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. banasy


    I've read through this whole thread. You've been here all day. And that's fine, as far as that goes.

    You state you are not American. All fine and good. But one thing strikes me as a little odd: not being American, why on Earth do you care if our government is lying to us or not? Why, since you are not a part of the Unites States citizenry, care *what* the American people feel or do? If our government lies to us or not?

    I'm genuinely curious. Also, I am on a cell, so I don't have the reply feature. If you answer, please reply @banasy. Thanks!

    May 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. david sithole

    Welldone America,you also should pay visit to Mugabe to try to find how you can appease the family members of those killed since the onset of his rule

    May 3, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cyrus

    The Administration's story does not add up, I just cannot believe this story at its face value. It's rediculous to believe that the US government got rid of Osama's body within a couple of hours after killing him by dumping it in the sea and calling it in line with "Islamic tradition". This claim probably reflects the fact that there is no "body" to show to the world. First of all, this is not Islamic way of disposing of a body. Second, the Administration claimed that they had DNA match only a couple of hours after the killing, again, not possible to test for DNA match in such a short time. This is just another BIG lie.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mojo


    May 3, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mojo


      May 3, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • RBTexas

      Name one other foreign policy victory tha Obama can claim? I didn't think so.......

      May 4, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rd ID

      Compliments to the team that took him out. Its not just a victory for Obama but a victory for the forces of the military. As for the Elite team, I would be the first ESPECIALLY as a service member to say, "though there were many involved in the operation" THOSE specific SEAL, DELTA, ETC ETC WHO ever it was should be the ones to enjoy the funds. DEAD or alive. Well they are the ones who put there lives on the liNne to make that happen. We all serve and we serve for pride. Those that go THAT extra distance, who F@#king fight in the dark of no ones light BLESS THEM........ they do more than we will ever know. THIS ONE is known only cause its a HIGH prize target, but they do and will continue without expectation of anything to do what we will never know. As a service member I RESPECT and always will have my prayers with you. For those members in Afghan, 3rd ID HOOAH, to all HOOAH god bless.

      May 4, 2011 at 2:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Megatron Bin Laden

    I will rise again. Please see Transformers 3! Dinobots this time!

    May 3, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Armitta

      It is so nice to finally have a competent, intelligent president in office now!

      May 4, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Paul

    "Vice President Joe Biden commended the team responsible for taking down Osama bin Laden"

    When did "taking down" replace words like "killing", "assassinating", etc? Isn't "taking down" something from action movies and isn't the phrase more appropriately applied to window curtains?

    May 4, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cyrus

    It's important for those cheering Osama's death to understand that Osama was an ideology and an idea, not just a person.

    May 4, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • antius

      yes you are problems will continue.Solving the root cause is the only way. The arab spring is not the solution but solving palestine problem is. Some might even say moving assets from arabian gulf is also another root cause.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • nsjq

      completely agree – excellent point

      May 4, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. mjr

    the point is bin laden is DEAD..thats those who still find excuses and find something wrong with what the us govt did i'm guessing non of your family members love ones friends relatives or pets are victims of 9/11. also shame on you guys if you are a US CITIZEN if you dont have AMERICA'S back on this.

    May 4, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • antius

      you americans always take a short end view-this is not about 1 man and this is not cowboy diplomacy where people go and shoot the bad guy and that is it. The reason why 9/11 happend is the reason why such people exist. You have not solved that problem -so there will be more bad people coming whatever they are called. Further it is lack of understanding of foreign traditions and values that gets you americans into trouble.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      The Vietnam-era administrations' packaging of war and the Bush administration's sale of a war agenda to the American public are hauntingly similar. Once again, the United States is engaged in a war thousands of miles from home. Once again, we're told that the war is necessary to bring freedom and democracy. Once again, people are killing and being killed. And once again, Americans have been lied to-in this instance, about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's link to al-Qaida, the U.S. government's altruistic framing of war as part of a larger concern for democracy, the glib contempt for Iraqi opposition.
      We are being dragged around like back in the " Eisenhower BS days " a Repeat of the 60's and we are for a Govt' that disregards the intelligence of the public.A shame. I guess until God has the final say we will continue to be the toilet paper for the Governments asses..


      May 4, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      Kindly, dear friend Bin Laden, has been dead for years.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      Dear one, Bin Laden has been dead for years.. It does not make a darn bit of difference in our state of affairs.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      There is reallly no point? Bin laden has been dead for years. Why and how does that effect you and how you live your life now? ask yourself? Is your life any easier or more peaceful?

      May 4, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      There is really no point? Bin laden has been dead for years. Why and how does that effect you and how you live your life now? ask yourself? Is your life any easier or more peaceful?

      May 4, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. mjr

    to those who still find something wrong with what the us govt did meaning KILLED bin laden should have been in the world trade center 9/11 attack or one of your family members should have been a victim of the 9/11 so you know how it feels. sorry its a mean thing to say and to those who post negative comments and are not us citizen u all need to shut the f#$% up . take your political issues somewhere and shove it up there. this is just about bin laden and nothing more and also again to non us citizens before u criticize our country does your country get financial aid from the US if it does..dont even say a word u have the right to remain silent u ungrateful one

    May 4, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      We will continue to be the toilet paper for the Federal Govt.'s !@$^

      May 4, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      LOVE IT!!!!!

      May 4, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cyrus

    Americans' problem is arrogance. they think they can invade any country at will and go kill anyone they want. Arrogance is what brought down the British Empire, and sooner or later, it will happen to America - if not happening already.

    May 4, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Zed

      So, you would rather he run around alive and free?

      May 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Whatever

    Photoshop a picture of bin Laden....

    May 4, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. cvf

    Ever try to open a tight jar and you can't, so you ask a strong person to do it for you. They try, but also can't do it. Then a weak person comes by and opens it with ease. Same thing here. Bush loosened the jar lid for Obama.

    The hell with the photos. I want to see the video.

    May 4, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. mjr

    cyberdog what exactly is your issue..i know u got none u just want attention by way of posting such BS .and u must be having fun and lol for getting people angry, this is what u want to annoy others...cuz u dont really give a damn..attention is all u want...go play farmville instead i'll add u as my neighbor....i'll give u all the attention u need dog

    May 4, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Akana

    I'll bet Bush's skull fraternity would love to have the skull for their illegal collection.

    May 4, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Chris

    OH PA-LEEZ...Im so angry rthat what you are about to read is a complete RANT!!! and iI admit it....Where was the dignity when AL Queda sawed off that young americans head and recorded it for the world to see, Where was the dignity when we watched Human Beings jump out of 110 story buildings to flee the flames on the world trade center attacks,Those who died on the USS Cole, Tanzania and Kenya and so many other horrible events . May i remind you that many who have died were Muslims who's religion expressly forbids creamation as the flames from those events comsumed thier bodies,...Dignity? Im so sick of not wanting to offend a group of people who support the ideology that it is ok to massacre the masses all in the name of ALLAH ...I think we should have launched OBl's body into space so he could personally look for paradise....or maybe just float past it.....

    May 4, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
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