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. xstatic

    MARY – read the link, what your America is capable of, so let not video footage fool you!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. xstatic

    MARY – read the link , what your America is capable of, so let not video footage fool you!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Veteran

      Eye for an Eye... I think we should stop using the Geneva Conventions and start playing even dirtier than the Terrorists to protect the United States from those trying to hurt our wide variety of PEOPLE! Muslim, Christian, Buddhists, Etc all alike. The United States of America is a melting pot of all people, what is to hate about that? God Bless America! God Bless Barrack Obama, and Thank God for bringing the "DEVIL's Spawn" aka Osama/Usama Bin Ladin to justice. For every Terrorist attack or attempt, we should retaliate by dropping a bomb in a heavily populated area in the suspects home country and town.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      @US Veteran: You are a scary and dangerous individual. I hope there aren't too many more like you out there, but I suspect, unfortunately, that there are many. And people wonder why there is so much suffering in the world. You and your kind are one of the main reasons for that.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Veteran

      Yep I guarantee you I am a scary individual.. Even scarier when you attack my people!!! Id be alot more scary if there wasnt a Geneva Convention so we can attack Terrorists and those that sympathize with them in the same manner killing your civilians, kids, grandmothers, in the same sick way that you do to ours! EYE FOR AN EYE... Ojo Por Ojo, Diente Por Diente!

      May 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      It's sad what America has become. Just really sad.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      US Veteran: If it wasn't for your handle, people would very likely think you are one of Osama's followers. I wouldn't consider your "scariness" a source of pride.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. anobody

    I seem to recall that Bin-a-lady and his cohorts usually have a bomb strapped to their body or someone else does that is nearby. If I was point on the mission he flinches and I shoot to kill, know what I mean?

    May 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. US Veteran

    Who cares if he was armed or not, ITS WAR! Osama declared war on the US and got a hole above his eye for it. We need more American patriots to start fighting Terrorism head on. Fire with Fire! If they are willing to KILL our Kids and Innocent Civilians simply for being American, maybe we should start sending a message and do the same right back with no PITTY! I guarantee the "Terrorists" would think twice about carrying out their missions if their families and their civilians lives were at stake as fair game. I know alot of AMERICANS willing to DIE to protect and create a deterrent for their country!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      War != lawlessness

      May 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ?

      the bare raw truth of it all... i agree... fight on!

      May 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ts

      right next to you.
      Another combat veteran.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Veteran

      FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE !!!!! TERRORISTS MUST DIE and should be attacked in the same dirty manner as they attack us!!!! I guarantee TERRORISM will halt or at the least slow down to a bare minimum and world would be a safer place.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Okay so these terrorists rejoice, celebrate and dance in bloodlust at the death of Americans, and we find that morally repugnant. And yet Americans do the same thing at bin Laden's death–partying in the streets and spraying champagne moreover. Are Americans legitimately that stupid, that they don't see the hypocrisy? Disgusting.

      And yes, I DO live in America.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Veteran

      No hypocrisy here, an enemy is an enemy....A DEAD ENEMY IS A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION!!! UNLESS OF COURSE Bin Laden wasnt your enemy? If BIN LADEN was not your ENEMY, why are you claiming to be AMERICAN if he was an ENEMY OF ALL AMERICANS????


      May 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      Jon, I think the problem we have here is the same that the Arabs have: too many stupid people willing to be blind followers on another person's say so. Zealotry without second thought.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. colin lawton

    i think this is a cover up and they havent killed him we need solid proof

    May 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. omvny

    Donald Trump should be arrested and brought up on harrassment charges for meddling with goverment officals during such a sensitive mission. It is embarrassing and criminal that he riled up these luny conspiratorialists to harrass the president with some silly birth certificate nonsense that was previously cleared several years ago.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gary Inman

    The important thing is he is in HELL now.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • hunter

      agreed....his 17 virgins or whatever he believed in wont be were he is going

      May 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Liz

    I love that it cut into "the donalds" (lowercase intended) reality air time. Perhaps now he learned the lesson he didn't learn in that hangar the other day when he challenged the President's academic abilities after being faced with the full birth certificate. The President tried to tell him that there are more important things to deal with in the world than made up drama. What was "the donalds" response to what he probably percieves as a ratings triumph by the President: announce he's running.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Richard

    I'm just glade they took his ass out

    May 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Deda

    24 seals armed to the teeth atacked an unarmed 55 year old bearded nobody and could not put him in the bag and take him alive,,,,,,,,,,,,,,something stinks in the state of delaware..........

    May 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. IWALNH

    He is dead and "dumped", who's next? Mess with the best, die like the rest!

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

      Best at what? Killing unarmed people?

      May 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. a disaster!

    its beyond belief that a failing leaderless america actually reached the level where it was giving billions it does not have to pakistan to support bin laden and the taliban...america itself hid bin laden!!

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

    They finally released the picture!

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

    Here's the picture–finally!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Linari

    @Cyberdog and jj: conversely, can YOU say unequivocally that he DIDN'T?

    When I see a video, (or several, actually) of a raging madman taking all of the responsibility for killing thousands of people in the name of Allah, the first thing I express is shock. NOT "hey, is this live, or memorex?" People ASK the right questions. It's just that YOU don't like the answers.

    ObL died May 1, 2011. Not in 2002.

    You know, sometimes a cigar is just a freaking cigar!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      And I would ask you, how can you be sure he died in 2011? Maybe he did, maybe he didn't... but how do YOU know?

      May 3, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      Cyberdog, give ol bin laden a call and tell him he needs to have a news conference to clear up this matter...millions believe he is dead.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
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