Obama won't release bin Laden photos: Reaction
May 4th, 2011
02:25 PM ET
4 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. Me

    coming from such an ignorant mouth THATS A COMPLIMENT! As I sit here a think of the situation I would do the same It would only give a chance to the terrorists to see thier leader for the last time. It is sad that we have become such a people.
    When did we become like them. Obama and his wonderful team GOT him. That part of Americas NIGTMARE is over now lets set an example for the rest of the world and show them that war was nessasary we didnt look for it but in the end we got justice done! We need to start acting civilized like we used too.

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Sgt Joe

    With Photo Shop these days, they wouldn't believe the photos anyway. Sick are those who can't just accept facts. As for Palin, go home; we are quite sick of you and could care less about your snarky opinion.

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

    How does anyone believe that this guy is dead??? Just blindly believe politicians???in electronic era....

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. RedBlur78

    I agree that whether or not you release the photographs, there will always be skepticism from some of the population. If they said they did the job, they probably did the job. How elaborate would this conspiracy have to be to ring true? They presented enough proof to show they killed him so let anyone else prove otherwise.

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. BabyBen

    Seriously? Sara Palin-Good thing she wasn't the one who had to call the command to shot Bin Ladin.

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. Confuzzled

    Dear Mrs. Palin. I don't dislike you because you are a Republican, a proud and good parent, that you believe that earth is 6,000 years old, and/or are a politician. Your Tweet, however, is quite concerning. This is not "pussyfooting," which, by the way, is a damn sexist term and awful to be used in any context. Others have often likened Americans to "cowboys," who may have kept trophies and what not of their kills. The Taliban keeps trophies and terrorists have dragged the bodies of our soldiers through their streets and cut people's heads off on video, displaying it for the world to see. We are not them. Displaying the body/bodies are not "part of the mission." Showing a picture of a dead Bin Laden will not appease the "deathers." It will not prove he is dead to anybody that matters. If you want to see the trophy, then call it what it is. Don't insult the US military by calling it part of the mission and accuse the President of "pussyfooting."

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. KeninTexas

    Sarah Palin said "No pussy-footing around, no politicking, no drama;",,,, Sounds like she needs to practice what she preaches and leave the politicking out of it. I agree about not publishing the photos. We know he's dead without the photos. And if Bin Laden's allies are left guessing, so what? You're not going to satisfy them anyway. I hope they lose sleep wondering about it from now on.

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. James

    Palin is a genius!

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Joe in TN

    Thank you sarah for your opinion...now go home and stay there.

    May 4, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Clint, Wa.

    I myself would much rather look at a picture of bin Laden, bloody and disfigured, then look at the witch Sarah Falin.

    May 4, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Rico

    Hmmm those who support him seem to be those who have seen them. We deserve to see this animal defeated. I want to see them NOW!

    May 4, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Guinness

    Yet another quote that underscores why this country is very fortunate that somebody so reckless is not near the oval office.

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

    ? Will Sarah Palin ever shut her mouth ?

    May 4, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. knucklehead

    I love it when Sarah talks about the size of someone's b@lls, or whether they are PUSSYfooting, or what have you. I hope Larry Flynt finally convinces her to make that movie.

    May 4, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. randumbguy

    Yup, Palin's about a subtle as a cement truck; seeing bin Laden with the top of his head blown off is not going to affect the decision of someone strapping on a suicide vest. She wants America to continue being the bully. Personally, I think that anything which might be used to make an ObL shrine should not be released; he went rabid and had to be put down. The only one of the talking heads I would be willing to debate on the issue is Duncan Hunter - he's got a real reason and a real background for making his statement. I suspect we could at least agree to disagree; there's no right answer on this one.

    May 4, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. peggy Hanzelman

    I think that no pictures are necessary....let us not stoop to the level of other countries....we should not be celebrating..thankful, yes, but not stooping to the level of showing pictures that are not really needed.

    May 4, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. George

    It's not "part of the mission", it's not necessary or needed.
    The nut jobs are already spreading the "facts", ignore them, they are by definition, nuts

    May 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. John

    She is a total tool.....anyone that would waste a vote on this monster is an idiot! I dont care what party you are affiliated with this woman just needs to go away.

    May 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Confuzzled

    Dear Mrs. Palin. I don't dislike you because you are a Republican, a proud and good parent, that you believe that earth is 6,000 years old, and/or are a politician. Your Tweet, however, is quite concerning. This is not "pu-syfooting," which, by the way, is a da-n s-xist term and awful to be used in any context. Others have often likened Americans to "cowboys," who may have kept trophies and what not of their kills. The Taliban keeps trophies and terrorists have dragged the bodies of our soldiers through their streets and cut people's heads off on video, displaying it for the world to see. We are not them. Displaying the body/bodies are not "part of the mission." Showing a picture of a dead Bin Laden will not appease the "deathers." It will not prove he is dead to anybody that matters. If you want to see the trophy, then call it what it is. Don't insult the US military by calling it part of the mission and accuse the President of "pus-yfooting."

    May 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. BamaWhig

    You know, he released his birth certificate and the pressure didn't let up for a moment. I wouldn't be surprised if he's done with acceding to demands to release documents at this point.

    May 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. johnRJ08

    Palin is incredible. Obama has Bin Laden killed and she thinks he's pussyfooting. Why doesn't Palin quit pussyfooting around and announce that she's running or not running?

    May 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. george l.

    u know what.... they wont show the photo cause it isnt osama and obama is trying to keep it under raps that he got away again he is using the death of osama to rocket his chances of re-election i can honestly say u dont have my vote obama if u cant balls up and release the media ur country asked for why re-elect someone who says they are for the people but when the people want a press release of vids and photos its a no. If obama isnt for the people then what is he? thats my question and i personally think obama needs to step aside. if obama wasnt scared of persecution by the muslims he would release the video but because america worships GOd and he worships other yea i did what u did obama put our god before urs for the simple fact u did it to america. If you people of America want to see proof i say demand it . Obama is like sarah palin said being a pussy. Who cares what they think in the middle east we r in america obama i say release the proof unless im right and my theory has become truth. my theory is that the government is covering everything up by hiding the photos of him and the raid video showing him escaping and then the government re-staging it to make it look like we killed him. u might say that sounds ridiculous but u know what i have my doubts about obama period

    May 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. jane smith

    Can you possibly get any more ridiculous, Sarah? OBL is dead and we all know it. Show some class for once. Once again PRESIDENT Obama has made a wise choice that is considerate of other people, incuding our troops.

    May 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Sarah would toss her cookies if she saw the photos.

    May 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Suz

    It's not a decision I'd want to make, that's for sure.

    But I think that he ultimately did the right thing.

    May 4, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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