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. TellurideGreg

    May 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joshua P

    I always thought this man was evil and I don't care if he surrendered or not no fair trial for a man who never gave fair trials to the innocent men, women, and children he slaughtered by the thousands. His death is a welcoming feeling to our country and WE WON THE WAR finally.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      Yes he was the most evil man alive. Now he his dead and we have the right to be glad. You can not go around killing innocent people. Do not question if he was arm or not. It does not matter. We are free of him. As our president said "We Got Him".

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

      Wow. You really believe that you (presumably the USA) won the war already??? I fear it has just begun (again).

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

      "we won the war finally" i think it is just about to start. I agree with you about shooting him but he is not the only threat we face

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

      We didn't win the war, we only removed the leader/mastermind. His radical soldiers live on, but without a controlling mind. Be very scared as to who might step up to replace him (killing Hitler and Hussein was of concern because of who might replace them). Odd are whoever does will not have the infrastructure or finances bin laden had, but then again, knowing he was a dead man, he may've left a very good will/estate (of contacts, money, etc). And the new guy will rally them "in the name of bin laden", which is only second to their allah.
      They might realize their fight is futile... or might lay low til we go away... but they are not gone.

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

      A war with a bullet having a name for the next crazy wanna be OBL, there will be more bullets in the eye for those maniacs of evil

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

      We have yet to win the war on terrorism. It will be ongoing until all who would threaten innocent lives no longer do so.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      We won the war with bin laden! If you don't believe its true, just ask bin laden!

      May 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. donimus

    Will yall please just accept things for what it is, he's gone (OBL) if they would have just captured him it would've taken 15 yrs to bring him to trial and than it would've been a security nightmare – they had no intentions of just capturing him l guarantee you all those people who perished in the WTC towers are celebrating.

    Most of those people vaporized they haven't found no body parts for hundreds of those people try telling them this is controversial.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      So what you are saying is our system of justice is a sham and we really shouldn't be beholden to the rule of law if its inconvenient. We all "know" he's guilty so let's dispense with the formalities. Is that it?

      We all "know" Manning is guilty to so let's just get rid of him. Why waste the taxpayers money? And of course, really, anyone else "arrested" must have been arrested for a reason so why bother with trials? Obviously, someone wouldn't be arrested if they weren't quilty of *something*.

      I like your thinking. We can really streamline the process and save ourselves some big bucks. Of course, we won't be any better than any other thrid world banana republic dictatorship but hey, think of all the awesome retribution, errr, justice we can dish out and all the money we'll save at the same time! Fabulous! You just build a better America my friend!

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

    I don't think Americans are "willing to die". We're not suicidal. We'd rather make that other poor sob die for his country.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      Tell that to the 6000 or so dead soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark

    "A photographer consulted by CNN said the gruesome photograph is most definitely not real"
    Gosh, just a photographer? A professional one? A computer expert?
    But yes, it's a fake, we know that.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. onewhoknows2

    I don't remember anyone in the Towers that had a loaded Jet-Plane, either.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fm321

    Without a body, no proof! One again the government lies AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      very possible... but I like thinking bin laden is on a deep sea fishing expedition.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fm321

    Like the fabricated BC, this photo will be great Photoshop work

    May 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Linari

    @ TellurideGreg:

    I gotta tell you, this is not what I saw yesterday, and to tell you the truth...this photo looks fake as hell. It's not even good CGI....

    May 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    if the SEAL had a itchy trigger finger, we have to remember this is after 20 minutes of a fire-fight. Even though they are trained and seasoned, adrenaline was running pretty rampant by then. I would say they would never find peers who would convict the SEAL who fired the shot, but after reading many of these posts, I stand corrected. Wow, if you'll tolerate bin laden, who can be worse?

    May 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ExactChange

    So, Cyberdog et al... Even his followers know he's guilty (which is why they're his followers). Maybe this is too much reality for you. What if Clinton's cruise missile, or one of Bush's artillery rounds at Tora Bora, or an Obama drone attack had instead killed Osama Bin Laden remotely instead of a Navy SEAL man to man? Would you whine about whether he had his hands up at impact? Is it harder to kill when you have to see the gruesome closeups in HD? This to me was Osama's "suicide by cop", and am thankful he wasn't wearing an explosive belt like so many he recruited. I hate war as much as you, but when you're in one, don't do this passive agressive crap to your protectors. Pick a side!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      I picked my side. It's truth and justice.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kelly Hudson

    Yes the photograph was fake... But it WASN'T released by the United States. We have said from the get go that they are still deciding if they should make the actual photos public or not.

    The fake photo was aired on Pakistani television as legit, and that brings the question of how or where they came upon the photo in the first place. In all honesty it was likely created by somebody with too much time on their hands that is of no affiliation with any government.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Liquid Ocelot

    Haha, a photographer had to consult CNN to confirm that pic was fake? It looked like a newbie just spray painted some blood on Osama's face using Photoshop.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dennis

    "hands in the air"

    In very plain Klingon.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Quid

    I wonder if the courier under suveillence will be inline to claim the reward? Most likely all OBL couriers will be with their hands out for the prize.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30