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. Mike from Syracuse

    The President made the proper decision. His detractors and the conspiracy nuts will not be satisfied, photos or not. To release the photos just to appeal to some people's morbid curiosity is not appropriate. To display the photos like some kind of trophy would be immoral, to say the least. This enemy has been vanquished. Enough!

    May 4, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. V in Chicago

    I think publishing the pictures would only be inflammatory. He's dead. That is all that matters to me.

    May 4, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. annie s

    At a time when America should stand together in pride and achievement, the thrilla from Wasilla has to inject her venom. What a disgrace.

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

    Like Palin's opinion matters. I'm sorry who got Bin Laden?

    May 4, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. TheFinalScrew

    Someone put a muzzle on the rabid dog that is Palin already. While some legitimately want to see photos, Palin is simply bloodthirsty.

    May 4, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. RCalcat

    Palin is a redneck idiot! Release of Bin Laden's death photo could put our citizens in danger. She's a nut case and I wish she would just go back to Alaska and shut her pie hole. She doesn't even hold and office, quit the one that she had, and makes money just by making a fool of herself. Go away!

    May 4, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. shawn

    I think this is a serious mistake. Not only do americans have doubts whether osama is dead but even muslims question it. I think obama is digging himself a hole by not releasing this crucial proof.

    May 4, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |

    Sarah Palin is like the "drunk broad" at the end of the bar, yelling stupid sh*t out randomly and without any bearing on the subject at hand. Just go back to Loser Town.

    May 4, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |

    Palin is such a moron, so it was ok for the terrorist to post beheadings of innocent Americans when they wanted to show there force. If we did that what do you thing terrorist would do. Palin has ADHD, she always wants everyones attention. If Palin and Trump are perfect for each other!

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Ed

    Rep. King pretty much hit the nail on the head. Let 1,000 conspiracy theories blossom! Personally, I 100% believe bin Laden is dead, just as has been reported. Think of it this way: if he wasn't, how bad would that be for the US when he suddenly pops up? Would we risk that? He's dead, and the word is a better place because of it.

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

    Sarah Palin is a fool. We got the job done, no one needs to see a photo of a dead man! SP should believe and trust in the President of the United States, keep her mouth shut and sleep a little easier at night as a result of his decisions and actions. In the twilight zone if she becomes President she can do as she pleases, until then............................

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. Chris

    Does Sarah Palin think the people who want to attack America aren't aware there will be severe consequences for any attempting to harm US citizens? Most of these individuals plan on killing themselves in the process of their attacks anyway so I highly doubt a picture of a guy with a bullet in his head will scare them. Can she please just go away and hunt wolves or bears or whatever for the rest of her life?

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Consider This...

    Sarah, SHUT UP. Your opinion means NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING. Go away, don't you (can you?) read the polls. The American people are sick of you.

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. SeunB

    Palin has foot-in-mouth disease. I really she stops talking until she knows how to think straight. The media should stop giving her so much coverage. She belongs where Mr. 'Dead-Cat Hair' Trump belongs in our perspective. Attention whores!

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. jkINC

    Would someone tell Palin to shut the hell up! She knows nothing of what "the mission" entails. She's one to talk about politicking and drama, it's her bread and butter, and gold necklace. She's a twit, a caricature, a scourge dumped on us by John McCain. And I liked him before he did that.

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Orlando R

    sarah palin is an idiot! who cares wat she thinks

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Betty J Sturgeon

    I am glad he isnt going to cave. By the way, do people still care what Palin thinks?!

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Mad in MA

    Pussyfooting? Really? Although I'd also like to see the photo released I understand why it's not. Unlike the 'rogue' Sarah I appreciate that my president is looking ahead at all repercussions of releasing the photo and putting the safety of our country and citizens abroad over the grand standing, antagonizing and bragging that Sarah seems to feel would be appropriate.

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. Farhibide

    What right does Palin have to weigh in on this at all? Where was she when this was going down? Not serving this country in any way whatsoever, that's where. There are some things about Obama that don't impress me much, but at least he's not a quitter like Palin. The fact that OBL is no longer walking this earth is proof of that.

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. bvilleyellowdog

    The press needs to ignore that lame half-term Alaskan governor. Who cares what she thinks?

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. tash

    I would never want the images of a man's dead body sprawled across the tv that my five year old will watch. This would scar him for the rest of his life. Think about it. What type of damage this may cause if the "Breaking News" story comes on the television and you and your are watching at family time. All of the sudden the dead body of OBL comes on tv and you have no chance to tell your kids to go to your room or change the channel. This will cause a lot of damage. Just let it be and know that Osama is no more.

    May 4, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. JJ

    OMG!!! I actually agree with Sarah Palin. What is this world coming to.

    May 4, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. max

    shows what a knucklehead Palin is. She really just doesn't get it. I wish she would go back under that rock McCain pulled her out from under.

    May 4, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  24. pjfla

    Why is it even necessary for CNN to post a comment about what Palin says or thinks.

    If Obama released photos, she would level criticism. If he didn't, she would criticize. That is all she knows how to do – her nitwit brain cannot function in any other way.

    May 4, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  25. Bryan Cole

    @SaraPalinUSA...and that is why you are not president and Obama is, because your "rouge-like" attitude does not serve the best interest of the country.

    May 4, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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