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. I am confused on the story

    Yeah, I threw my golf clubs in the river. I panicked. I thought the ghost of Michael Jackson was coming up to get me. His happy moon walking ass stood no chance to my crappy club sacrifice. So can have a free set pings???? Write it off as helping a fellow American in need. Plus chicks dig PING...

    May 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mike saucedo

    look he is were he needs to be, lets move on and pray for the thousands of people he killed.

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

    OBL knew he was wanted for 10 years, he had 10 years to turn himself in to any country he wanted to turn himself in at. I don't care if he was armed or not at the minute SEALs executed him because if anybody thinks he didn't have fire-arms somewhere inside that compound that he would have used if he could have just gotten his hands on it quick enough then that would be some pretty stupid thinking. This was the most wanted man in the world, duh.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    Here is where the liberals get all bent out of shape... you see Obama ordered an Assasination of OBL who was unarmed and surrendering to the US forces but because we can not have a trial for him to propagandize from, the order was given to Assasinate him. Conservatives don't have a problem with that and cheer it even though it is against the Geneva Convention and now makes Obama a criminal. Just like the left tried to bring down Bush over waterboarding... same same...

    May 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earth First

      @ TOM

      You make "ZERO" sense here.
      If Bush had given the order to kill Bin Laden,
      that would be ok.
      But since Obama gave that order (and you dont know that)
      He is a criminal.
      You freaking righties seem to have the answer to everything.

      How about this one......
      With all of the intel fed to Bush before 911
      it should have never happened !!!!

      You should feel shame for supporting these inept thugs.
      But you march in step, just like the brown shirts who put Hitler into power.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. You Get What You Give

    There is a storm coming.
    It may be a political storm,
    it may be a natural storm,
    it may be a human storm

    but the Human race
    and the natural world
    are on a collision course.

    I think nature wins.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Is this a Bob Marley lyric?

      May 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Linari

    Cyberdog, you ignorant *s*l*u*t. They have retrieved valuable evidence from his compound that is being evaluated even as we speak. How many times are you going to ask the same stupid questions! Asked, and answered, I might add. But since you don't like what you hear, you keep trying to mold the facts into what YOU want. Which is....what, exactly? I don't know what country you are from, but it doesn't really matter. Taking ObL out benefited more than just the United States, even where you reside. Why on earth are you defending him? It's one thing to disagree. It's quite another to minimize the efforts of the entire US intelligence agencies and military, and our POTUS. Perhaps you should look elsewhere for more like-minded people...maybe Mars?

    May 3, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sunnysout

    I am glad he is dead- it should have happened sooner. Anyone who thinks this was anything but justified needs to go to their time out chair until they grow up and realize there are bad people in the world. He wasn't a suspect as some have stated in this blog. He was a killer- a killer of American people. So unless and until you care about the safety and security of the US, keep your trap shut and enjoy the freedom you have to walk about and travel safely and not get gunned down by a terrorist.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rodrigo ribeiro

    I think It was suicide, not murder.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kanank

    It would have been nicer to bring alive and humiliate him in our prisons and execute him right in front of the 9/11 victims so that he would have died a painful and humiliating death. anyways, Its a great day for all peace loving humans.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hontas

    The more the government tells us the less I believe this. I really REALLY want to believe but something does not smell right. The govt. needs to do two things. Come up with one story ...that is.. hopefully... the truth. Then they need to release ALL of the video, audio, and photographic information to the public for us all to scrutinize. Otherwise this is just courting conspiracy theories and a questioning of the credibility of our nation as a whole.

    If we have nothing to hide then why not release the video? I mean come on our commando methods and tactics aren't that new or unusual. Mask the ID's of the seals if that's the concern.

    If we did not kill Osama consider who did we kill? I don't even want to think about the prospect for we would all share as much in such an act, as we do in the killing of our enemy.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sunnysout

    I wish CNN would do away with the comment option. So many people are so completely naive that it feels as if a group of 4th graders are posting. When you get to the 6th grade, like me, then you can come here and post your quasi intelligent comments. It's like a train wreck in here.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sleepingwell

    I can sleep better knowing that Mother F-- is dead!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Eric S

    Still unclear when the victims in the world trade center victims had weapons too or were firing at the planes before they struck them!!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DH

    I'm a liberal and don't care if he surrendered or not. Who cares CNN? I'm just a little upset that they shot him in the head instead of in the stomach and letting him bleed out.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Linari

    Cyberdog, the truth could walk up to you ans slap you in the face, and you would probably just pass it off as a facial tic. See, that's the beauty of conspiracy theorists: no matter what explanation is given, they will look for an alternate one to satisfy their need to search for the "truth".
    Hey, did Cain really kill Abel?
    Did John Wilkes Booth really kill Abe Lincoln?
    Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?
    Or wait...
    Is JFK really ALIVE? Is Elvis?
    Is the Carlyle Group and GWB make up 9/11 to protect overseas oil interests?

    I am not saying that we'll ever know the complete truth about anything in this world, but I do know this: ObL is dead.

    Moving on...

    May 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      The question is not so much whether OBL is dead as how did he die, when, how and why? Ask the right questions.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
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