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. David

    This man killed 3,000 innocent unarmed people.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. shygirl

    Why is it justified or unlawful? I think in my opioin is it is justified, afterall he killed almost 3,000 of our american brothers and sisters. Yet there is people out there who think that it is unlawful that we u.s. went over and shot him unarmed, so i guess to all those people who think that way i guess it was unlawful of what he did to us on 9/11. Who did who first. He started it, we ended it. And also they saying that our own american muslims is mad because what we did to him, get this to your head. YOU ARE AMERICAN FIRST. IF U DON'T LIKE IT LEAVE THE U.S. ALL I CAN SAY ABOUT TIME THAT WE GOT HIM.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • shygirl


      May 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • patriot1

      Shygirl you sound more like dumbgirl. American Muslims are not a group with one opinion. The vast majority supports this country and is against the terrorists. Stop spewing your ignorant hate. In fact perhaps you are the anti-American, looking to divide us when we should be coming together.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Movitar

    I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for 117.37 and if you think thats awesome – my neighbour snagged a $999 Sony Vaio for only $92.73, its being delivered to his home tomorrow. I would be a fool to ever pay high retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy again. I even sold a 37" HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use

    May 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      Thats cool you can see fish food in HDTV.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael Frank

    It is both amusing and annoying in the US to discover that news programs can talk about nothing but the murder of bin Laden as if it were a victory similar to that of WWII. Poor pathetic Americans are so starved of something to cheer about that they clutch desperately to the demise of a person whose death will change nothing and do them no good at all. One has to feel sorry for the stupidity and the silliness of the typical American and their immensely distorted notion of what the world is about and what is really important. bin Laden's murder is not of great importance.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • UP1652

      "One " might but America doesn't.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • American_by_birth_still that way by choice

      Amusing indeed. Your opinion is that which does not matter to the world. Your arrogance and ignorance in the face of billions who deem it very important is even more amusing. Guess what? The world follows the US, period. Don't like it? ok. We offer more aid, offer more people to immigrate to our country and are more generous than anyplave in the world. Go move to islamabad if you don't like it.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Get over yourself. The fact that your on this message board talking about it shows that your just as tangled in the story as anyone yes. People like a drama....and nothing beat a real one.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • American_by_birth_still that way by choice

      Please share, oh wise one, what is important to the world and how it all works and that Americans are all ignorant and don't get it? Seems to me we have built the greatest country ever known. What does that say about the intelligence of the average citizen of the rest of the world? Maybe you should go abroad and check it out in person. Please don't come back.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      How nice of you to feel sorry for Americans. Your very sweet. We appreciate the support. Keep visiting your local McDonalds.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. brown

    If OBL was brought to the U.S. to stand "trial", I think instead of cheering crowds at the White House, they
    would have sacked the White House!

    May 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. brian

    Do you think the people in those buildings on 9/11 were armed or had a chance to put their hands up or down?

    May 3, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. wo cao America's mom

    Just a reminder for you American kids, you should not do things that you don’t wish to happen to yourself towards others.

    Why do we Chinese need to celebrate like Americans? No we don’t have to. When Bush came to power on 2001 he planned to encircle China and tear it into pieces. Then, Bin Laden destroyed your twin towers and things turned: you guys are forced to fight “terrorism”. So you spent billions of dollars and thousands of lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. God and Mr. Bin Laden gave us the precious 10 years to build up ourselves against American and Western imperialism.

    O by the way we Chinese didn’t steal your job. Your corporate government and wall street did, alongside your greedy government and elite, by “outsourcing”, to cut off manufacturing, the lower end of the economic pyramid to cut the cost and raise the profit.

    For Xinjiang, Tibet and Taiwan issues, I think you arrogant Americans better step aside because we occupied those areas much more longer than you Euro-American trashes occupied North America. We still let the Uyghurs and Tibetans use their own languages and scripts, while they can produce more than 1 kid. The Han had lesser rights than minorities. What did you do to Native Indians from 1600-1800s? It is called genocide. So before we leave Xinjiang and Tibet, you “Americans” should go back to Europe and let the natives rule this land.

    Also, What rises must come down. It is the time for America to fall and realize that a country of only 300 years cannot compete with the one with 5000 year old history. China is the middle kingdom, we are the past, the present and the future.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Um, yeah....okay. Your really wasted that thought out response on THIS message board?

      May 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Just as an added note, let's not talk about the 'Flaswless' history of your people....such humanitarians they have been over those years.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • spike

      Heh heh. Sounds like you chinese are smoking the same stuff the nazis were smoking in 1940. Your Maoist "reich" (or dynasty as you chinese like to say) will fall. You can't hold back the irresistible tide of information and truth from your people forever. You will have no more cultural revolutions, no more Tienanmen square massacres. Those days are long gone, as will be the maoist regime by mid century. You will continue to choke on your own filth and brutality, as you have for thousands of years.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Big Game James

    I wonder if they dropped him in the same spot as Megatron?

    May 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      I dont think he's freezing his balls off, but the fish are probably having one right now or two.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Big Game James

    @wo cao did you mom have any children that lived?

    May 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tori

    I fear for man because you all like death and hating and lieing. If you loved God you would be subservant to his will and not seek vengeance for things man does. Vengenace is mine says the Lord.
    We are in 2011 and the only thing different of us and the caveman and the Romans is newer tools to kill each other with. Will we ever let God take care of anything when it comes to war and peace among nations. If we follow our faith the murders would not be alive anymore the thief will be less one hand. We pretend God has not provided ways for us to live. We pay his words no mind, and twist them to suit our needs. Makes me so sad. If everyone asked God for guidance at the start of each day after he turns the night into day, we would be smiling positive people being lead by Gods way. AMEN It makes me so sad because it is so easy.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously Folks

      So Tori? I guess you're a Muslim/Christian?

      May 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      There is JUSTICE. So I suppose under your guidelines I guess I should just 'shake it off' and 'let it go' if someone kills my family?

      May 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Oh and Tori, didn't this man kill our people in the name of GOD. Yeah, peoples view on who god is or is not has done us a lot of good.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • satinkke

      Lets get real here. This is about WAR NOT CHURCH.......There is a big difference...And who are you to judge what Americans did.. This was not vengence IT WAS JUSTICE.....Do you have any idea what that means?????? I am PROUD to be an American and Thank You to our BRAVE men and women who have and still are fighting to keep us a free nation......

      May 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • JClark

      Ohhh, nothing like a good bible thumper to mix it up. I suppose you'd suggest we turn the other cheek, right? **Oh, Osama, look, here's another couple of really cool towers, we're turning the other cheek so you can slap it too**. Right....gag! Get real! This had nothing to do with religion, it had to do with meting out justice for the murder of thousands of people. You need a stiff dose of reality and a swift kick in the ass.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Octorok

    Remember on the campaign trail when McCain was trying to talk tough and said he'd go to the gates of Hell to get Osama? But then when pressed on Pakistan specifically he said he WOULDN'T go? And Obama said that if we had actionable intelligence that he was in Pakistan he'd pull the trigger? And then McCain gave him crap for saying that and called him naive? Obviously things said on the campaign trail are usually meaningless... but if McCain had won would Osama still be at large? Funny how things work out...

    May 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cole

    A lot of anti americans on here tonight. I suppose you are a bunch of wannabe terrorists, or perhaps real terrorists. Well, you know what happens to anti-Americans like yourselves? You get the shaft. 5000lb bunker buster bombs that inflict mass civilian casualties. Keep runnin it.

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

    This flaming, unapologetic liberal is glad to be rid of the b@stard. Ye reap what ye sow, and Bin Laden sowed death, hatred, and misery.

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

    Congratulations to the Americans and President Obama, but I have got to ask why all the stupid questions? Ben Laden should have been executed period. Whether he put his hands up or not. You do not capture snake and put it on trial. You cut its head off. Nobody in the Twin Towers got to put their hands up and surrender. So please people no more nonsense about whether he could have been taken alive. TAKING HIM ALIVE SHOULD NEVER EVEN HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED. Now about Gadaffi.....only one more comment. I hope USA has another SEAL team for him.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • JClark

      Right on, brudder!

      May 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cole

    I had no idea you chinese could even get CNN.COM. I thought your government kept it from you. I bet you are hiding in Chinatown, USA.

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