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. pat arnold

    I want to see the photos. I have that right as an American. It will not be "too gruesome" for me to see part of OBL's skull blown away; It was gruesome to watch innocent folks jump to their death out of the windows of the Twin Towers; it was gruesome to look at the gaping hole in the ground in Shanksville; it was gruesome to see the smoke billowing from a hole in the side of the Pentagon. Folks do not have a problem swarming to the theaters to see SAW, SCREAM and other bloody axe murders..... And not to release photos in fear of instigating violence among the Muslims????? Why would their be violence>>>>> it is a peaceful religion! I am sure their will be retaliation, but i will not live in fear. My father served, I served, and currently my son is now serving in the US Military........ God Bless the USA.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robert

    Once again the Media is acting like idiots and not just sticking to what the REALLY know. The guy is dead, GOOD, and that is just what we wanted and deserved. I don't care about someone shot it the leg, I don't care he was unarmed and we all know there is NO WAY he was going to surrender (by his owns previous words). If he had gotten away via some secret escape route all of America would be really upset. So Media forget going on for weeks just say the guy is dead and that is good.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • kuewa

      If it wasn't for the Osama news, we'd be back to reading about Palin, Trump, birtherism, Lohan, Sheen, Tea Party, etc. Some of that "news" is still leaking through, though.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      Why is everyone so worried about looking at a gruesome picture of Bin Laden, when on "sept 11" the Times had pictures of people jumping out of the World Trade center. Wasn't that horrific for our children to see? Especially when that adult could have been that dear person's family memeber. So which would you rather have them see?

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

    Why does everyone continue to talk about this idiot? He's dead. That's all we need to know. I don't need to see bloody pictures of him. I'm beginning to think we live in a world of ghouls. Sunday night it was news. Now it's just National Enquirer yellow journalism. Move on - PLEASE!

    May 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Is he dead? And if so, when did he die? 2001? 2004? 2011?

      May 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sunnysout

      You're just now getting that we live a world of ghouls? A lot of people do care. This is not a story that is going to go away. If you don't care about these stories any longer, here's an idea- don't read the news about them and least of all, don't reply. I am always amused when people read a story, then make comments that they don't care about it. Then why read it, and then go to the extent to comment. Someone holding a gun to your head? We will be fine if you choose not to comment and share your opinion.....

      May 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      is he dead? well if you really dont think so get off your couch and YOU go look for him. When you find his body at the bottom of the ocean just stay there. Nobody wants to hear all the conspiracy theory b.s , it took ten years but you know what they got the s.o.b he got a bullet in the head like he deserved. Justice was served, history repeats itself and history tells us these radical movements come and go with their leaders sure someone will try to be the new number 1 but it will never be the same and now the rest know if we got this guy we can get the rest. Give the whole team a medal a fat paycheck and one hell of a handshake from Obama

      May 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Linari

    Sure, the military spokesman who said 911 was all a big cover-up by the Carlyle Group, right, Cyberdog?

    And the house was just a cute, cozy little bungalow, a lá Pakistani style, right?

    And there was absolutely no reason to go and get the person who has killed and maimed more people in the name of religion in the last 2 decades, right? We were infringing on the poor widdle sick man's rights, huh?

    Ever occur to you that he was hiding in plain sight, and that he didn't have a gigantic slew of bodyguards because, after ten years, he thought he was invincible and just got plain sloppy about security? Or isn't that on your list of conspiracy-approved websites?

    A rabid dog must be put down for the safety of those living around him. And he was.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Vinny DeLuca

    I cannot believe they are even justifying the way they took him down. I would have killed him without giving him the oppurtunity to surrender or put his hands up. Ricdiculous that they are all over the news trying to be humane. None of the dead on 9/11 where killed in a humane way. The only complaint I have is that they did not kill him on public tv with the world watching. Would have loved to see that in person.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Even if you Americans don't believe in following your own laws or those of the international community, in not deliberately killing unarmed suspects, at least use some common sense. Bin Laden was one of the most valuable terror suspects in the world. You have the opportunity to interrogate him, and you choose not to do so. How freaking stupid is that? Or did you have reasons to not want to keep him alive, other than the desire to exact revenge for his crimes?

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

      You americans? This is an american website. We took computer hard drives, computers, flash drives. More than he would have told us and no in this situation international laws do not apply. A quick gunshot wound to the head was humane compared to what I would have done to him if I was president. This should set a benchmark for how we hunt and kill terrorists in the future. Next time they should ambush them while they are sleeping and cut their throat. This is how it goes down aroung the world. Nice to see we are starting to get smart. Now here is the important thing. When am I going to get to put the death picture as a screen saver on my computer

      May 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      @Vinny: And it's precisely because of Americans like you that I feel very sorry for America... a once great nation.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob from NYC

      Yah, tell that dog, Vinny – and a burial at sea means: "Osama bin Laden sleeps with the fishes" 🙂

      May 3, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |

    now Doland Trump wud ask for osama's birth certificate.. otherwise hes sending investigation team down there

    May 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Itty Bitty

    This story becomes less believable with every new release of “fact” that directly contradicts the previous ones. An event discribed truthfully only has one version.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hontas

      Amen. Immagine what it would be like if in a week or two we see OBL being interviewed by a reporter spirited to his secret mountain hideout essentially saying this to us :P. I really hope that we get the full unfettered truth soon. I want to see the video, the pictures, everything released on the internet for all to scrutinize.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wvcorgi

    He resisted because he was upset Celebrity Apprentice was interrupted.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. matthew smith

    im happy they found that jerk. if i would have found him i would off shot him in the head for every person that died in 911. this guy deserved to die... hora!!

    May 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Raj


    “It’s a double embarrassment,” said a retired Pakistani general.

    “They didn’t know Bin Laden was there, or knew and didn’t act. And then the Americans came, got him, and went.”

    May 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Linari

    And for all of you who are chomping at the bit for photos, LOOK THEM UP!!! They are out there!!!! What more do you need? A freaking submarine ride?

    Of course, then everybody will say that the photos are photoshopped, and that the figure they're seeing out of the sub's window is a wax one from Madame Toussand's.

    And the beat goes on.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Yeah... keep believing everything you see and hear. God knows the government would never lie to its own people, right?!?

      May 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    The nuts on the left can't understand why the media is asking questions now? Wait a minute, if OBL did not resist then he was assasinated. You idiots on the left that would be crucifying a Republican President who ordered an Assasination? So Obama Assasinated OBL and he just can't say it..... LOL..... Lets celebrate it.... The right doesn't care we just demand an apology from all you idiot hypocrits on the left that used the politics of 911 and OBL to drag down President Bush. Bush is vindicated..... but the left wants to writhe and scream that Bush had nothing to do with it.... LOL... too funny....

    May 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Donny

    Obama needs to tell his speaker to not talk about the small stuff like if he was armed. Our SEALs only carried out the sentence Bin Laden had already convicted himself of. All they did was give him a lethal injection of lead. The majority of the world does not care if he was armed or unarmed, only that they move on to his second in command.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |

    now donald trump will demand for osama's birth certificate

    May 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Thats The Way Of The World

    There is "NO" civil
    left in civilization.

    Words like

    People who attack and assault
    but never back up with facts.

    Too much hate.
    Sad what has happened to our planet
    and our people.

    Time to move on.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
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