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

    I totally agree with the President's decision. To disseminate those pictures would incite more hatred for Americans than we currently face. Just because terrorists video tape and broadcast beheadings, death-by-stoning, and draging POW's through the streets naked does not mean we have to lower ourselves to their deplorable tactics. Have we become so obsessed with revenge that we've lost our humanity. Have we become them?

    May 4, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Daniel

    If Palin opposes it, you know you did the right thing.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. ONE-america

    The president is the Commander-In-Chief we should respect his decision and support him!

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. jinn

    Obama is useless. He should get our Navy Seals to also fix the economy and create jobs for Americans.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. dyna williams

    The obama government are chicken to compare the bush administration. President Bush release the photo of Saddam Hussein his sons and nemesis allies when they were found and hang or killed without debating with the demorcrats. Infact Saddam has nothing to do with 9 11 terror attack. While this notorious criminal Bin Laden is worst than Saddam and the Obama government give this murderer an important decision not to release the photo which all the victims and the world is entitled to see him and give us the satisfaction that we are looking for .They shouldnt be worried about the backfire of this man who murdered thousands of people around the world . I wont vote for him for OBAMA IF HE DOESNT RELEASE THE PHOTO. Thank you!

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Jake

    I don't need to see a photo to know that bin laden is dead. If he's alilve, let him prove it.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Joe P.

    Sarah Palin should shut up. She has no idea of what she's talking about and it's a shame the news organizations give her a platform to share her stupid views.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Scott

    Thank God, even Sarah Palin has more balls then these sissy men holding back these pictures. I paid for them as a tax payer, I want to see them!

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Dianne

    Sara Palin's "no pussy footing" comment is amazing. She should respect the Presidents decision and keep quiet. Obviously she shoots aniamls and doesn't think twice but this is a human, even though deplorable. We do not need to see it.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. HJA

    Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. The crackpots are already out in full force and no photo will shut them up.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Doyle Wiley, MI

    The President made the right and responsible decision, thank god he's president.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Terry Gloege

    That Sarah is one tough cookie alright!!! Who the heck is she anyway?

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. al in memphis

    Seeing the picture may bring some a sense of closure to some Americans, but that should not overshadow the fact that it will serve as a CONSTANT motivation to other sick terriost for revenge.
    I pity the polticans and talking heads who can't see this simple logic over their own selfish desire for political or financial gain. And if Palin thinks that a photo of a dead man will strike fear into those terriost, she must have forgot that these people blow themselves up for the shear pleasure of destroying others.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Mike Olexa

    Sarah Palin needs to just shut up and go back to Alaska. Why release photos that are just going to infuriate the Al Queda faction futher, and risk possible attacks on more US citizens. She is such a hypocrite to begin with. I guarantee you that if Obama had released them, she would be complaining saying that he was putting US citizens at risk.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Wc

    Those photos belong to the people, not government.

    May 4, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. maggie 2011

    And that is why Sarah Palin will never be president. She has the maturity of a 15 year old boy.

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. Mark

    I am so impressed by Sarah Palin. Failed as a VP candidate. Never completed her term as Governor. Never been in the House or the Senate. Her international resume includes the ability to see Russia from her front porch. And she can't remember any national publication she has read on a regular basis because she got rattled during an interview. And SHE has decided that not publishing graphic photos is pussy-footing? She knows what constitutes "part of the mission?" She hasn't completed a mission, so how would she know. Ms. Palin, instead of shooting animals, take that shotgun and go defend our county and then she will know what constitutes "part of the mission."

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. John Q

    The American taxpayers paid over 1 trillion dollars to kill Osama Bin Laden. I would like to see proof for services rendered. The radical Muslims are going to take offense to whatever we do.
    Squeamish Americans can simply not look at the picture.

    To those that say wanting to see the picture brings us down to the terrorists' level:
    Wanting to see proof of justice served is not the same as terrorism.

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Rikki

    At this point, does anyone really care what Sarah Palin thinks about anything? She has had nothing constructive to add to any issue of significance for years. The only thing she could do to help is to stay in Alaska and stay out of the limelight, which she has not earned and does not deserve.

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Show photo as warning to others seeking America's destruction.”
    Sarah Palin please grow up

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Seriously!

    She's extremely ignorant and it shows pretty much everytime she opens her mouth.

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. MamaGrizz

    oh dear lord... she is such a loose cannon! I can't believe there are people who would actually vote for this crazy broad!

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Steve

    Sarah Palin, professional blogger. Thanks for your completely unqualified opinion. The fact that you disagree only validates the decision.

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Delzeta

    Of course Palin would be that ignorant (mis-informed) to think it would be proper to show a dead corpse on National television. She hunt moose all day and hangs them as shrines in her home.

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. Luc Hetu

    Mrs Palin thinks gruesome photographs of a dead man will deter suicide bombers from terrorist acts? I understand that she would probably hang these photos in her dining room with other hunting trophies, if she ever got to the WH. Bon appétit!

    May 4, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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