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. newhopebo

    ..easy for Sarah to comment..while her biggest decision is whether to put the garbage out tonight, and risk coons getting into it, or wait until morning..the genders answere to Dan Quayle!

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. George

    How many times have we seen JFK's head exploded on the Zapruder film? Why is the White House concerned with a backlash from the Muslim world? Are they our enemies? Do they love bin Laden?

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. michael

    The top GOP Intelligence Officials agree that the photos should NOT be shown. They could incite violence against Americans here and abroad and be used to further the cause or terrorists making Bin Laden a martyr. Any whack job who needs to see these photos to get some sort of satisfaction or clarification about what happened will not be satisfied by the photo anyway. It takes a truly devoted leader to go against popular opinion in the name of keeping America and Americans safe. Anyone who disagrees with that has already forgotten what it was like on September 12.

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. BJSwiec

    I agree with the president's decision. I'm glad he made it. There is no reason do display photos to prove to anyone that Osama bin Laden is dead. Believe me, the people that need to know it already know it. As far as Sarah Palin is concerned, I think her logic is lacking. It took us ten years to get Osama-that's hardly a stern warning to anyone interested in terrorizing us.

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. GSMITH

    President Obama want to sell the photo on EBAY.

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Jerry Weiss

    Releasing the photos serves no purpose. Those who say they want to see proof would probably claim that the photographs were doctored. For those who doubt the SOB is dead, consider this: Why in god's name would they make this up when, if he were alive he could resurface at any moment, and probably right before the election?

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. jersvette

    Sarah Palin needs to stop her deliberately divisive comments and use her voice for the betterment of this country. Unfortunately, that has about as much chance of happening as the KKK inviting President Obama as a guest speaker. She probably wouldn't be happy unless she could mount OBL's head on her trophy wall.

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. eldohill

    I am really glad we don't have an idiot like palin running this country, how she ever became the governor of alaska is beyond me, the woman is stupid, she does not have a clue, why does the media keep giving her press.

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. RR Lang

    My..how do we ever elect such idots as Palin and Hunter? Stupid idiots...just do your freakin job...

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Don B

    I think that if there is a possibility Palin needs to have something positive to say about our President. She is obviously the one playing politices here and should stop being a hypocrate

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Susan

    There is no right or wrong in this as you can tell. Everyone has an opinion. For me, I just can't understand why anyone would want to see someone dead. If it's because you want to make sure it's him, well lets get real and understand the wonders of photoshop. So just seeing the photos will not close the issue for anyone. By now, we would have know if it's him or not, lets just get on with catching the other guys who are so willing to take his place.

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. Gregg

    Sarah Palin: It's easy to be a sideliner and cheap shot those who's national security decisions truly matter!
    Stick to your reality series!

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Chris

    I guess Lindsey Graham doesnt believe in DNA testing......

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. waikikiboy

    I agree with President Obama's decision. You don't want the remaining fringe elements of Al-Qaeda to use that picture to martyrize bin Laden. Of course, the Palins of the world will use Obama's decision to fan the flames of consipracy theories.

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Chris

    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."

    As an American we deserve to see them? Why? If you don't trust that he's dead then go start a stupid blog about it but every American does not "need" to see the pictures, they WANT to just in the same way people slow down when they see a car wreck. If he's not actually dead I'm fairly certain he'd release a video proving it.......don't hold your breath on that.....

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. BD

    This decision reeks of fear....... I would think that would be the last thing you want when you've just won a great victory.

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. calipso

    Palin: it's not your decision to make so shut up already! Do you even know where Pakistan is on a map?

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. bam

    why even allow comments on anything palin, no one is going to say anything positive about this moron.

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Frankly Speakin..

    Everytime they open their mouth I find a lesser reason to be a republican..

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. douglas

    Ms. Palin, it's time for you to bow out of the public eye and keep your silly comments to yourself. What he's doing is not pussy-footing. His decision to go ahead and allow the most gutsy of plans against half of his staffs objections was not pussy-footing. And we don't need a picture as a warning. Him being dead and no one hearing from him again is the warning. A photo only adds fuel to a fire, makes for more conspiracy theories, and only feeds the ego's of Americans who can't evolve beyond revenge and gore.

    I believe his decision is very mature.

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Constance

    It was the right decision not to release it. Clearly, Mrs. Palin doesn't think before she tweets. If we went parading a photo around like a trophy, we would be attacked for sure. I'm certain we do not want another 9/11. Not to mention all of the troops that would be in harms way. We don't need Sarah Palin to speak for us. She would get us all killed.

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    BRAVO MR. PRESIDENT, BRAVO!!!!!

    There is NOTHING to be gained by displaying and parading the death of this man. He is DEAD. Period. Let that be sufficient for those that needed closure, and for those that thirst for the blood of another human being.

    ENOUGH. Let's move on like civilized human beings. Let us NOT descend to the level of our attackers.

    BRAVO!!!
    Obama 2012.

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Marcus

    I respect the President's decision. We're no longer living in the barbaric age where we would kill someone, put his head on a pike, and then brandish it in front of our enemies as a warning to those who plan to cross us (by the way, someone should remind Palin of that). Some people want to see it as a sense of proof or closure, but I think that photograph of Obama and Clinton's reaction accomplishes both in such a deep way.

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. Benjamin Florida

    Sarah Palin for once respect the President's decision! He has proven he is a true leader and an excellent commander-in chief. His thoughtful and careful decision has been praised by prominent individuals from both parties including our past Presidents.
    Your base needs to open their eyes that you are a menace to our national security and the media needs to stop covering the worthless and unsubstantiated statements that you repeatedly make!!!

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Stephen Pavlik

    Showing the pictures would serve no purpose other then satisfying someone's morbid curiosity. Either you believe bin Laden's dead or you don't. The conspiracy theorists, the hardline radicals and anyone else who doubts our government won't be convinced by seeing photos since they'll just claim the photos were doctored.

    May 4, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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