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. Dave

    I don't see the point in releasing the pictures at all. Anyone who prefers to think that Bin Laden is still alive will brand them as fakes anyway and it would give them an opportunity to try to discredit the pictures. Others in the Islamic world, even those who are relieved he is dead, would consider them insensitive much as we did in Somalia. And Americans aren't going to believe a picture more than DNA evidence. So what's the point? If you need the visual gratification of seeing Bin Laden with his forehead blown off I can understand that, but I don't see how that outweighs the negatives.

    I'm not a huge supporter of this administration, but in my opinion they did the smart thing by not taking Bin Laden alive and they're doing the smart thing by not releasing the pictures.

    May 4, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. Auloria

    Releasing a photo is like releasing a birth certificate. Someone who doesn't want to believe it won't change his mind.

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

    Could Sarah Palin be anymore of a red-neck slim ball?

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. manchu

    Make a poster, place the picture of the body, and sell them for a couple of dollars over cost. Pay down the deficit. Some would want more than one.

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. ExNavySeal

    On a lighter note, maybe selling them to the Enquirer would recoup a little of the cost of the operation and lost helo.

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Angel

    Sara Palin, should just keep Her mouth shoot. She is not in the White House She does not know what happens behind close doors. These photo may inflamed a bigger sitution. I am sure that the photos will be released when its appropriate. She is not the President. This the woman the left being Governor because of Her own Selfishness. SARA SHOOT UP.

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. bob welke

    Why do we care what Sarah Palin tweets? Is she an elected official? A candidate for anything? A recognized authority on anything (other than moose)?

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. RJ


    I support the President. She just reinforced her imcompetence. Showing the photo proves nothing. Obama once again exercises his Wisdom and Judgment. Thank God she is not in office. COMPLETE MORON

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Sarah's Brother In-law

    Sarah "pussyfooter" Palin should just shut up! Mr. President ought to give her same treatment he game Donald Trump.

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    I agree with Obama.

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Dave

    Pvssy-footing? The hell kinda redneck word is that?

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. AK

    Mr. President, I trust your decision.
    Godspeed sir and God Luck.

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    These same republicans would have said it was a mistake to release the photos if Obama had decided to release them saying they would fuel more Terrorist attacks. No matter what decision he makes they're going to crucify him for it. The party of Nobama.

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Sue

    Nothing will stop the conspiracy theorists. Not a declaration from the man who pulled the trigger, not a photograph of his dead body, not even DNA. President Obama knows this and has wisely decided against releasing photographs of Osama bin Laden's body. Kudos Mr. President.

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. PsyDoc

    Dear Mrs. Palin. I don't dislike you because you are a Republican, a proud and good parent, that you believe that earth is 6,000 years old, and/or are a politician. Your Tweet, however, is quite concerning. This is not "pu–yfooting," which, by the way, is a s-xist term and aw-ul to be used in any context. Others have often likened Americans to "cowboys," who may have kept trophies and what not of their kils. The Taliban keeps trophies and terrorists have dragged the bodies of our soldiers through their streets and cut people's heads off on video, displaying it for the world to see. We are not them. Displaying the body/bodies are not "part of the mission." Showing a picture of a deceased Bin Laden will not appease the "deathers." It will not prove he is dead to anybody that matters. If you want to see the trophy, then call it what it is. Don't insult the US military by calling it part of the mission and accuse the President of "pus-yfooting."

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Robert

    What is wrong with this country that there are significant numbers of people who will believe absolutely nothing they are told. So cynical. Why not share the photos with all of Congress. That should quell any suspicions of political game playing. That way, people can rest assured that bin Laden is actually dead, and it will avoid inflaming those who will use it as an excuse to harm Americans.

    May 4, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. clarke

    Well Sara , your comment is exactly why I would never vote for you. You have no leadership. A photo doesn't prove a thing, not in todays world.

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. FDA

    These photos will do nothing but cause more anger and danger around the world. If Palin says release them, then I'm sure we should not release them. Because she's an idiot!

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. jimm

    From Palin, who could not even admit that this President had anything to do with the mission.

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Howard

    She should just shut up. Period.

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. dave

    Fortunately, Obama pays little regard to missy Palin.

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. EJ

    We would be no better than the bin laden animals that have totured and murdered helpless US citizens on video. We are civilized Americans and we have standards, we should not stoop low enough to broadcast a dead persons body for the whole world to see, we have children watching TV too. Am I curious to see the body, yes.. but that does not mean it is a must for all of America to see.

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  23. languid

    so Graham deserves double the opinion?

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Dave

    I like how I can't even say what Palin said...stupid filter.

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. alex

    As a tax payer and an american we have the right to be shown thoses photograph ,every shot fried from the militray, is a taxs payer money,so our money is spent going in it war ,but yet our opinon isnt good enought ,sadam that had about nothing to do wit us , but yet we still had the chance to see him being hanged ,the man who killed millions of american ,and had us at war and bought suffering to the american people and with thoses reason said we still can see a photograph.

    May 4, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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