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. zami

    Palin's opinion is meaningless. If Pres Obama doesn't release the photos, he's pussyfooting. If he does, she'd opine that decision as cruel, heartless, and self-serving. Let's face it, no matter what he does, she's proven she will grasp at anything and everything which she uses in a pathetic attempt to demean and tear down our leader. She has absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. Hugo

    @ Sarah Palin: When Obama needs your opinion, he'll ask for it. Which is like, NEVER. Deal with it.

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Sarah Palin must have been "pussy-footing around" during the deficit debates because she disappeared but she now she makes it obvious to all of us, that was too complicated for her and over her head. Palin jumps on the band wagon only when it's none policy related. BUT WE HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN PALIN WENT INTO HIDING DURING THE BUDGET DEBATES BUT MICHELE BACHMANN DIDN'T SHE WAS RIGHT IN THERE WITH THE BIG BOYS, PALIN HID.

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

    Once again – Sarah Palin demonstrating why she is far less than Presidential.

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. hillcrester

    It's a lose-lose situation. No matter what the Pres does, Faux News will be all over him and demagogues/idiots who don't have to manage foreign policy will opine at no cost to themselves just to cause trouble. Personally, I'd like to see a post-mortem picture of "Sarah Who?".

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |

    Of course the bimbo Palin wants the photo released. It's the low-class meat-headed part of the country who "needs" to see them...her fans.

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. supersenior

    This is a good decision! Publishing the photos would be inflammatory. Sarah Palin has no authority to make any judgment on this subject, she most likely does not even know where Pakistan is.

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Diane

    Palin needs to stay out of it, what would it really accomplish to show the photo (our ignorance)

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Moonbeam

    Palin didn't learn anything from her "target" comments right before the Arizona shooting? Now she wants Obama to put American servicemen at risk overseas by flaunting the death photos? Doesn't she ever think anything through?

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |

    Again the President shows true leadership,.. a rational and dignified decision. If he releases the pictures, it will inflame certain people,.. the doubters will find other angles to whine about.. like the picture was doctored. The President is a class act. ..As for Palin,.. she's a blood thirsty, fang baring shrew.

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. soshi

    Please tell Ms. Palin to get a job and stay in it. Reality shows and silly "sound bites" hold back serious women in the work force. You are not cute anymore Sarah, just embarrassing and annoying. Go away!

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Mike Hawthorne

    Palin thinks Obama is "pussyfooting" by not showing the photos.  Of course, if soldiers were to die because of his releasing them, she'd blame him for not being sensitive to our troops' safety.  I'd rather get an opinion from a ferret than that hypocritical moron.

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Robert

    Would someone please shut her up? My god... no matter what the president says or does she will attack. It is so tiresome. Please stop covering her.

    May 4, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Pete

    As much as we hate Bin laden, We are stil lthe United States of America! Not a bunch of terrorist.. We should not act like them. I rarely support the president but in this case he made the right decision. . It is time for us to act with restraint and professionalism as a world super power.. not a third world bunch of terrorist.

    May 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Simpleton

    Pussyfootin' – I love Palin's Alaskan – southern drawl. Unfortunately she is out of her league at this point. There is more complexity to foriegn policies, ethnicity sensitivities, and plowing a path for intended outcomes than I feel she is capable of. I did not vote for Barack, I do not believe politicians are good enough actors to fake the shots of them watching, Pakistan is in deep doo over all this, the event is not fake, and consideration to all parties involved must be taken in order of urgency, Unfortunately our full "Proof" may not trump sensitivity towards those else effected. Oh yea, did I say trump? ya Trump – YOUR FIRED.

    May 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. SeunB

    Palin, you are getting worse by the day. It is becoming obvious that your mental capacity is that of that of the people on Jersey Shore... no offense intended at them. Like I am glad the country didn't elect you as the president... if you need drama in your life, why dont you call cbs... I am sure they can use the money.

    May 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. clarke

    If people don't believe OBL is dead, well a photo will not change that. I agree with the President and I don't think it is pussyfooting, I think he is being smart about this.

    May 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Beth

    When will the reporters learn that we don't care what Palin says?

    May 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. Ain't life strange?

    First, Palin shouldn't even be a consideration in who thinks we should show the photos. They are very graphic in nature and are unnecessary. Besides, if the photos are released, Palin will be among the first to say the were photo shopped. The man is dead. If he's not, I believe within 30 days we will hear from him in either a video or audio tape. I'm sick and tired of all this 'show me your birth certificate' type crap. If you doubt the President's word, if you doubt Bin Laden is dead, the truth will then prevail. The whole world can not be in on a conspiracy. Why do we keep giving creadance to a woman who was selected as a vice presidential nominee by mistake. She is not a political rocket scientist like many think. She is a rock... there are more common people out there with far more political knowledge the she will ever possess. Let's take the air out of her baloon and shut her down alreday!!

    May 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. vic

    I agree with the president I don't see the point in showing a man with his head blown apart. We have plenty of proof that OBL is dead. Of course the birthers, Palin and Trump will need another fantasy to promote that Obama just made this all up.

    May 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. frank

    After two rounds to and probably through his head (which likely included his face), any picture would probably still leave serious doubts as to whether it was really him anyway. Anyone wanting to dispute the claim would still find ample excuses (a double, a touched up photo, etc).

    May 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Aaron

    AGAIN you quote PALIN – why??? She has no credentials to comment, no expertise to know the consequences of either decision, no intellectual capcity to process the whole decision making process, and absolutely no crediblity as she is a quitter, a money making shill, and intellectually bankrupt...twitter her that intead of quoting her..shame on CNN....By the way, I respect Hunter's comments, but as a New Yorker personally affected by 9?11, I support the president's decision 100%

    May 4, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Kristine

    Oh course Sarah Palin woudl thinkt that she needs to say something. She doesn't say anything about the fact that Obama ordered the mission, she just points out the other items that fit her agenda of "Anti-Obama".

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  24. Ruth

    There's no need to increase the ire of terrorists worldwide by showing the photos. I'm willing to accept the word of the Navy Seals that they killed him.

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. devilsporkchop

    Again Sarah Palin proves shes unfit for the Presidency.

    May 4, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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