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. Dylan

    Congress passes a resolution saying yeah intel and military people?? That's fine and good–just goes against what the republicans said they weren't going to do anymore. They SAID no more resolutions or proclamations in order to save money on printing a copy of each one for every member. Imagine that–congress saying one thing and doing another. No surprise really.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cowboy

    Who cares if his hands were up, he resisted 10 years. All I can say is good shot man!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • pockets

      Something is wrong with this story. Why can they not say, he was unarmed, he had no weapon, we shot and killed him anyway. End of story. That does not make those who went in to get him, cowards. They might have been afraid.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. xstatic

    Anyone have solid proof Osama was responsible for 9/11?!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Proof: Well here's the deal buddy – if you don't want to be the most wanted man in the world – don't admit to a crime (thousands of them). On several taped messages – Osama admitted his actions in 9/11, praised those who carried it out on "his orders" and threatened that those kinds of actions would continue. You're probably one of those opponents to the death penalty too! Typical, until you're the victim or impacted because someone you love is a victim

      May 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      @Mary: And you know, with absolute certainty, that those taped messages were actually made by Osama Bin Laden?

      May 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Greg

      Really? You are honestly asking that question?

      May 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Yes, Dr. Greg. I really am asking that question. Don't believe everything you see or hear. Question everything. Accept nothing without independent verification. The public has been played for far too long. Some of us are tired of the games, the lies, the manipulation, the deceipt. Imagine if, one day, you could wake up and actually trust your government.

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

    Who cares if he was armed or not. He's DEAD and we, the US Tax Payers, don't have to pay for him to be in prison! Win Win.

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

    Why don't we let someone who was there speak – anonymously (of course) – but the White House can't seem to get the story straight. And, it didn't matter if UBL/OBL was holding his hands up or not – the piece of garbage was on the World's most wanted list – why in the world would anyone wait to see if he waived a flag, held up his hands or pulled a weapon. Shoot to kill should have been the order from day one. Next, it's funny how for two years this President bashed Bush and anyone who discussed any type of water-boarding or "in humane" treatment of prisoners in Gitmo or anywhere else where they were begin held. Yet, the only way we found Bin Ladin was through that same process. So, can you say hypocrite? If you didn't like the process that led to his demise – then why did you order him killed? Of course, you did the right thing but you should not crap on the hand(s) that gave you this opportunity. Water-boarding works, excessive force to get answers works. Sorry – but it's what has to happen in war!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bgrngod

      There is absolutely no proof that waterboarding had ANYTHING to do with getting intel for this. Saying it did over and over does not make it true.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      The difference is this. When they are prisoners what threat do they impose? We know the capacity for evil for OBL, you see him in the middle of a firefight, do you give him the benefit of doubt? I wouldn't, I doubt you would too.

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

    Bin Laden is dead! Let the dead be dead and not provide fuel and propaganda for the extreme Islamic following. For anyone that has younger kids, placing any graphic photos of Bin Laden's dead body on the front page of most every media newspaper and new release would not be healthy for any reason. If it is the wish of the White House to release the photos, understanding that every decision has its consequences, then have the media place the photo(s) on the inside pages of any newspaper or if released on TV – give the viewers ample time to remove their kids from the room. We don't need to polute their minds anymore than the secular world we live in already does. There is such an attribute as "tact".

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

      If you want your kids to see gruesome, take them to see how the Happy Meal is made, you know at the slaughter house, maybe its time they had a good idea where the nice little hamburger came from. Like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Jesus, and Jack and Jill went up the hill.....fables to keep the uneducated marching like sheep.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. GT66

    Whether OBL "had it coming" or not, this mission is where the rubber meets the road of our beliefs and any other person or government that we preach to can turn around and tell us it's all well and good but as soon as the "law" is inconvenient to us we throw it out. We did this with torture, detention without trial, rendition, secret prisons and now assassination. So Osama got what he ultimately deserved. Where we lose is in how we enacted "justice."

    May 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      @GT66: Exactly.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • DinosaurDave

      The relevant point. Know your objective, call it and don't lie. Also known as- act now and ask forgiveness later...

      May 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. onewhoknows

    Sounds as if they had no intention of taking him alive and WH had to cover their story since his wounded wife was left to tell her version. They tried to paint him a coward with the human shield story but that too could be contradicted. No matter he's dead but the truth is it was an execution squad!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • onewhoknows2

      can't we all just get along? Of course not.. Osama is rotten to the core... Obama is rotten to the core, and... guess what? Your Mama is rotten too. And remember... she called you rotten (she knew more than you).

      May 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • onewhoknows

      Given their usual suicide bomb techniques, I wonder if we are going to hear from the WH that the commando thought he was going to detonate a bomb and hence the shooting. Blow up his family too ?????

      May 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. xstatic

    After Saddam Hussein's hanging came Hurricane Katrina – watch this space America!!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rob, Philly, PA

    I dont care if he was unarmed, playing with school children, or visiting kids at St. Jude's hospital; the man was a mass-murderer and didnt deserve a trial or any form of capital punishment. He deserved a bullet to the head, and probably much worse. The media should stop this nonsense. Its like asking whether Hitler deserved to be killed or arrested. Hmmm, lets think here.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Yes. Please think. Long and hard.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cyberdog


    May 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jj

    They can SAY anything.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Valerie

    Put this all to rest and show the video feed of the assualt President Obama watched live from the white house!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. negrilcowboy

    many questions can be raised over the latest american military action. obl is dead, and with him goes his secrets. i am quite sure that in a generation or two all the facts will be known. it is obvious that the current administration is applying full spin doctorism to the events. hiding in plain site so close to the pakistani military raises many red flags. wonder if dilinger hid out across the street from the feds. as a non american, my veiw is he obl had to be killed, dead man tell no tales. obama running point on the operation, sure, and the sun raises in the west. the white house should have consulted with tom clancy on this one. in real estate its location location location. politics in a democratic society is timing.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Humasima

    If they didn't kill him, I'd be upset. I could care less what his hand were doing. (i'm pretty sure i know what was going on in his pants though)lol

    May 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
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