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. Kevin

    I certainly hope that Headline is poor editing. Way to go CNN for your hand in fueling the conspiracy theories!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JARAD

    Photos will not prove anything because there are photos of man on mars (or are they fake) photos will only allow people to see the truth that they want to believe. The part that I find very difficult to swallow is that bin laden is in his home, raided, shot and killed yet we then have to go through the dog and pony show of following his religious rites of burial? we are gracious enough to bury him and respect his cultur after murdering him in his home.. its very two faced.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wcoast_naggy

      We are at war with al Qaeda aren't we? Should they have knocked on the door and showed some ID? Navy Seals are not the Police and the compound was heavy armed. If Osama wanted to give himself up he should hide behind his own wife.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • vaz

      Yes, it,s very two faced. They are discussing wheather to show the disfigured face of bin laden in this country while others have the picture and it is on the net.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sandy Dickey

    Who cares if Osama wasn't armed! Give us a break. None of the people that were killed during 911 were armed either. He deserved everything he got and so much more. A good and normal human being doesn't do the things that he and his followers did and continue to do and it should not be accepted by anyone anywhere. Those actions are barbaric and any necessary force to rid the world of people like that should not even be questioned. Congratulations to our armed forced in the U.S. and all our allies. I, as an American am proud of the accomplishments, sacrifice and bravery of all of you.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      Killing unarmed people is something the USA has been doing too. Any account of how many such unarmed people have been killed in all US led invasions? But who cares about their lives – they are cheap third world people! This man deserved to die but it's about time this country stops killing citizens of other countries too and respect their sovereignty.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JustinFax

    He didn't hold up his hands because he was going for a box cutter.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks


      May 3, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JARAD

    lol I ment picture of man on the moon not mars haha.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ali

    Honestly, this needs to come out. Video/Pictures all of it, its the right of the American people to see it. If there are people who don't want to see it, then so be it. They don't have to look and no one will force them too. But at the end of the day if the WhiteHouse decides not to show it, its going to cause more problems for them and make all the people who doubt them, doubt them even more and wonder what the Whitehouse is hiding..

    May 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Marianne reilly

    It's possible we may find information regarding whether or not Pakistan was protecting UBL in the data collected at the compound. If they have been protecting him they must be pretty frightened as to what records may exist.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Terry

    Bin Laden was 54 years old right. Probably out of shape due to being in hiding all the time. So the question becomes - Why couldn't Navy Seals ( 25-35 yrs old and in great shape) capture and unarmed man. Possibly the situation did not allow for it but I would suspect Bin Laden was not wanted alive. Probably for the best.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Vince

    Why would the U.S government publicize that Osama bin laden was UNARMED? That wasn't necessary!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Yeah. I guess the ugly truth isn't necessary.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    Has anyone attempted to put his remains on E-bay?

    May 3, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lunalilo

    So what if he was not armed. Neither were ANY of the 3000 victims in those planes and buildings. Were ANY of the innocent people he ever killed armed?

    Post his death pictures side by side with the planes hitting the building, people jumping from them, or the rows of caskets and grieving loved ones.

    As far as angering THEM with the pictures........oh well. They will do all the harm they can do ANYWAY.

    I hope his 74 virgins are hungry Cobra snakes.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tara

    I have heard our Government make comments about Bin Laden's death is too graphic for the American people to see, but it wasn't too graphic for our Government to show what Bin Laden and his people had done to all the American's back in 2001.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CSea

    In Reality , I Personally , Could Care Less about The BLOODY GORY DETAILS , I do Not Care , Nor Take any Pleassure IN THOSE TYPES of PICTURES , What's IMPORTANT , " IS " , ONE LESS EXTREMIST HATEFULL OF HUMAN LIFE , ENTETY to worry ABOUT !

    May 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Archie Bunker

    Show us the body and the POV videos from the seals!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. OhYeah

    Navy Seal Team did an outstanding job. They gave Bid Laden the same mercy that the citizens of the USA received on 911–NONE!!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
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