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. Danny

    Sarah Palin is still around?? Go shoot a moose or something lady. Those pictures should not be made public. We wouldn't be any better than those countries parading heads from decapitated soldiers around. Just like the celebrating was completely stupid. It reminded me of 9/11 when the Muslims were celebrating because the attack was carried. I thought we were more humane that that. SMH......

    May 4, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. UncleM

    Sara Palin. You're not part of the mission. Thankfully every day fewer and fewer people care what you think.

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

    Why do the press keep giving the idoit Sarah Palin exposure. If the press would totally ignore her she would not continue to make these stupid comments. Thank God the Amercan people see her what she is a totally uneducated idiot that is capitalizing on the little press she got during the elections. Why haven't anyone asked her why she did not complete her term as governor of the huge population of Alaska. Well the answer is she is money hungry.

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

    Sarah Palin is an IDIOT – And an IRRELEVANT one at that.

    Osama bin Laden is DEAD – And Conservatives simply cannot stand the fact that THIS Administration and THIS President is the one who took-down one of the World's most dangerous and MOST WANTED individuals.

    Barack H. Obama did in LESS than Three (3) Years what George W. Bush could NOT do in Eight (8) Years and Conservatives cannot stand it.

    Get Over It.

    May 4, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Ruyooka

    Does anybody really believe that the President of the United States would have claimed that Bin Laden was dead without being absolutely certain about it? Surely he knows that there is nothing that Bin Laden would have loved more than sending a video proving that he iwas alive. Come to think of it, why are being asking to prove that Bin Laden is dead? They should ask Bin Laden to prove that HE is alive. Let BL or his assistants show him to the world.

    The mnan is dead, and dissapointed because he is in hell, and there are no virgins waiting.

    May 4, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  6. Ed

    there just seems to be no end to how low Palin can go – as always a lack of thinking, lack of judgement, lack of grasp of situation

    May 4, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. hugh

    If releasing the photos would quell the conspiracy folks, fine then I'm for it. But it wouldn't work. It's too easy to claim that the photos were altered. I mean look at the issues we've had around birth certificates and authentification. You just can't please folks if they have a belief about something. It's a no win situation. I think the President is right to take this approach.

    May 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. carolmm

    Our President is absolutely right! No photos no video. I do 100% agree with his decision.

    May 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Martin

    Sarah Palin had to inject her fat mouth into this didn't she!!!....... I don't think she understands the nobody cares about her anymore.

    If somebody murdered her would people even care to see the death photos of her with half her face gone? I know I wouldn't.

    May 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. neutron

    The pictures would prove nothing. It is not a "warning" as Palin puts it. Hunted down until you are killed is a pretty good warning. Dead is dead. Seeing the effects of a bullet does not make him more dead. Terrorist cockroaches/cowards are scrambling to hide from the light at the moment. Conspiracy people won't believe the pictures anyway, so it does nothing to quell that crowd. The proof is that he will never be seen again.

    May 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Clay

    Images of the twin towers collapsing and helpless citizens leaping from 100+ stories were played again and again on every news channel world wide. There was no respect given to those innocent people's families. We can't release a photo of the body of the most wanted criminal in the world? That shows what the United States of America is today. I think Mrs. Palin said it best.

    May 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Grondahl

    Why stop at releasing a picture? Let's fish up his body, draw and quarter his remains on a live YouTube stream, put his head on a pike on the White House lawn, and mail his body parts to known terrorist sympathizers in the four corners of the world. Obama himself will conduct the mutilation ceremony, raising Bin Laden's heart over his head in a gesture of triumph before eating it, while a crowd of a hundred thousand people, all draped in Old Glory, sing the Star Spangled Banner.

    How's that for setting us apart from the terrorists?

    May 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. Bristol Palin

    Yah, you bet cha. There's one thing my mom knows and it's pussy footing. She's been pussy footing since the day she was born. In fact, if she did any more pussy footing she'd turn into a cat.

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

    I saw the picture of Mr Presiident along with Hillary Clinton and many others of the top brass sitting watching the action taking place at that moment in Pakistan and seeing the actual last minutes of life being taken by shots to the head of Bin Laden, what a morbid unsensative inhuman scene to watch, were there shouts of U S A afterwards and drinks all round to everyone, this goes on in penny arcades, but to be able to sit and watch things unfold live knowing there will be possibly deaths. Hillary Clinton showed some compassion by putting her hand to her face at this gruesome live pictures being relayed to the W H, "We are not like that " !!

    May 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. Average Joe

    Palin weighing in..thank goodness we got her opinion on the matter. I was worried she wasn't going to stretch her vocabulary and once again I'm proved wrong.

    May 4, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  16. Donnio

    Shut up Sarah!!!! We don't care what you think!!!

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. dfresh

    I never t hought i would agree sarah palin but she right the president is pussyfooting in not showing the photos everybody wants to them,

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Meka

    President Obama is correct. Photo's don't need to be shown. Anyone whom doubt's Bin Ladens Death...JUMP IN THE OCEAN, AND LOOK FOR THE BODY!!!

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Harry from VT

    Pussyfooting??? Coming from one, she should know....Again, the lack of thinking before speaking further exemplifies the stupidity that comes out of reactive, uneducated politicos. The world is flat, the man in the clouds is controlling everything. Sarah, take the time to develop a rationale before you speak.

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. LINY414

    Obama is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't. I agree the photos should not be released. The President should not have to prove anything to the skeptics or put pictures of this nature into the hands of anyone (let's think of the already tainted youth) to possibly use for inappropriate purposes. Would seeing the pictures provide some justice and vindication? Absolutely. First he wasn't doing his job well enough if he didn't catch bin Laden... well now we have, and it's still not good enough. Carry on Mr. President!

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Old-skool conservative

    Sarah Palin is so hilarious! Can we clone her...??? PLEEEEEEEASE???

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. Quid

    This is not a movie premiere or a national holiday event. Grueseome pictures of a known terrorist isn't for the masses. Children will be shown these pictures not just by irresponsible parents, but by irresponsible media.

    I suggest to have them on display only in Washington D.C.'s Library of Congress. Free to the public over 18 years of age. We must ensure the integrity of these pictures for adults only.

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. mnesbitt

    I agree with Sara P. we don't need to hide behind anybody's skirts, keep kissing their butts and we will have another 911.

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. Christopher

    That picture belongs to me, and as an American who now receives "enhanced pat downs", and is now subject to "sneek and peek" BECAUSE of this boogyman, I want to see the picture of what that boogyman got in exchange for MY end of the deal...

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. Derek

    I support the President's decision. I really see no benefit from releasing the photo. On the contrary, I think it would only serve to cause more hostility, and it would be a rallying point for his followers. Conspiracy theorists who cast doubt on the claim that Bin Laden was killed would still make their same arguments even if a photo were released. I am glad that his remains were expeditiously and quietly committed to the deep blue sea. Let him go out with a whimper and do not leave anything behind that would be used by his sociopathic followers to cast him as a martyr.

    May 4, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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