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. Challenger

    OBL is evil. He murdered thousands in cold blood. It would have been stupid to take him alive only to have the blind followers of OBL start taking hostages left and right in futile attempts of getting him released. He could have surrendered anytime over the last 10yrs. The U.N. had a shoot-to-kill order on him so no resistence was even necessary. Bury him in land and it becomes a shrine. Bury him at sea and it's over. The evil loser lost. It's over. Now let's round up anyone else who wants to keep killing innocent people and end this madness.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Barbara A. Purdy

    May be prejudiced. Son 25 years Navy,retired and he a sole surviving son. Grandson active in 6th. year in Navy.
    Son's father-in-law retired Air Force Colonel and 7 years a prisoner of war during Vi€tnam at the Hanoi Hilton, more military in family also. I am so proud to be an American. God bless our military and may many more successful raids be accomplished. We need to be strong and supportive. As far as Bin Laden's picture, I agree. However, one question so many false sightings etc. and so many men with beards and similiar, how did Seals identify him by sight??

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

    We are making a hero and martyr out of him we should stop talking about his death and showing his picture. He needs to become a nobody a nothing. He deserves none of our attention.

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

    First part of this assignment was done perfectly by America's best men of war. Second part is being handled by typical American political hacks and politicians. FUBAR to the max. CNN's Pam Bensen is just too timid to ask "Did we execute OBL?" The answer is, yes. And we will or at least should continue to eliminate these threats to our national security. If she, Bensen, didn't like the way this went down, she can allways move to Pakistan.

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

      How would she do that? Americans can't just pick a country and move there. They have immigration restrictions, just like everybody else.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    Well what do you know,the right-wing thugs in Washington finally came clean about the brutal and wanton murder of Usama bin Laden. I've been saying that all along!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Byron Pearce

    Next time Wolf has an opportunity to question a Pakistani government Ooficial, e.g. Ambassador, President, etc., he should ask them if by any chance will the Bin Laden Data Analysis Task Force find any data linking any Pakistani government official to Bin Laden, his compound or Taliban/Al Qaeda.

    Incidentally; referring to the Special Operations Team/Forces as the ' Special Forces ' is inaccurate. There is only one Special Forces and that is the US Army Special Forces Group Airborne (SFGA.) The SOT, in all probability, consisted of the best of the best from the various SOT providers, e.g SEALS, SFGA, Delta, CIA Op, etc., representing a multidisciplinary team with skills directly aligning with the mission requirements. etc.

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

      Incorrect. Special forces consist of US Army SOC, US Naval Spec War OC, USAF SOC and USMCF SOC. The fact that they are under a single SOC confuses some.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. Alex

    A cheesy r&b song about Osama's death:

    May 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jsizzle

    who cares? he's dead and he got what he deserved. let him burn in hell with his buddies.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Barry from Wisconsin

    Who gives a rats *** if he held up his hands. Can people stop second-guessing for a change? There was ABSOLUTELY nothing to be gained by dumping him in Gitmo for a show trial.

    He orchestrated the killing of thousands of people – including a lot of Americans. Killing him was an obligation, not an option.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tyler

    lol at the story now being whether he did or didn't surrender...who cares? if he held his hands up and begged not to be shot, then they blew his balls off and decapitated his son and wife before they killed him, then wrapped him in the skin of a pig and set him on fire, i wouldn't care and nobody else should either

    May 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      if thats the case why dont we just go and just shoot anyone that we feel to be a threat because we are a country of checks and balances if not we would just be terorists to

      May 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Tyler, your exactly the kind of sub-human simpleton that runs into a crowd wearing a belt.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Elizabeth Skiles

    Bin Laden declared war on the US. He was killed in that war. End of debate.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jsizzle

      amen sister!

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

      To end a debate, both sides must agree to do so. That hasn't happened and it won't.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Albro

    It occurs to me that in his last moment on earth, Bin Laden showed what he really thinks of Americans: Why hide behind a woman, unless you believe that the American troops would show some restraint in killing an innocent woman. HE CONSIDERS AMERICANS TO BE MORE DECENT THAN ARABS!!!! They dont mind killing women, but he knows that we do!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Seriously Folks

    Fish food...we been dumpin garbage into the oceans for a long time...he didn't take up that much room.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. 123

    Put the video of Bin Laden on TV so we can watch him die!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dan

    i was relieved he was dead, until i learned he was unarmed, now i feel like our president let the victims of 911 down, they could have brought him to justice then the victims would have had closure, but no they bury him at sea,what a slap in the face.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
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