Obama won't release bin Laden photos: Reaction
May 4th, 2011
02:25 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama won't release bin Laden photos: Reaction

(CNN) - President Obama's decision Wednesday not to release photos of Osama bin Laden after he was killed by U.S. forces is eliciting both support and opposition:

Sarah Palin, on Twitter:

@SarahPalinUSA Show photo as warning to others seeking America's destruction. No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama;it's part of the mission

Rep. Duncan Hunter, member of the House Armed Services Committee, in an interview with CNN:

"I want to see them personally...I did three tours. I'm not talking as a Member of the Armed Services Committee – as a Marine who did three tours because of 9/11. As Americans we deserve to see them."

House Speaker John Boehner
"He supports the president's decision," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel tells CNN.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer:
"I share the president's view. In my opinion there's no, there's no end served by releasing a picture of someone who has been killed and I think there is absolute proof that Osama bin Laden was in fact the person that was taken into custody, was killed in the process in the firefight, but I don't think there's any necessity to release the picture."

Rep. Peter King, Republican Chairman of the the Homeland Security Committee
“I understand the president’s decision and will not oppose it. While I have said that a photo release may be a good way to combat the predictable conspiracy theories about bin Laden’s death, this is a decision for the president to make, and I respect his decision.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican member of the Armed Services Committee

“I respectfully disagree with President Obama’s decision not to release the photos. It’s a mistake. The whole purpose of sending our soldiers into the compound, rather than an aerial bombardment, was to obtain indisputable proof of Bin Laden’s death. I know Bin Laden is dead. But the best way to protect and defend our interests overseas is to prove that fact to the rest of the world. I’m afraid the decision made today by President Obama will unnecessarily prolong this debate.”


Filed under: Osama bin Laden • President Obama
soundoff (330 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    Some people say Sarah Palin has no character, but I say she has at least 140 of them.

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. GG

    And even if he did release the picture there's going to be the people that claim that the photo is fake. You can't please everybody...

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. manchu

    Title the poster with " The carreer Terrorist "

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Enigmatism

    The same people who question whether bin Laden is dead now will be the same people questioning the authenticity of the photos. There's no pleasing some people. Releasing the photos won't change anything.

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. dan in capitola

    Palin says "It's part of the mission". How would she know? She's never finished anything in her life except signing irrelevant book deals and making lecture circuit bucks criticizing Obama. She is not qualified to make coffee for the President, let alone take his place. Shut.Up.

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Royal

    Photos will prove nothing to the conspiracy theorists. Certified, State-Issue Birth Certificates don't matter to those type of extremists. Easily doctored photos are not proof of anything to those that simply don't want to believe. You might as well spend energy showing christians that there is no tangible proof of any god's existence. The evidence is obvious, but they will simply dis-believe because they want to believe their beliefs. Facts need not apply. Move on to concrete things. Herding the conspiracy cats is pointless.

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Huh

    Don't we have more important things to deal with, come on folks have a little dignity and class

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. SATdragon

    I agree with the President. The photos will just provoke more hatred towards the Americans worldwide. Bin Laden is gone and let's put it to rest. Why do people have to see the photos as proof? If Bin Laden were alive, we would surely hear from him again... No photos is a smart move of the President!

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Lisa

    This is proof positive that Sarah Palin is an idiot with absolutely nothing of substance to contribute to society.

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. Nancy

    Any one who just "wants to see the photo" needs therapy! Wanting/needing to see grusome photos of dead human beings is beyond the pale. Let the conspiracy theorists' creative minds go wild. All sane, sensible people now know he is dead–they don't need a photo. Any of OBL's fellow terrorists who need/want to know if he is dead and don't want to believe the President of the United States when he tells them we have killed him, my advice is this: Sit around the phone, computer, courier drop, mailbox, etc., and wait to hear from him.

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. dusty

    Palin once again demonstrates why she is a "has been" governor with no chance of ever being an office holder in the future.

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. cawnaw

    The president is correct. The display of a mutilated body would only serve to inflame our detractors and put our troops in further danger.

    TO SARAH PALIN : please go away. You've sold plenty of book and made your money. Isn't that enough already? Do you now need to risk the lives of our military men and women for your own personal gain?

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. john

    This coming from her is hilarious.

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. GrogInOhio

    Apparently some people now want a death certificate. Loons....
    IMHO, if the SEALs say he's dead, he's dead.

    May 4, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. Amy

    Why, in this day and age, would anyone believe a photo as evidence? Photoshop and other means of manipulating photos are rampant. DNA is far more credible. If that will not quiet the conspiracy theorists, they have bigger problems than what can be solved with a photo.

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. Nick , California

    Look.. it doesn't matter if the pictures are released.. people will still hold doubt.. doesn't this sound familiar.. BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!! If you don't like Obama.. you don't care what proof is in front of your eyes.. you will always think its a conspiracy. By releasing the photos you will just have the same group of people that don't believe. Photos don't change a thing!!!! Terrorism is about fear.. and if you live in fear the enemy has won! If you live your life to the fullest without fear and have hope in your heart you have won!! Life is a choice between seeing the glass half empty or full!

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. kim

    I support President Obama's decision!! He happens to be the best president in my 54 years. Palin, who cares what you think? You just want your 15 minutes. GO the hell away!!

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. laurie

    I would never doubt what our U.S. navy seals SAID they did!!!! They all gave testimony. And, re-watch everyone's expressions and cheers while watching it all unfold in the Situation Room. Maybe if there is doubt, (here we go again), then allow our elected officials to take a look at the pictures to confirm and judge for themselves and then tell us. It shouldn't be this way, but it would quickly put an end to all of this doubt.

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Give them the results of the DNA tests. Give them something personal that only bin Laden would have. Give them ANYTHING BUT those photos, they would be used to stoke their hate against us; to portray bin Laden as an unarmed brutally killed martyr, etc.
    No good would come from having those photos all over the internet, and the world. It would make us look like detestable, inhuman, arrogant KILLERS....just like them.

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. PalmReader

    Sarah Palin needs to STFU, else she be credited with (God forbid) another terrorist attack on American soil. To think ANYONE would consider her qualified to become President boggles the mind. OBL is dead. Is this too much for the feeble minded to understand, that they need also gloat and taunt those who might seek revenge with further terroristic attacks against us? Perhaps Palin can explain to us when she might consider that too much blood is being shed to score HER political (and very, very childish) rants against our current President?

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. momo

    I respectfully disagree too! We as americans have ived our last 10 years wanting this man caught and if need be killed. We sent OUR families to fight, we spent OUR tax dollars to get him and I think iwe should get to see hiss sorry ass dead!

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. alex

    I think Obama will release the photos right at some point before his term ends if he doesnt get reelected. He could either think releasing the photos now will increase the drive of stupid terrorists and increase tensions more then they already are now.

    Or saving it for his reelection campaign when people say he is weak on defense.

    There is no good reason for not releasing the photos because bin laden supporters will still say he is alive and doubters in the world will say he is still alive. Obama will release the photos but he has a strategy in mind for waiting.

    Remember before his administration said they werent going to release the birth certificate now they did. Obama doesnt really always follow through on what he say.

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Graham's comment is not worth twice as much as anyone else's, even if he does have two titles.

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Eric

    Im glad President Obama made this decision. It shows we are a more civilized nation. Any nut case that wants to see blood and guts can go watch Palin shoot some animals on her show that was canceled. Glad we have a President that is smarter than the nut jobs that want to see gruesome images to wack off to.

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Gil Jaramillo

    This is not the 16th Century, I personaly do not need to see my Enemy Head on a Stake....give this thing a break and lets move on.

    May 4, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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