deal of important cooperation" in the fight against Islamic extremism, Carney said. He warned against "tarring" everyone in Pakistan's government because of the revelation that bin Laden had been living so close to Islamabad.

American officials need to learn more about the "support network" that allowed bin Laden to live there, he said.

[Posted at 2:27 p.m.] Osama bin Laden was not armed when he was shot and killed by U.S. forces in the assault on his compound in Pakistan, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.

The al Qaeda leader resisted the assault on his compound, Carney said, adding: "I think resistance does not require a firearm."

Carney described how the U.S. Navy SEALs carrying out the operation went floor-to-floor clearing the three-story compound where bin Laden's family lived with another family.

Three people were killed on the first floor, including a woman, and then the U.S. forces moved upstairs where they found bin Laden, Carney said.

"Bin Laden was then shot and killed," Carney said. "He was not armed."

On Monday, President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said bin Laden was resisting and had a weapon, though it was unclear if bin Laden had fired a shot.

soundoff (930 Responses)
  1. Jim Jones

    Just to FYI the people contemplating the issue of whether he was armed for purposes of the military having justification in killing him: this was an assassination mission ....if he were butt naked sucking on a pacifier the seals were still supposed to shoot him dead. No exceptions

    May 3, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. eyeforthouands

    That freak brought about the deaths of thousands of innocient people around the world. I don't care if they waterboarded them or shot them unarmed. They are like rabid dogs. The have to be put down. Thank you Seals!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Well, they did waterboard him... posthumously.. into the sea..

      May 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      I like that one. LMAO

      May 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      This was a clean hit if he resisted maybe he threw something at them like chair or a lamp. If he reached for a gun when they told him to freeze, he was toast. better dead than a long protracted trial and legal issue with him. no clear choice but to kill him. he most likely wanted to die anyway rather than face a perp walk in a jumpsuit in a NYC courtroom.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixoh

      that's the FIRST TIME I've ever seen anyone else point that out! I always say they are rabid animals. We exterminate unwanted pests. What do you do with a bad animal? Send it chocolate and flowers? No – it's put down. What do animals do with bad animals – KILL THEM!
      He's as dead as Julius Caesar.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ExLonghorn

    What fascinates me is the fact that the entire White House National Security Council observed this raid live as it happened, and then their own Press Secretary (Carney) and senior counter-terrorism advisor (Brennan) can't get their stories to align. What's up with that?

    May 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Because they are liars and guilty men have a hard time keeping their stories straight.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony

      Who cares he's dead. Tell whatever story you need to. I wish they would just come right out and say "yep, we shot him in cold blood". I'm with that.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rorrer Fidge

      It's not like they had a live video feed. It was audio. Further, minutes elapsed between updates, so it wasn't a play-by-play from Brent Mussberger.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ExLonghorn

      Rorrer Fidge, I have to think that details like "was he armed and defending himself" are important enough to transcend an audio-only broadcast. And they say he "resisted" unarmed, against a team of the fittest, best trained killers on the planet? What kind of resistance could he really offer? Don't get me wrong...I'm glad he's toast and I'm proud of the SEALs, but the story out of the White House is getting a little slippery. Like Anthony said, if we just wanted him dead, then say so. I have no problems with that.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ExLonghorn

      Okay, I'm good. "Made a threatening move". That's good enough for me. 🙂

      May 3, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Allen

    who cares!!. 3 thousand unarmed civilians, many of them women and children, died on Sept. 11 at the hands of this murderer.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      And you have evidence of his guilt, do you?

      May 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      What makes us better than them is that we have laws that we follow, like not shooting an unarmed person who resists arrest in the head.

      What if some LA cop did this to a gangster who was fleeing after committing murder? The city would riot.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rorrer Fidge

      @Cyberdog – other than his own admission?

      May 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen

      @ Cyberdog use Google. It will bring you up to speed on who this man was.

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

    bin Laden was as "unarmed" as everyone he killed on 9-11-2001. I would have been tempted to let him try and "fly" from the helicopter on its way back.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris

    they should put the mission Obama watched on DVD and sell it, I would love to see the last thing going through bin Ladens mind, a bullet!!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. GPPE

    As long as Osama is truly dead, I don't really care how he died!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LouAz

    Me thinks Carney will be looking for a job soon. I don't think he knows one way or the other if bin Laden was armed.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    Awesome work by professionals, America should be proud of these brave people that stormed and terminated a mass murderer, but they should of kept his body, preserved and encased in clear plastic and placed in the NYC sewers, with a live web cam.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • cclowery

      That's a good one!

      May 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ben

    If you're going to launch a terrorist attack on the U.S. and kill thousands of people, you'd better arm yourself. His bad.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. solo1861

    I found it sad that US finest troups can't arrest an unharmed man without killing him.
    Justice is what distinguish USA (and all democracies) from tyrannic government and terrorists. A fair trial would have been way more satisfying than slaughter.
    He got an easy exit I would have preferred him condemned to a life sentence in confinement with a cell no larger than 8x12feet. Plenty of time to think about what he did and wish he was dead. Even death penalty would have been better. At least no one would have been able to pretend it wasn't him.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike f

      did u lose your best freind on 9-11 i lost 4 of them i hope he rots in hell just think of all the money we save with that one bullet

      May 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixoh

      Sorry, we popped a cap in his ***. We wanted him dead. Go get touchy feely over someone else. If you need a cause, look for one of those dumb Libs with the bumper sticker that begins, "Free..." so and so.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maxnenator

      @sixoh – *why* did we want him dead? Wouldn't he have been a great one to drop into a tank in Guantanamo and wring some information out of? You seem to accept things at face value. It was a good question by somebody: why did the Bush administration stop looking for bin Laden? Would you like to buy a bridge.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mike f

    SO WHAT all the people in the wtc were not armed i hope they find out were the rest of his family live and they can wipe them off the face of the earth too

    May 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Maxnenator

    Ok. Conspiracy. Here's an angle. If Osama wasn't armed then killing him was unnecessary. Wounding would have worked if we actually wanted to take him in custody. Double tap to the left eye (look for pictures in Pakistan news) is an execution. Maybe the US didn't want Osama alive because he has dirt on important American interests? oooo.... goody.... what's the dirt....

    May 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixoh

      you're an idiot. I wish I could have double tapped his left eye. Who cares how he was killed? He's dead. It upsets the kind, wonderful, peace loving Islamists who were only minding their business and evil America came into their world.
      I'm glad they're upset – they are the only ones. Everyone else around the world seems awful happy about it. I am.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wake up Americans!

      @sixoh....islam is not equal to terrorism...get that right 1st...of course there is reason to celebrate but wats important to think is are u celebrating on sth thats true or its sth that is a sick political game...its important to think practically instead of celebrating my eyes...those ppl r idiots who celebrate by just ignoring the reality

      May 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maxnenator

      Hey – thanks for the response 6o. I was just shooting that out there as a fun thought. I guess you think that "America" is pure as the driven snow and that we know the righteous path all the time. You don't watch enough of the right movies. There are always 2 sides to a story, but you only like the ones where there are the 'good' guys and the 'bad' guys. If you scratch the surface, sometimes what is 'good' is really 'bad' and visa versa. Scratch the almighty Free Market and you find Greed for instance. BTW the Catholic church named greed as one of seven deadly sins. You really hurt my feelings calling me an idiot though. Especially since you were so thoughtful and intelligent in your response.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Wake up Americans!

    its funny to see how blind America keeps the Americans...i guess a lot of ppl in the usa are unaware that a lot of things are blocked from their media that the rest of the world knows more about...i agree that wat bin Laden did is awful n a disgust to humanity but at the end of the day, he is still a product of American racism...loads need to be worked within the usa to reduce racism in order to stop terrorism...thats my point of offense...

    May 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixoh

      It's a crummy point of view. I'm tired of people saying "racist America" as if only America is racist. That's garbage. Everyone everywhere is racist to some degree, it doesn't matter what piece of land you call home.
      Get it right.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wake up Americans!

      also....if they really killed him how come there is no single evidence of pictures to prove it...he was such a big terrorist didnt they think it was necessary to get a snapshot of his dead body...was is so much rush to just throw him in the sea? any sensible person would understand its just a political set up...obama just need to get bak on power and divert people's mind away with sth like this since he couldnt really achieve as much as he promised at the beginning except for his great speeches...thats all...

      May 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wake up Americans!

      wen ppl say its racist america...they dont just say means it is a big deal! n since u heard it a lot...its a good idea to try to work on it....

      May 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      Hey "Wake Up" go wake up bin laden and tell him we're all decieved into believing he's dead and that he needs to have a press conference to say he's not dead!

      May 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sixoh

    I'll say this again because it's fun: Osama has been sent to Davey Jones' locker! Gives it a piratesque theme 🙂

    May 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
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