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. travis partridge moab utah

    Im very grateful that our servicemen are fighting for our rights as americans but if the whitehouse doesnt show us the pics of the body im not so sure that we got him, mainly the government can tell us what they want but theyre known for the inability to tell the people the truth. show us the pictures and stop beating around the bush,

    May 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TSC

    If you have doubts ,go and dig in the arabian sea and look for the white cloth

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

      Guess he should've armed himself...

      May 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mark

    When in Rome...

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

      So we should be just like the terrorists then?!?

      May 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anthony


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

      To CYBERDOG:

      So, you think the SEAL operators should be trained in Miranda? PUULLLEAASSEEE

      May 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ronald Raygun

    who cares is he was armed or not. im glad he wasnt, no chance of him killing another person. the people in the WTC werent armed!!

    May 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mario De Kauwe

      This is exactly what we Sri Lankans said about the LTTE. And when we defeated terrorism in our own country, all the west did and continues to do is to call it a 'war crime'. Did Osama carry white flags? Was he given adequate warning to surrender? if not, why should have we bothered about the same for Prabakaran...? sounds hipocritic doesn't it?

      May 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |


    May 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Linari

    Hey, Roland Miller, I suppose The Carlyle Group is involved....right?

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

    The seals saved us a bunch of tax dollars. I would like to say thank you seals.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Linari

    @Cyberdog: you mean the Reoublicans?

    May 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Deborah

    The people in the World Trade Center towers weren't armed, and the majority of them were in such pieces there wasn't hardly anything to bury. This was just in America, not counting all the other innocent peoples' death all over the world. I don't feel bad that Bin Laden is dead and at least he wasn't left out on the streets being displayed as some of our military dead were.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cop

    Shot in the head for resisting arrest. Nice one.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ed

    Who cares about these details. We got the SOB and that is the story. I dont care if he was armed/unarmed, was wearing a bathrobe or watching TV. Our guys demonstrated amazing bravery and skill. The POTUS demonstrated real courage in making this happen. Just think of the fallout if this was another "Jimmy Carter Iranian rescue mission". He could have kissed term two goodbye.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Linari

    @Shinea: Lol.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kristen1517

    Thats no surprise that he was not armed. i mean a powerful evil guy he is hope he wont be that stupid. now what kinda gun did he have.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dr Who

    Aboud al-Zumur, who was in jail with Zawahiri after the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981, said bin Laden was a "martyr" whose death at the hands of US special forces in Pakistan "will solve nothing."...

    Seems like number 2 or 3 or 4 or whatever level he is thinks bin Laden is toast. was reported in Guardian paper

    May 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. catfish53

    people are incredibly naive. bin laden wasn't armed & he didn't use his wife as as a shield. he was just shot on sight. certainly i have no love for bin laden & the world is better without him. but why does our government lie about everything ?

    May 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
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