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. Atticus

    I admit I've got mixed feelings. I think that no matter what, international law should be respected. The right to a fair trial, the right to be buried according to one's religious beliefs and so on cannot be ignored. I'm afraid that, acting in disrespect of some basic human rights and international law is very inconsistent with the idea of freedom and democracy the Americans are trying so hard be an advocate of. WIth all the respect to those victims of terrorism and violence who have the right to life...

    May 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. StarsAndStripes

    Thank you SEALs for not arresting him and wasting tax payers money.
    A Job Well Done!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ridge

      My thoughts exactly. Why does it matter if he was "armed" or not? The folks in the twin towers weren't "armed," nor were the passengers of the hijacked airlines. He got more than he deserved. A quick death.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Those SEALS violated military and international law by deliberately killing an unarmed man and an innocent woman. Shame on them.

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

      Yeah, they could have punched him in the eye and he would have sued like that other punk azz terrorist.

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

      ....and Cybertroll – I guess Osama should have armed himself then, huh?

      May 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ridgeway

    News flash. None of the people in the Twin Towers were armed either.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • SacramentoWoman

      Well said!!

      May 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      That was an attack on the twin towers of people who didn't care if they killed over 3,000 people. That has NOTHING to do with this.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      And you know for sure who was responsible for 9/11???

      May 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixoh

      ridgeway, you have two trolls on your post. Ignore them.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chris

    only way this could have been better would have been if the SEAL team each took a shot into Bin Laden keeping him alive and then poking each hole with a stick covered in alcohol and salt and ask him "does that hurt?" and let the piece of wasted flesh bleed out slowly and PAINFULLY!!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdog

      Obviously, you have mental health issues. I feel sorry for you.

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


      May 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Cyberdog–I think it's time for your medicine. You know what your doctor told you about missing your doses.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rolland Miller

    How can so many people be so blind?

    This is a case of nobody seeing the trees in the forest.

    3 towers falling at free fall speed. That only happens if the buidings are destroyed by explosives..

    The so called jet that hit the Pentagon, BS it was a missle

    The hole in the Pentagon showed no wings; impossible

    The US military did nothing to intercept the 3 airplanes.

    Thermite (melts steel found in destroyed buildings.

    and on and on WAKE UP

    May 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      i was gunna explain it, but your not worth the waste of time, people like you believe the dumbest crap.. please take your missed dose

      May 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thereisnoconspiracy

      And you probably think there was another shooter on the grassy knoll...

      May 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Do the delusions prevent you from normal activities?

      May 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl LaFong

      Time to put on the tinfoil hat, Mr. R. Miller. You and your "troofers" just cannot accept reality, can you?

      May 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • kaicyna

      I actually agree with you....after watching the move Loose Change 9/11 my opinion of what happened to the tt's and pentagon changed...Bin Laden was still a waste of flesh but, I think there's a lot of untold truth about 9/11.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thereisnoconspiracy

      As Chris said, it isn't worth the time explaining it. You probably believe in Santa Claus, too.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      A few years ago a bridge in Indiana was destroyed when a gasoline tanker truck caught fire beneath it. The flames melted the support girders of the bridge and it collapsed.

      Jet fuel burns at about twice the temperature of gasoline. A commercial airliner carries enough fuel to fill 4 semi tanker trucks. As any metal heats up it becomes weaker and the collapse becomes certain.

      This all has been explained before. As long as you repeat the lie I and others like me will repeat the truth and shout you and your lies down.

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

      Rolland–everyone knows that the towers were destroyed by the Black Helicopters that circle the country controlling the minds of innocent civilians. I think I hear them overhead right now! Oh, no, they're coming for me! Since you know all about the conspiracy to bring down the towers, could you give me some advice? Are they coming for me because I know who really killed Elvis?

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

      It fell down because the mafia used defective concrete in the walls. Not only that but they put too many body parts in key areas which reduced the strength of the structure. Pure science fact, no conspiracy.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixoh

      Tin hats! Tin hats! Git yer tin hats, heeRREE!

      May 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pt

    1. Dead body was not shown to the world. Look at the Saddam incident. He was insulted to the core and made fun of him before media.

    2. Why hurriedly conducted DNA and how was it conducted in an hour, when it takes about 24 hours.

    3. Why was he buried in hurry and that too in sea when we know that world would want to see the body of most wanted.

    4. Pakistan might have been offered lots of money or something in return. Without their help getting intelligence from such interiors to nab is simply not possible, especially when a white man cant even dare to walk in those streets.

    5. There were only two couriers? Usually he always had three rings of security cover to protect him.

    6. A nuclear nation pakistan with good radar system didn't know that helicopters were heading. Forget some drones or fighter aircrafts. It was just helicopters need two ears with little holles not radars to know it. people tweeted about unusal flying helicoptors? you didnt come to know!

    7. Pakistan gave shelter to this man for all these years. when they got a good deal, they sold off this man. It is necessary to bargain for US or Obama because time has come to withdraw the forces from Afghan. Withdrawing without killing Osama will be written in history with a tag called failure. Did US compromised? If so, its a very bad news for India.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl LaFong

      Oh, goodie!!! MORE conspiracy theories!!!! You guys are a scream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

      They used the special Black Helicopters on this mission. You know, the ones from Area 51. As we speak, they are over your house recording every keystroke you make. If they could get through Graceland's security and kill Elvis, they could surely penetrate Pakistani airspace to kill Bin Laden.

      May 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      1. Saddam was not in US custody when executed. Government deciding what pictures to release of bin Laden's body.

      2. DNA matching does not take 24 hours, this is the US government, not Maury.

      3. The burial at sea was to be in accordance with Islamic beliefs and nobody wanted to have his body in their country.

      4. You simply underestimate the capabilities of the CIA, NSA and other intelligence gathering agencies.

      5. Source?

      6. The choppers hug the ground, below radar coverage.

      7. Yes, elements in Pakistan protected bin Laden, but they had no knowledge of this operation. Had they known, they would have warned bin Laden or handed him over, not let the Americans find him in a mansion he's been living in for five years.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. O Summer

    Killing an unarmed person amounts to a war crimes. That's what administration is trying to get around. But who cares, OBL would be guilty and death penalty would have killed him any way.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixoh

      You either think too hard or not hard enough. Either way, you're wrong. Sometimes ethics outweighs some silly law.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kangapooh 52

    OOO- RAH !! GO SEALS!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Roark

    It does not matter what is reported. OBL is dead and the proof will come out. Anyone who is even questioning this should move to Pakistan and live in that compound. then again there is not enough room for all the flaming hypocrite liberals. Navy SEALS Kick Ass and take corpses!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corpsman

      But it's only the right-wing wackos who a) say OBL isn't dead, 2) say he was dead years ago and 3) are making a fuss over the way this was handled. What libs are you talking about (and don't forget about 45% of us in the military voted for Obama – you want to call us out, too?)

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

      Wrong. It's whackos in general who think he is dead. I'm a Conservative and I couldn't be happier to be rid of this filth, and there's ALOT more filth to go.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rabbi Sol Solomon

    Hear Rabbi Sol Solomon’s thoughts on the death of Osama bin Laden by visiting his blog,, or via this youtube clip:

    Rabbi Sol’s Rabbinical Reflections air weekly on the Dave’s Gone By radio program ( on Colorado’s UNC Radio and are then posted as audio and text at

    May 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TSC

    Bottom Line is ,Osama Binladen is Dead and became food for the shark and the whales.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nyc

    It's unbelievable that at one time he was a friend of the US. The US created a monster and had to take him out, finally. I wonder how many other monsters the US has supported and have gone bad or were bad to begin with. The world of politics is a nasty game !

    May 3, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixoh

      I would like to point out that this guy was a monster already. We didn't create someone who became hell bent on killing all Americans and being able to carry that out. He was already sick and demented. People are like that, regardless of color or religion, etc.

      May 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tiffany

    My cousin died in 9/11. No one asked him if he was armed or not. They just blew him ip with the other 3000. Although yesterday the said they killed bin ladens wife, today they say the shot her in the leg and she is fine. I don't know what to believe anymore whether this creep died 10 years ago or two days ago. Gi figure

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

    The people killed in terrorist attacks are not armed. The 911 victims were not armed. A JOB WELL DONE!!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Linari

    Cyberdog, please go back to searching for other tin-foilers that love to make up useless bs and pass it on as fact. You all could have a love-fest on nonsense.

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

      And you know that you can trust everything the United States government tells you? The same people who lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq? The same people who want to suppress the truths revealed by WikiLeaks?

      May 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
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