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. Richard

    I agree with the decision. There is nothing to be gained by showing the pictures.

    May 4, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Sandy

    Well if Sarah wants them released, that's all I need to know. Don't release them!

    May 4, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. Christopher

    So, the last pictures of one of the worlds most notorious criminals will be his Mansion? I would suggest zooming in and focusing on the razor wire of his newly built villa as we talk about the years he spent there, because we don't have a prison picture of him either....just a messy mansion....

    May 4, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Mr.Peter King you continue to give me hope that not ALL RethugliKKKlans have lost their monds, common sense and decency. You sir, in regards to this event at least, are a welcomed respite to the rhetoric and sound bites.

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. Dee

    People like Sarah Palin are such hypocrites! Bin laden was scum but this is more about the security of our men and women in uniform who are currently serving in harm's way in the Middle East. If an American soldier or diplomat was heaven forbid killed in the Middle East and the Taliban took photos of their dead body and plastered them all over for the world to see, she would be the first one calling them savages. God I wish someone would just sew her lips together!

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Chris

    Shut up, Sarah.

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. jamie

    Sarah Palin... I really do like you... but you need to zip it...

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Shirley

    I approve of not showing the pictures. Let's not stoop to bin Laden levels. We are not animals. He is not a trophy. He was killed for killing others. No more no less. The fact that he chose to hide behind his religion really separated him from it. Most, I repeat, MOST Muslims to not want to kill us. They do not like bin Laden either. People in high places love to see everyone down the way arguing over these things so we don't have our minds and eyes on the real problems, which tend to be on politicians taking kick backs and not being able to provide a budget. It's because they would have to give some of the monies back to the special interest and lobbyist groups if the raised taxes on big business and not on the elderly and people trying to earn a living. JMO and you are entitled to yours too. I urge you to think about it before you share it. Does it consider the humans around you and the human race.

    We should be more interested in finding a way off this planet we are destroying with our pollution, not sucking money from the poor people in this world. Instead the rich get richer and the poor are encouraged to fight about race, religion, etc. 75% of the people in Washington put the fear in all of us, and they should.......they are running the country. We can trust our president. Watch him.....he doesn't fly off half cocked. He thinks things out and then acts. He has not made mistakes like others in the past. He know what's going on in Congress and doesn't become a part of it. Think about it . His only recourse is the veto anyway. He doesn't influence votes in the House or the Senate. People get upset when he isn't down in the mud with the others.

    I encourage all of you to understand how laws are passed, to get registered to vote, know your Congressmen and let them know what you think through Congress.org. If your aren't active in your country's future you have no right to complain. JMO

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Capt. Smash

    The more I think about what Obama did Sunday it was just like an Old Style Mafia Hit. Think about it; remember the part in the 1st God Father movie when Michael Corleone was becoming his nephew's God Father in the church. Meanwhile he was executing all of his enemies. The night before Obama was out correspondent dinner ripping Donald Trump. Then he woke up Sunday played a round of golf. This was so cool, then to dump OBL body into an ocean. Just like the old days when they use to dumb bodies into Hudson River. This was just like a movie. You do not want mess with this president! Obama may have some Italian blood in him also along with Kenyon, Irish, and who knows what else.

    Obama the Chicago Gangster!

    Good job Mr. President you have a lot of class! Don't give those people who want kill us all any motivation!

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. John

    Sadly, if the news media were given half a chance they would likely turn this into the same circus as happened to Anna Nicole and weeks later OSM will end up a centerfold for a funeral magazine. He is with Davy Jones and this jackal, who killed both Mullah and the common man, should not be given any more press.

    They also say never speak poorly of the dead...."he is dead...good"

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Kevin

    why is sara palin so terrible all the time?

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  12. ExNavySeal

    I would like to see the pictures. Not for the glory of the kill, nor to brag about my seal teams, but to feel the weight of the death of this man in the parts of my soul that have ached for ten years. Death is nothing to celebrate, but it is necessary. And he (Bin Laden) met with the only end that was possible given the circumstances of the life he led. I want to see the pictures once and never again.

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. ana

    Obama is right, no need to release photos, people who dont believe he is dead never believe photos too? I dont think US govt doesnt have to show proof to anyone. If senators, congress can go to WH personally and see those photos but no need to release to public.

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. John in Brooklyn

    I think the pictures should be released to members of Congress – perhaps to defense or homeland security committees – but not to the general public. Terrorists around the world have exploited the horrible display of decapitated, burnt, or mutilated bodies of US citizens and military members....to our horror and condemnation. We need to demonstrate to the global community that the US is better than the barbarians.

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. Jim C

    Once again Sarah Palin is completely misguided. The reason the photos should NOT be released is simple. We are NOT the same as our enemy – We are civilized. If we release the photo (it only serves to satisfy a grotesque prurient interest), then what right do we have to criticize when they cut off someone's head and parade it around the square in celebration?
    By doing the right thing, Obama is protecting our own troops on the ground.
    Sarah Palin loves to tweet about protecting the troops; she has a son in the service in the middle east. You would think she could use her brain for a second to realize how showing that photo will only put the troops, including her son in more grave danger. Oh, sorry. I forgot about Sarah's brain – it only engages to criticize whatever Obama is doing. No actual thoughts of her own

    May 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Cracker

    put the photo in the National Archives. those who want to see it can go visit it. I wouldnt put out there either, that is nothing but bad news.

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Robert Lee

    I agree with Govoner Palin. These photos will not be offensive to anyone who is not already at war with us and anyone who is our friend will know that defeating the ugly murderer bin Laden was entirely justified. To not release them with that excuse is a cop out. Rather, these photos will be a warning to strike fear into the hearts of our enemies.

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    House Speaker John Boehner
    "He supports the President's decision,' Boehner spokesman Michael Steel tells CNN.
    I just had a HEART ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. Slightly left winged

    Palin's a moron, like hunting the guy for a decade wasn't warning enough to anybody "seeking America's destruction"?

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. Patrick

    Does anyone really care what the quitter Palin has to say?

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. Terrance Bigsby

    Nice thought, Palin. You wacked out, incompetent excuse for even a Politician. Great display of grammatical / typing ability as well... Are you sure the term 'pussy-footing' is supposed to be hyphenated? Better yet, are you sure that using that term, and using it in that specific context is even appropriate for someone with such lofty political aspirations? Think about the reasons why releasing the photos would not the best move... And do you honestly think that seeing that image will scare off other terrorists or serve as a warning? You don't think they already are constantly warned and are well aware that we will come after them if they commit (or conspire to commit) an act of terrorism against the U.S.? Come on, there are much more effective methods by which to accomplish that goal...

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. David

    OMG, Palin is sooooo revolting!!!!

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Jaime

    Lindsay Graham is right. We, like she said, chose not to bomb it so we could obtain proof of his death. By refusing to give the pictures, Obama is opening a controversy.

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Vinney

    Palin is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Thank God, we did not elect her as Vice President!!!

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |

    Well, this should bring out the conspiracy bozos out of the woodwork.

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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