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. Sparky

    What Bin Laden thought was he was gonna get captured, exploit the American media and the American justice system and further enflame his followers............what he didn't count on was we REALLY wanted to kill his a$$

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

      Fish gotta eat too!

      May 3, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. David Hardesty

    Osama Bin Laden not only attacked the American government but he attacked the way of life for every American. All of our lives changed as a result of the attack on 9/11. Because of that I believe that every American, that desires, might see him as he met his demise the same as we all witnessed the 3,000 Americans that perished on 9/11. I don't want to see the pictures because I doubt the government. I want to see the demise of the monster that affected all of our lives in a negative way.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marge

      What a creep. No matter what the Democrats do no matter how they improve this country people like you still want to turn everything over to the tea bags and republicans the ones who ruined this country further after bin laden. Shame that these type of people are the only ones to be effected by the republicans decisions.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • michaelynm

      Photos Smotos – you're talking about a world that has seen beheadings, people who died as the Towers fell and very violent movies like Texas Chainsaw Masscre. Everyone needs to see this man – dead – no matter what he looks like and a quite frankly the opposition can only use this to spread the myth that he's still alive. Let's not give them that opportunity – please!

      May 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Helixlinks

    Your either part of the solution or your part of the targetting intel, pick one!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 123

    Put all Pictures of him being killed on TV

    May 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sue

    Even if he would have surrendered.....the guy had to go down. The Seals did him a favor....try to imagine Osama in a US courtroom. LOL

    May 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ilpalazzo

    So he DIDN'T use a woman as a human shield? I WIN! HUZZAH! You stupid lying media SOBs, I called that one. Just throwing something to make him seem more justified in getting killed. Yep, always remember that I'm always right.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      He absolutley should have been killed acording to his own belief system, as well as yours. You really think he should have received a "pass" for his ADMITTED OPEN WAR AGAINST A SOVEREIGN NATION, and ADMITTED responsibility for planning, and funding of the mass execution of innocent civilians? I

      May 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Oz

    Dont drink the cool the country and our people but our President needs to show our Nation that this is what happens if you cross us....until I see PROOF I wont be believing a thing.....This smells like Propaganda to gain relection....Show the pics of this dirtbag!!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. STFU

    enough about a pic may or may not be released. that's not news. stfu! if a photo comes out then break that news til then STOP and STFU

    May 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel

    Osama bin Laden was the second coming of Christ. We all denounced Him, and we have now crucified Him. As the Romans tried to stamp out Christianity, al Queda and the New Gospel will not be stamped out by the West. The End of Times are among us.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Carol

    This article doesn't say where Bin Laden's son was killed.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ward duke

    Did they get his long form birth certificate? If not, was the "dufus Donald there to verify that if was really OBL?

    May 3, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      now "that" was

      May 3, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. obamagotosama

    Seal Six are professional and they will terminate with extreme prejudice as ordered. It is a KILL mission. Remorse and mercy are for human, cold and heartless are for machine. On mission day you become machine.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Eric

    Osama's body? I am wondernig if any group of people or organization will attempt to recover the remains from sea?
    Also, I am glad they decided to dump him overboard- sounds good to me.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      bin laden was dumped according to the Muslim law. He wasn't embalmed, mummified and placed into a container that will last hundreds of years. So, if they want him they wil need to get a pooper scooper and follow the little fishies around.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Eric

    I am betting that the U.S. will be rolling up additonal targets with all of the intelligence gleaned from the raid. Good for us!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Richard

    Armed or not. Dead is Right!
    I know of more than 3,000 that were not armed and you can also treat them as the same as being shot in the back.
    My full appreciation to the trigger man with no hesitation...
    Thank You!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
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