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. newsbreak

    I can't wait for a Donald-Palin Ticket and then for Letterman, Leno, Conan and Maher shows!

    May 4, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Red

    I agree with Obama. If these images are shown, it will only cause more problems....And I stopped listening to Palin a long time ago.

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

    Palin has absolutely NO justification to criticize the president. She is a petty little soul with no knowledge or comprehension of what it takes to govern. She is has nothing to offer this country but hate. She's wholly irrelevant.

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

    Why does anyone bother to ask for Ms. Palin's Opinion? She is so yesterday.....
    Nothing she says is ever the right thing to say. IRRELEVANT.............

    May 4, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Athina

    Figures that a moron like Sarah Palin has a dumbass comment to make about all this. Did she show us proof that she could see Russia from her house? Puhleeze lady...I wish you would disappear already. All these comments make you sound foolish.

    May 4, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Phil in KC

    I agree with the President. I don't think anything positive or concrete can be served by disclosing them. But I do think there are negative impacts. I don't want to see them. I don't know why anyone else would either.

    May 4, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. ElleBell6886

    Sarah and Lindsey,

    Sit down and be quiet. The grown ups are making the decisions today.

    May 4, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. JOE

    The charade continues. Obama has incorporated himself as member of the well known CLUB OF LIARS, which has been presided by guys such as Nixon, Clinton, Bush, etc. The stupidest argument I have ever heard in my sixty years living in this useless planet is what that walking brain (Obama) has said, continuing with the lie in front of its own people. There is no picture, there is no cadaver, they have nothing to show. Everything is part of a masquerade, a very cheap one, which sooner or later will be destroyed to pieces, because there will be somebody who will talk and tell the true. Then, we will see Obama blaming the CIA and swearing that "I never had sex with that woman." Same stupid story, same stupid people. Osama died time ago because he was sick. As soon as those super humans of the CIA confirmed it, one of the Obama's daughters said to him one night, 'Dad, why do you not say that you killed him" perhaps you can get a double whammy and you can win the Nobel Prize again. "That is a good idea dear" he responded "but first I have to ask uncle Bill what he thinks. You know, a man like him, not matter if he is a liar, can help me fool everybody."

    May 4, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Zara

    Palin, really?! "pussy-footing"?! You are a woman in a big position (I have no idea why), why would you say those words?? You are so crass. As a woman, I am offended that a female representative would describe anyone as a 'pussy'.

    May 4, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. Chris

    Palin could not be more of an idiot. She says putting the picture out will help our troops but IMO it would hurt them more than help. If we show the picture it will only make our enemy angry which would then lead them to showing any of our men/women that they capture or kill. If we are a world power we need to act that way and show some class – something Palin will never know or understand.

    May 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. bam

    she twitter crosshairs on Osama yet? and retract them

    May 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Em in Minnesota

    Who cares in the slightest what Sarah Palin's opinion is? Along with most of the rest of the US, I wish the media would quit covering her.They give her the attention she wants, but she has shown herself to be a completely clueless moron.

    May 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. moosey

    I think President Obama's decision is a wise one. Remember what releasing the photos of detainees in Gitmo did for the extremist movement. It served as fuel to the fire and helped them create propaganda against America and American military. This would do the same or worst. There is no need to add that kind of insentive. We should also think of the military personel that is in service right now, they are the most likely to suffer the consequences and retaliation of this whole situation. Let's also remember that this was a counter terrorist operation not a lynch-style event. The man is dead- this was the main goal and it has been achieved. That should be the focus- not the propaganda or momentos of the event.

    May 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. james

    This woman does not realize how insignificant she has become.

    May 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. moabie

    Sarah Palin is irrelevant. The President has made great decisions all week, and this was another one. There is nothing about that photo that would help our cause, or bring healing, or anything else!

    May 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. ChicagoGuy

    @SarahPalinUSA – If the president has determined, through discussion with top-level advisors, that releasing the photos would put our troops in harms way, or make America less secure in any way, why on earth do you think you know better? YOU have decided to make this a political issue by saying he is pussy-footing around. I highly doubt you have more accurate intel to support your comments than he has. The security of our troops, and our country, comes before your own political ambitions.

    May 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. George

    56% of Americans want to see the photos, that's a majority of Americans, for those politicians who do not know. Let's start seeing some lawsuits based on freedom of information to get these pics released. What happened to the transparency that Obama promised us?

    May 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Tax the rich

    Who care what Palin thinks

    May 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Lalo787

    It's kind of divided America at this point. I personally want to see the photos released. Hell, they can't be any worse than the video games or slasher movies we see. My wife, mom and dad don't. My friends and brother also want them released.

    They should be released because if not, there will be rash of conspiracy theories here and abroad. BTW: F**!! Sarah Failing. Who the hell asked her for her worthless opinion?

    May 4, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Nathan

    I really really wish Palin would just go away. She's such a moron.

    May 4, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. Chrissy

    Well hmmm to all the people that doubt bin laden is dead. If he releases a video tape, then you will know the US is lying. Until then eh– assume he is dead. Problem solved.

    May 4, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Dave from GA

    Let doubters stay in doubt about OBL's death for years to come. It will cost less than releasing photos that could engulf madmen into their terrorism activities that could cost the world in many deaths and billions of dollars in damages and economy. Makes sense?

    May 4, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Anon

    It's not part of the mission, you twit. America is supposed to be better than these other places where lynch mobs roam the streets calling for blood and celebrating the brutal death of their enemies. How about we start acting like it?

    May 4, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Bill D.

    Hate her guts and everything she stands for, but on this I unfortunately agree with Sara Palin.

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. kyle bnellio

    We need to at least have the option of seeing it. Let us make the decision- we reserve the right to be able to make the choice whether or not we'd like to see it.

    May 4, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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