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

    The President made the right decision ...all of those conspiracy wackadoodles will never be satisfied and will always look to be negative, no matter what President Obama does. There is no need to incite anger and put Americans at further risk. Seriously now, people. Even bin Ladens own daughter is claiming she saw it herself! Kudos Mr. President! I appreciate your intelligence and grace. Proud to be an American again!

    May 4, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Michael Walker

    Even if the picture may be a little grotesque, a lot of Americans are not going to believe he is really dead.
    The photo is going to bring closure to many, many, American families. Bring the HOPE to the people.
    It should be shown. This is OUR America.

    May 4, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. John

    Hey, lets get Donald Trump to start making a stink about whether Osama is really dead or not just like he spent so much time on Obama's long from birth certificate. I hope that GOP recognize that they cannot afford to go more politically bankrupt than they already are by pushing this issue. I am sure it was not an easy judgment call with serious consequences either way yet the President made his call. Time to move on.

    May 4, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Kat

    I agree with this decision. If releasaed by itself it would cause an angry stir among his followers because of the facial wound. The reason for his death will be lost. The only way it should be released would be as part of a photo essay, first showing photo's of as many of his victims as possible, and then showing his photo as the murderer. Of course, it would end up being pulled from the other photos and used in other ways by his supporters. My first thought was a "Where's Osama" picture. Faces upon faces of his victims, with his face hidden within, for those to find. A small picture of his face, so that blowing it up would cause distortion. It ever released, it should be released in the context of his bloody career. He is dead. Lots of curiosity to see it, but it's not necessary. Time will prove he is dead.

    May 4, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Dan

    As usual, Sarah Palin is nutty....There is no reason to post these pictures, it would only serve to cause more problems. He's dead, let's get on with the nations business and not spend our time on these ridiculous discussions.

    May 4, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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