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Evening Buzz: Should Photo of Slain Osama bin Laden be Released?
Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda's leader, seen in an undated photo.
May 3rd, 2011
09:21 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Should Photo of Slain Osama bin Laden be Released?

The U.S. might release a photo of Osama bin Laden after his death. CIA Director Leon Panetta said he thinks a photo of the dead al Qaeda leader should be released, but the decision will be up to the White House.

A senior government official involved in the discussions says there are lot of photos to choose from and most are "very graphic."

"There are sensitivities of the appropriateness of releasing photographs of Osama bin Laden," White House spokesman Jay Carney said this afternoon.

Carney cited the "sensitivities involved."

"We review this information and make this decision with the same calculation as we do so many things which is what, you know, what are we trying to accomplish and does it or in any way harm our interests, and that is not just domestically, but globally," he added.

Do you think a photo of bin Laden after his death should be released? Share your thoughts below.

We'll also dig into the question tonight on AC360° and get different perspectives.

The U.S. used multiple methods to confirm bin Laden's identity, including DNA testing.

But the Taliban are questioning the killing.

"Obama has not got any strong evidence that can prove his claim over killing of the Sheikh Osama bin Laden," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mojahed said.

Tonight we also have new insight on the U.S. Navy SEALS team that killed bin Laden.

Anderson will talk with former elite Navy SEAL sniper Howard Wasdin, who wrote the book "SEAL Team Six."

Join us for these angles and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.

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soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Lila Land

    I don't need to see the pictures of his dead body.. but my handyman today, who is an Obama supporter, said he did not believe bin Laden was dead because there were no pictures. lol I find that kind of thinking odd.. needing to see a dead body seems unseemly.. but I guess some people really need too "see". The conspiracy theory loons will never believe and the more proof you give them, the more they think it is proof that they are being hoodwinked.. but maybe all people who need to "see" are not those guilty until proven guilty paranoids who make up the conspiracy circus. So, yeah, release them. It might help bring closure to some Americans in a real way. It would my handyman.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  2. StaceyB

    I don't think now is the time to release the photos. The idea of making him a martyr is very real and if we can reduce that impact by delaying the release of the photos, it's worth it.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  3. alex

    yes they should show the pictures after all we saw all the horrible victims jumping from towers, and bodies that hit the ground so why not she the pics of this evei man

    May 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  4. Sue S

    No, I don't see any benefit to releasing his picture. It will only inflame his followers. For the those that see a conspiracy and believe he's not dead, let them find him. We know he's dead and don't need to see a picture.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  5. Nikki

    Yes, that Osama Bin Laden picture should be release because we all want to know and make sure that he he dead not still alive.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  6. William

    The photos should just be released on the internet because I really don't care about seeing the photos, but putting them on the internet gives the people who want to see them the chance

    May 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  7. Shary

    who care if bin laden was armed or not? No one at the twin towers was armed. Etc. Rtc.
    Show no photo, we are Americans not animals. We don't need propaganda and it could create added problems. It can do no good at all.
    Time to move on.........

    May 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  8. Tate

    The government should Definantly release the picture(s) of bin Laden's dead body for
    Two very valid reasons. For all the non-believers that he is really dead and just satisfaction that he is really truly dead, that we Americans have finally gotten rid of the cause of the American decade long nightmare.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  9. Kathy

    I think we should be able to see a photo. For me, it would be a feeling of satisfaction. For the rest of the world, it would be proof. As far as Pakistan goes, I believe that they knew he was there and welcomed him. You can't tell me that the military, was that close to him and didn't know. They knew! And I think they were hiding him. But...Once again, the U.S. was smart and took O.B.L. out. And I for one could care less if he did or didn't resist. He deserved to die after what he done to the U.S. and other innocent victims.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  10. ben

    We have seen more grusome picture before. bringe them on.. stop helping Pakistan, and give those billions to the deserving retired americans.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  11. Shelley

    whether the photo is released or not, definitely bin Laden's allies will surely take revenge.. I think even a single photo should be released... for the sake of those who are skeptic about the death of bin Laden. They require evidence to convince and make them believe that Osama bin Laden is now resting in the depths of the Arabian Sea and is no longer existing on earth.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
  12. Susan

    The White House has made good decisions in the way they conducted the raid, about the safety of others and while the CIA may push for the release of the photo, what purpose does it serve? I guess the question to ask is; by releasing the photo, who does it help, who does it harm?

    May 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  13. Take Care

    I believe it's best not to give obl any more publicity than we already have. I don't care to see his face again; alive or dead. I say it's best to leave it at "Get him and FORGET him"! Anderson Cooper said it best with his closing thoughts on tonight's broadcast. Hear, hear ...

    May 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  14. Jane Mom

    What a thoughtful ending you gave to your program tonight. Those people calling for bloody photos of BL should remember the bodies fliyiing out of the twin towers, You showed us these people . I do believe that he was executed properly and we do not need to honor his bloody body and give more impetus to his crazy supporters. You are a really great reporter!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  15. Susan

    A photo isn't going to prove Osama is alive or dead. The people close to him that can't reach him are no doubt aware of his demise. Whatever the White House decides, I'm fine with that. It's obvious he's no longer alive; it is evident the world over.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  16. Parker

    On 9/11/2001 I watched in horror on live tv people jumping to thier deaths from the twin towers. I will never forget that day nor forget the many lives that were lost that day. Osama Bin Laden cheered as he watched this. Now I belive with all my heart the White House needs to release a photo of Osoma Bin Laden's death. Prove to the world once and for all that he is gone for good! Because I have to tell you that looking at the video inside his compound looks as if no one has lived there for many years much less in a life of luxury with wives and children.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  17. Susie

    No, the photo should not be released. The doubters will only claim it is a body double and nothing will be gained.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  18. mone't

    Yes,I feel photos and video should be released for the world to see proof that he is actually gone. Although, there are others who may feel that it may be to graphic to watch, it should be only viewable on paper-view for $1.00. All the money should then be donated to the families who lost loved ones in 9/11

    May 3, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  19. JereyO.

    I do not need to see a picture of a gun shot head to believe he is dead, the president said they have verified that it was him, that is enough for me. But if the White House could find a way to create a classified website, that you access with a credit card and pay to see the pictures, without being able to download or copy, then the non believers can pay to see it, and we can recover some of the cost of hunting him and later killing him, that will be poetic justice.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  20. David

    Yes release the photos.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  21. lenny

    yes i think that they should release the pictures of bin laden , i realized that there could be alot of angry people who are followers of bin laden , but they are angry already because they icon has been killed . did they think twice of showing newsmen, soliders ,or americans they captured and beheaded ? i also like to say it was not pres. obama who killed him , it was our american service men who protect our freedom from these low life people .

    May 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  22. Helene

    Safety no more at this point>>>At first show how the other partie/Al.Qaeda were cheering when our twin towers fell and people/US/NewYorker crying and traumatized>>>>Then show Bin Laden death picture. By the way> "fake" pictures Bin Laden dead has been released and what's about "sensitive" people? hein??? Fake, real> to be release it is part of life! But combine showing Al.qaeda cheering from Setp 11/2001 at first then dead ben laden shot in the head.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  23. Spencer Brewer from Kentucky

    The fact that Bin Laden is dead is the only thing worthy of consideration here. If he had died of a heart attack I would have been happy. The fact that he was killed by Navy Seals makes no difference.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  24. Chuck

    It is my firm belief that the photos of both the murerer's corpse and burial at sea will eventually be released. That said, the longer we wait to release them, the greater the claims of photo shopping. I think the world deserves this proof now.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
  25. Kristen

    Listen. On September 11th, 2001 the entire world watched the violent explosions of jumbo jets crashing into amazing buildings killing everyone. We watched innocent people jumping to their deaths from the top of the WTC to escape the searing heat. We watched rescuers run into those buildings and never come out. We watched those buildings crumble to the ground with thousands inside! Over and over again we watched! We watched the buildings burning for weeks as rescuers looked for just ONE survivour. All the loss we experienced on 9/11 was inappropriate and insensitive! It was evil. Showing a picture of a dead bin Laden is so appropriate. We need to see. Not to tout the bastards who fight for him, but to finally put this behind us without question.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  26. Jeremy addis

    God bless the navy seals

    May 3, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  27. Lynne

    Yes...we need to publlish picutres..we wachted Americans jump to their deaths at the World Trade Centers or suffer the consequences of burning alive.. We are a reslilanit country...we can take the pcitures of Osama Bin Laden's death. For what we paid in American human toll...we can taket it.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  28. Shary

    No. Won't accomplish anything. This chapter is done. Time to move on to stopping 1.3 billion to Pakistan and using it for USA victims of disaster and our deficit and go after Gadaphi.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
  29. Marilyn - Livonia, MI

    We need to ask ourselves. "What purpose would this really serve."
    Conspiracy theorists love the intrigue of conspiracy no matter what the facts.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  30. Jan

    They say Bin Laden is dead, ok, what happened to the rest of the people in the compound and his wife, who was shot in the leg. Where are they?

    May 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  31. Jeremy copas

    i think we deserve to see these pictures no matter how graphic they are, everyone in the United States watched as thousand of people died in the towers collapsing i think that it was more graphic seeing innocent people hanging out of windows screaming for help and jump out of the buildings to there death and watching plains crashing into field and the pentagon killing even more

    May 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  32. Jeff Smith

    There are videos of our citizens jumping to their death from the burning Twin Towers. I think it appropriate to show Bin Laden's death photos as a countermeasure to our tragedy caused by him. I reaffirms the reality of his just demise to everyone, especially those who might use the "questions" about his death to recruit other murderers to his cause.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  33. Izes Silva

    I think so too. The reasons being: 1) a photo could be a proof that OBL is really dead. At this point the world has just words for that; 2) nothing else can raise the level of hatred of enemies and terrorists against the US. At this point we have to choose the best option between 2 not so good ones. And showing the picture would help to clarify the situation more than damaging it; 3) the US released the pictures of 09/11 and they weren't less graphic than a photo of this mean dead should be.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  34. juliana

    I agree with Annie. So many bad pictures were seen ; including from 9/11 ; and pictures from "dear ones".....so; it wont hurt AT ALL to see such an evil person`s photo of his death. AND LET`S TURN THIS PAGE AMERICA!

    May 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  35. angel

    Yes the should be release, billion of people saw videos and photos 9-11 how inocent American people was getting killied but we can't see just one picture of him death. come on be real.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  36. Joyce

    No, I would not want to see the photo of a cadaver with bloody wounds. Perhaps the one of the burial at sea, with the Iman present would be enough to satisfy the doubters. No reason to sensationalize his death. We can celebrate closure for the friends and families of the victims of Bin Laden, with the knowledge that the figurehead is dead. Let that be enough.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  37. chris

    hell yeah they should because it would show the rest of those bad guys what happens when u mess with the U.S.A

    May 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  38. Ian

    The photos definitely should not be released. The job has been done (brilliantly) but displaying the death shots puts us on the same level as those who have posted shots of the enemies of Islam being beheaded. We're better than that.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  39. Roy

    Show em already,somebody is going to sooner or later!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  40. Spencer Brewer from Kentucky

    The fact that Ben Laden is dead is the only thing worthy of consideration here. If he had died of a heart attack I would have been happy. The fact that he was killed by Navy Seals makes no difference.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  41. Yekoz

    The photos had better be released to convince the doubting Thomases. USA already has many conspiracy scenarios and so this should not be added on to the load. However, even with photos released, some few people will still not believe.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
  42. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    I agree Annie

    May 3, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  43. Martina

    I have seen far worse photos on the news–network and cable. Even CNN. The most gruesome images are usually on the news. In the evening. For no other reason than sensationalizing tragedies.

    The government should have alot more sensitivity for the psyche of viewers who, most likely will be children and those who are fascinated by morbidity and will most likely exploit.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  44. Richard

    Even if we get a picture who is to say that it wasn't fixed up?

    May 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  45. Carl

    I think that there is so many doubts about the Osama is really dead. I think that it would just stop all the fight over if he is alive or dead. I think that they should also post the DNA results to prove everything. I believe that he is dead but I got friends that say he isn't dead.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  46. th3d0m1n1c4n

    @Annie Kate

    yeah, thats also what i think. conspiracy theorists, and even your everyday people will be better off with legit photos.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  47. Rita

    I thought at first that I wanted to see the photos, but as I hear details and try to picture it, I wonder. I've never seen anything so gruesome and I'm not sure how doing so will affect me. I'm 44 yrs old and don't have any children, but I do know that I wouldn't want anyone's children to view this without a real option to shield them from it. PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISTS - BE CREATIVE - BE SOMEWHAT DISCREET. I understand that if the photos are released you are almost "required" to share with the world. Pick one single time on one single day - choose an hour like 2AM and run the photos for 15 minutes, then never show them again. There will surely be copies on the internet, but please don't ever show these more than once. Thanks

    May 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  48. Martina

    The White House should release the photo in due time. I believe Osama bin Laden is dead. Those who don't are probably the same people who thought President Obama wasn't doing enough as a president. Fortunately, for the rest of us, the silliness of Barack Obama's birth place (HAWAII, USA) didn't take his focus off of what he and his staff and the fantastic military have been working on for years and especially, the last several weeks. That's the kind of president I want.

    There will be those will rise to continue to either fight to be the next Osama bin Laden and those who want to continue his hateful and evil actions.

    What is a concern for me is that there should be extra extra heavy security at all airport abroad. Since that is where the "shoe bomber" and the "underwear bomber" originated their flights to the U.S.A. . How about more security cameras for any flight that will be arriving in the USA and even Canada/Mexico?

    I also do not think that the government of Pakistan should be criticized. No one knows all the information.
    Just like a saying about wanting to be avoided, 'hide in plain sight'.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  49. Matt

    yes, but with discretion. It should not be posted all over the daily news where everyone can and will see it even if they want to or not. I trust the government to an extent, but there has to be verifiable data behind the statement. I think a lot of other people feel this way as well. The pictures should at least be posted on a government website to prove to the American people that he is in fact dead, but even with that I'm sure plenty of conspiracy theorists will claim it is Photoshopped or doctored in some way. Honestly, if the pictures are extremely violent I hope that the mainstream media does not have rights to show it due to the fact that children or sensitive people may accidentally see it.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  50. Somebody

    The lack of clarity with the details on the whole operation is awaking suspicions, and even I am not so convinced the government is telling us the whole truth. They already changed the story wether Bin Laden was armed, what's next?

    May 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
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