Will bin Laden death image silence doubters or fan flames?
May 3rd, 2011
12:37 PM ET
12 years ago

Will bin Laden death image silence doubters or fan flames?

Washington (CNN) - While the White House and the CIA deliberate whether to release a photo of Osama bin Laden's body, there's debate outside the White House on what impact such graphic images might have.

A key counterterrorism adviser to President Barack Obama said that if the White House does decide to release images, it wants to do it in a "thoughtful manner."


Filed under: 9/11 • Al Qaeda • Osama bin Laden
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. ConservaFASCISTS -aka- Mammon

    Undoubtedly that if the photos are released, it will have an adverse affect on those murderous terrorists out there that still wish us harm. But on the other hand, if they dont release them, you'll have a bunch of conspiracy theorists saying he's not dead.

    May 3, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    There is nothing to be gained by releasing pictures at this time, nor for the foreseeable future. There is too much to lose for such a meager gain, if any. We are in the security business here, not hand holding and ego massages.

    If people are not convinced the man was killed they are not paying attention to is being said around the world, particularly by those sympathetic towards Al-Qaeda and those who are not. If they still want to argue about it, draft them.

    May 3, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Dave, Central Illinois

    I'll say it again – Thank God that President Bush's administration bucked popular opinion (Lib rants) and kept Gitmo open. Noticed how President Obama wised up and kept it open once he was in office? It's funny how real experience changes our perspectives. You Libs might be a little more conservative if you would actually leave your fantasy world and live in the real world for a while....

    May 3, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Thank God for President Obama - after W said Bin Laden wasn't even on his mind, President Obama recognized the need for his demise and focussed like a lazer on taking him out.

    I despised the Shrub, but never wished him ill the way the petty little republican nutjobs are wishing bad for our president and the country now.

    May 3, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    There is nothing much to be gained from posting macabre pictures of a man that was shot in the eye. Those that are non-believers of anything Obama – The Deniers someone here called them – will continue to disbelieve what is right in front of their eyes. The rest of us rational, patriots supporters of our country and our President can do without the freakshow. We will take whatever proof has satisfied the worldwide community, and that includes the word of our Commander-In-Chief, and military personnel.

    May 3, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Kevin

    hey dave...how about you leave your lil conservative fantasy world and live in the real world for a while...

    May 3, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    It doesn't matter whether he releases them or not. The sheep will still insist that it didnt' happen, just like the release of his BC. The lemmings will never give him credit even if he put the body on display in Times Square. They'd claim it was a body-double

    May 3, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Tim

    I don't know, but I do know that it will make a terrific photo for my dart board.

    May 3, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Tim

    Dave, another big difference between Bush and Obama. Bush did what was right because it was right. Obama did what was right because he couldn't find a way out of it, and also continued to pander to his base to let them know he was doing something he thought was wrong because his hands were tied. One leads from in front, the other likes to say he leads from behind.

    May 3, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |

    @Dave, Central Illinois
    And you neo-cons might be a little more reasonable and progressive if you stayed out of women's bodies and out of people's relationships.

    May 3, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Additionally, I would see the posting of those pictures as insensitive and barbaric as them posting pictures of our military ersonnel being decapitated at their hands.
    Killing bin Laden has already heightened the hatred and animosity these people have towards us. I do not believe we should further fan that flame by shamelessly rubbing in their faces pictures of their dead comrade.
    Obama 2012.

    May 3, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. byrd

    To Dave

    Really? I thought there was a speech bush gave in 2002 about him not knowing where bin ladden is and doesnt really care?To Dave...its not about who gave the resources but how those resources were used but either way its still a great day for our country

    May 3, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    Releasing these images would be a mistake. It would be in poor taste. If there are doubters out there, images will not be enough to convince them anyway so who cares? Lets just move forward.

    May 3, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    I heard that Bush and Cheney paid Pakistan for 6 years to hide Bin Laden so they could control Americans using fear. It makes sense to me – look at all the Press conferences, the campaigns of the republicans in those years.

    Thank GOD President Obama would NOt go along with those political games. It was harder for our intelligence people to find him, but it GOT DONE.

    May 3, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Junior

    Still don't understand why it took 3 years for President Obama to act on this information!!! What was he thinking??? O this week on goint to pull this out of the hat and get started on ths 7year old information that Ex President Bush gave me three years ago and see what will come of It??? Come People this should have been the Head lines Three years ago!!! Wake-up people

    May 3, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    @Dave. I agree. There's also the fantasy conservatives live in about how cutting revenue streams, borrowing and spending more magically leads to a balanced budget. Its too bad we're trainable and you are not. Your lot have been inflicting that fantasy on the public for 3 decades now: how do you propose paying for the bill you've rung up on teh American public's credit card? Don't even start about Obama's spending, since none of it would have been needed had your friends bothered to enforce the regulations that led to the market collapse. But, hey, the Koch Brothers are rich, so thats all that matters, right? Speaking of which, the Koch Brothers can afford to live in their ideologically pure world, since they inherited a boatload to begin with, and the rest of us actually have to work to support them.

    May 3, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    So does Obama intend to drag this out for years like he did with his birth certificate? Or maybe he'll release them next Oct. just before the election for some unknown reason, like getting re-elected? Just release the pictures and put all this to bed NOW. Like you said Mr. President, we can't afford to be dealing with this nonsense with all the other problems we need to address.

    May 3, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    @Dave, Central Illinois:
    Keeping Gitmo open nothing to do with cracking the case. Most conservatives are claiming that info came from KSM shortly after his arrest. The search has pretty much been a cold case.

    Obama made a campaign pledge to renew the search for "Osama Been Forgotten". He kept the pledge by throwing manpower at it in the form of intelligence operatives in the field and the troops to back them up. Plain old fashioned detective provided the final clues, not some guy laying on waterboard thinking he's drowning. The final piece was the "gutsy" decision to send in boots, rather than missles.

    May 3, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. S. In California - Obama 2012

    Don't release the pictures. Let those who want to doubt – go on doubting. Only let the pictures be shown to families of the victims. Select a certain place and time for the pictures to be viewed (no press allowed). Of course no cameras or cell phones permitted either.

    May 3, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Voice of Reason

    I hope they dont release the photo. Dont get me wrong, I am glad as anyone that this guy is dead and gone, but two things make me say that i hope they dont release the photos. 1. I dont want the graphic photo on the news every 30 seconds... i had enough fun explaining the 9/11 video that played about a zillion times to my kids. and 2. Does anyone here remember how upset we were when the Taliban were dancing in the streets on 9/11? arent we bigger than that? I would like to think we dont have to dance on the grave just to make a point.

    May 3, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "Will bin Laden death image silence doubters or fan flames?"

    Interesting question. Here's one for you: Will the so-called "liberal news media" do anything to silence doubters or wili it just fan flames? By now, it's fairly apparent to most of us that it's the latter. I mean, controversy sells and generates clicks, right? You know what the most effective way of debunking conspiracy theories and rumors is? Hint: It's not by reporting them as though they deserve a thoughtful and rational response...it's just not reporting them in the first place. Or, if you simply can't help yourselves, at least do us all the favor of treating them with the contempt and disrespect they deserve instead of using false equivalencies and hiding behind "he-said-she-said" so you can pretend they have sufficient legitimacy to justify milking the controversy for as long as possible. That milk is sour.

    May 3, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "I'll say it again – Thank God that President Bush's administration bucked popular opinion (Lib rants) and kept Gitmo open.:"

    Gitmo had absolutely NOTHING to do with this past weekend's success. The courier's nickname was NOT obtained as the result of torture (as proven by records of KSM's detention and interrogation...he gave up the name during normal interrogation). Moreover, BUSH CLOSED THE CIA'S BIN LADEN UNIT IN 2005 AFTER MAKING STATEMENTS FOR MONTHS ABOUT NOT BEING CONCERNED ABOUT BIN LADEN'S LOCATION. Obama reconstituted that unit and it played a huge role in what happened this past weekend. Stop fantasizing about Cowboy Dubya's effectiveness and the credit the GOP supposedly deserves and certainly wants to unrightfully claim for this. Bush deserves credit for getting the ball rolling and then dropping it...Obama picked it up and ran it in.

    "Noticed how President Obama wised up and kept it open once he was in office?"

    He needs funds to close it and Congress wouldn't give them to him. First, the GOP blocked it and filibustered and the whole lot of them behaved like cowards about it. Now, it's simply a foregone conclusion that a GOP controlled House wouldn't let it happen by funding it.

    May 3, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. fayse

    When you say that the President "wised up" and kept Gitmo open, you speak without the facts. The GOP would not fund the money needed for the necessary security to move the prisoners elsewhere. This was just another of their methods of obstruction. This is the United States of America, there is no honorable defense of torture. Why do you think that George W. Bush cannot travel outside this Country? If the Haig could get their hands on him, he would be tried as a war criminal. From what I heard on TV yesterday, the tip came from a detainee held by the CIA and he was not held at GITMO.

    May 3, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    When you consider what happened with the recent Obama birth certificate saga (they still wanted more proof) then releasing photos will serve only to fan the flames of hatred. Releasing photos cannot silence the doubters. I say send the doubters into the field and let them convince remaining terrorists that Bin Laden isn't really dead.

    May 3, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |