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. Shawn

    I wonder if Gadhafi is shaking in his boot yet?

    Maybe he's next????????????

    May 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Linari

    Oh, Cyberdoig, you would have preferred it to last 40 seconds? Don't you think they might have BEEN negotiating a peaceful surrenderring in those 40 minutes? Do you not think some intelligence HAS come out of this mission, and it is being evaluated? Again with the conspiracy theory bs and your penchance for it. Make SURE you put on your tin-foil helmet, so we will know who you are!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      It's a good thing there weren't any Cuban construction workers in that house or the "firefight" would have lasted two hours!

      May 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Cyberdog–do you hear that pinging sound in your head? That means the Black Helicopters have zeroed in on your brain and are recording your thoughts! Pretty soon, they'll start downloading new conspiracies to your brain. It's all part of their long-term plan for One World Government, led by a cabal of the Pope, the Hibernian Society, and the British Royal Family! Put your tin helmet back on before it's too late!

      May 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      @John: I bet I am saner and smarter than you, boy. Just because you don't believe in conspiracies doesn't mean there aren't any. :o)

      May 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Linari

    Thankfully, Cyberdog, you are NOT American. But that DOES explain a lot about you!

    May 3, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Yes, it does. It explains why I am not like you. Thank God.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nancy

    To Show Bin Laden’s Death Pictures or Not

    I suppose a lot of people think the American people are too ‘blood thirsty’ to want these pictures made public. There are a lot of things to consider about this situation:
    First: What about Hitler in WWII? There were a lot of Jews who still feared for their lives, after the war ended, even though Hitler’s bunker was destroyed, because ‘Hitler’s body’ was never found or ever seen. Those people lived with that kind of fear for the rest of their lives, waiting to see if he would be somehow he would reappear. Though several of the other Nazi’s were caught and punished, the real ‘demon’ was never identified in death.
    Second: If you or a loved one died or was seriously injured during 9/11, would you need to see the ‘real thing’ to put end the grief that you have felt all these years? Needing to put an end to that phase of your life, instead of having a constant reminder?
    Thirdly: By keeping the photos ‘hidden from the public’ aren’t we making a ‘martyr’ out of this man who was responsible for so many deaths during his lifetime?
    I can see both sides of this dilemma, but I think the public needs the reassurance that this is indeed a ‘done thing’.
    No, it will not stop Terrorism and the action itself (the death) could cause more unrest in the world. But please consider all the ‘closure’ it would have on all of us who call ourselves AMERICANS!

    May 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda Robertson

      Please do not show pictures . If public feels they need more "proof" show to the public's representives in Congress instead not on public TV PLEASE!!!!!

      May 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Linari

    Well, Cyberdog, telling Christian to look it up himself just tells us that you're making it up as you go along. The Internet is great for conspiracy baloney, too, which you have bought into.

    Or did Obama kill your idol?

    Or are you....AN INTERNATIONAL TROLL!!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      It must be comforting to be so content with your own ignorance.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Uniform Code of Military Justice (Article 118), Geneva Convention, blah, blah, blah...

      May 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BOB


    May 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Maxnenator

    wonder what bin Laden's "dead man" switch scenario is....

    May 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Maxnenator

    There was a picture in a CNN report showing a headline. There was a half picture of what looked like bin Laden from the beard down with a messed up left eye. The pictures of him dead are out there, but I think that the US might be filtering the feeds....

    May 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      That was a (confirmed) fake photo distributed widely across the Internet.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey T

    I hope the President or spokesman clarify HOW Bin Laden resisted and why killed. This simple point will help maintain our moral edge in the fight against terror, so...please DO IT President Obama!

    May 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      I imagine it went kind of like this: "Put your hands up in the air, put your hands up in the air...." Osama probably wasn't sure what the heck they were saying so he stood still and resisted. Guess it doesn't matter, he was like a Rabid animal that needed to be put down before he infected and killed anyone else.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex G.

      I know exactly how Osama resisted: He breathed.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ross Atlanta

    Obama killed Osama, What is the next Drama?

    May 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ross Atlanta

    Obama killed Osama, Allah is in Drama!

    May 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kermit Roosevelt

    "What was he saying?"
    "He said 'Look! I vashed mein hands for supper!'"

    May 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dr Dennis Shilling

    Yes show the pic's, we need to know by visual evidence...

    Why on earth would the president allow the release of the information that Osams was not armed, are you kidding me!
    I'm glad he was taken out, but that detail did not have to be released. Operational details should nbt be public. The next thinbg you know the seal team members names will be released putting their familiess at risk,

    May 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. WVLady63

    He lived ten more years than the precious souls he murdered on "9/11." He got much more than what he deserved. Praise to the Navy Seals and George W. Bush who initiated the search for Bin Laden. Hey Obama, this coup will NOT help you in the polls nor will it get you re-elected.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Good_Natured

      WVLady63, go drink your afternoon "Tea" with your "Tea-Party" hoodlums

      May 3, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sick of birthers

      Too late! Already helping him in the poles!!!

      The President displayed great courage in initiating the plan. Bush did his best but the timing wasn't right. Please give credit where credit is due.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alberto

    Obama should show the pictures after all he just started a war. as Americans we have the right to know everything and see what really happened. Pakistan will strike back what have Obama done to us all. we all need to repent for our sins only God can save us now

    May 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      Hello? Obama started a war? Nah, he just okayed the killing of the Worlds most notorious terrorist. If Pakistan didn't want us to go in and do it, then they shouldn't be taking our money. I am sure that Pakistan still wants Al Queda and the stinking Taliban running around in Pakistan. Seeing as how they have been blowing up their mosque and other bits of terror.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
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