American Morning

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May 5th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

What do you think of Obama's decision not to release bin Laden photos?

President Obama said Wednesday he has decided not to release photos taken of Osama bin Laden's corpse.

According to a senior U.S. official, the White House has received three sets of photographs. The first batch, which clearly show bin Laden's body, was taken at a hangar in Afghanistan, the official said. The official described one of the images as a clear, but gruesome, picture of his face. Bin Laden is shown with a massive open head wound across both eyes, the official said, adding that the image would not be appropriate for the front pages of newspapers.

AM asks, what do you think about President Obama's decision not to publicly release photos of Osama bin Laden's dead body?



Filed under: AM Asks
soundoff (356 Responses)
  1. Jetson

    At first i was completely against it when i heard Obama's decision. Then i sat down and really thought about it and I thought about 1 reason that it shouldnt be released. That one reason made me completely change my mind. That reason is the people that the photo is being released to. My vision was clouded by the fact that I just wished i was one of the people that got to see it. What I mean with my reason is that the American people are a simple materialistic bunch. It will be extremely offensive when the arab nation has to see Americans selling tee-shirts, banners, magnets, place mats, posters, and other merchandise with the graphic photos printed on them. Americans are unsympathetic with the terrorist as they should be but it still wouldnt make it right to use the pictures in the ways we all know us Americans would.

    May 8, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  2. Split Merge

    The wound that we hear about is most likely caused by the bullet EXIT rather than the bullet entry. Bullet entry holes are always quite small (remember JFK?).
    So I conclude that OBL was shot in the back of the head. That could be a reason why the WH doesn't want to release the photos, because it may undermine the assertion that he gave resistance.

    Either way, I am happy he is gone.

    May 8, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  3. kamal

    Being born and raised in an Islamic country, I understand where the administration is coming from. Finally we're starting to act with some cultural intelligence and I would say common sense.

    May 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  4. mariah

    I AM SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE DEATH OF BIN LADEN. SOMETHING ISN'T RIGHT HERE. I REALLY AM NOT TRUSTING OBAMA, WHEN THEY ASKED HIM THE QUESTION ABOUT BIN LADEN'S DEATH HE PAUSED FOR A MOMENT, RELAXED HIMSELF AND SAID YES YOU WILL NOT SEE HIM WALKING AROUND ANYMORE.
    I THINK THIS WAS A POLITICAL MOVE BECAUSE HIS RATINGS WERE DROPPING AND HE NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP HIM. I THINK THE PICTURES SHOULD BE SHOWN AFTER WHAT HE DID ON 9-11. SHOWING THE PICTURES ARE NOT GOING TO STOP THEM FROM WANTING TO ATTACK US AGAIN, THEY HATE AMERICA. I THINK SHOWING THE PICTURES IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, UNLESS THERE IS SOMETHING TO HIDE ONCE AGAIN.

    May 7, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  5. Jim

    No pictures are needed. They sent the Seals in and they always successfully perform their missions. For once, Barrack Hussein Obama has done the right thing in choosing not to show the pictures of Osama Bin Ladin.

    Oh and to the poster who asked what is the difference in this and posting the video of Sadam Hussein being hung. The difference is we didn't hang him or have the video in American control. His own people did that.

    May 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  6. Our government is corrupt

    They're not disclosing pictures because there aren't any. The government tells the nation Bin Laden is dead so we will calm down about the billions we've spent on a useless war.

    May 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  7. Mike

    I do not think he is dead it is a conspiracy to get his next term why would he not show the pictures they showed sadam's son's pictures and why no autopsy was done if they were in hiding all this time to kill him why not go in hiding and take the time to have a autopsy done then clean him up stich him up and then take pictures of his face buy doing that who would of none that they didnt beat the 24 hour period that there stupid laws say's about burial at sea cmon there al lin together im dam proud to be canadian i tell you if my goverment would of did that pictures would of been all over

    May 6, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  8. Sivleland

    ELVIS is A L I V E

    Most people are only to blind to see.

    go to youtube ant watch stranger in the crowd by the sivleland channel.

    May 6, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  9. Alberto Salinas, Jr.

    I believe President Obama did not have the authority, nor the right nor the oblgation or the responsibility to make the decision in regard to the body of UBL after he was killed to bury him at sea within 24 hours as required by Muslim Law no more so than if Bin Laden had been killed by any body else or if he had died of natural causes. This may have been rights of his church, his faith and his religion and his family.
    Let us see how many other Muslims this US president kills and burries at sea. How many has the United States assassinated in the past and has refused to show photos evidence of these?
    How much did it cost US taxpayers to see to it that Usama be buried at sea? That's how much Social Security should pay for each of its citizens for interment, not just the measly $250.00.

    May 6, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  10. food4thought*

    Im in complete "aw" over the whole situation. I was watching reruns of law&order when the news broke and coincidently it was an episode on terror. Completely indecisive on how I feel about it. But I don't think pictures would truly make the american public believe anything. We'd find something else to question afterwards. This is a selfish country. "I will mourn the loss of thousands of people but will not celebrate the death of one enemy".
    I just personally think its Insane that this country would elect someone who was raised to believe, what the people who terrorize our country; were raised to believe. Baraacks middle name is 'hussein'!! ..I know 'No BirthCertificate'!! Call me a pessimist but I can't dismiss the thought that, this is all a setup. That we've been "had" by alqueda 'obama' , the entire middle.east is having a laugh at our belief/disbelief. Truth is, whether he's dead or not, this war is far from over. No justice for the lives lost!

    May 6, 2011 at 6:25 am |
  11. Princess

    So far he has made the best choices for America. What ever he disides I have great faith in him.

    May 6, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  12. Nick S. Flin Flon,Manitoba,Canada

    I think the U.S. President should show the pictures. I believe this request, is a respectable one. I know the U.S. President thinks he is protecting his country by not showing the picture. But lets face it... Just by killing Bin Laden, your going to tick those factions off anyways. President Obama says he has proof that Bin Laden is shoot and killed, why should people blindly follow his word? I say show the pictures. Shoot since this war started, we have seen alot worse.

    May 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  13. MARGARET POLLOCK

    WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?????

    May 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
  14. Diana Williams

    I THINK THE PRESIDENTS DECISION IS WRONG NOT TO LET THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SPECIALLY BIN LADENS VICTIMS NOT TO SHOW HIS PHOTOS THAT INDEED HE WAS DEAD.

    TO PUT OSAMA'S PHOTO IN CLASSIFIED WILL NOT CHANGE AT ALL THE TERRORIST WILL ALWAYS PLAN TO ATTACK THE AMERICANS ALL OVER THE WORLD . SO THE BEST THING TO DO IS TO LAID OUT HIS GRUESOME PHOTOS JUST LIKE THE OTHER VICTIMS IN THE COMPOUND . ITS ALREADY ON TV AND INTERNET THE DEAD PHOTOS OF THOSE MEN INSIDE THE COMPOUND SO WHY THE GOVERNMENT WILL PROTECT BIN LADENS PHOTO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE OF THIS MURDERER FROM THE OTHER DEAD MEN IN THE COMPOUND . HIS PHOTO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO BE SEEN IN PUBLIC BESIDES HIS OLDEST SON'S PHOTO AND TWO MEN WERE KILLED.

    I THOUGHT HE WAS A BRAVE PRESIDENT BUT INSTEAD HE TRIED TO PROTECT THIS TERRORIST PHOTO AND HE CARES ABOUT HIM AND THE FEELINGS OF THOSE EXTREMIST TERRORIST MUSLIMS , WHY ? BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT'S NAME ITSELF IS A MUSLIM ?

    May 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  15. Wendy

    Obama doesn't want to show the dead photo(s) of Osama Bin Laden because there are none! I don't believe there was or is any proof of Bin Ladens death and probably because he isn't dead! American's were able to watch as fellow Americans jumped from the twin towers, but we aren't allowed to see one photo to prove the responsible individual has actually been killed?!? The only logical reason has to be that he was not killed.

    May 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  16. Alberto Salinas, Jr.

    Jesus Christ's pictures of his dead and tortured body is depicted every where all the time. The pictures of the twin towers and people jumping out the windows on 9/11 were being shown as they happened. There is nothing wrong with showing the world pictures what happens to criminals who kill innocent people. Who knows, it may do more good than harm. What does the government have to hide?

    May 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  17. Tony in Dallas

    I totally agree with President Obama.

    There is no need to being showing gory photographs. We don't have to prove anything. Further, the possibility exists that the showing of the photographs would inflame the passions of Bin Laden's followers and result in more terrorist attacks, And such an action would assist in their recruiting efforts.

    The man was a criminal who met an appropriate and deserved fate. We need not assist in making him a martyr.

    Remember, Bin Laden is dead, not Al Queida.

    May 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  18. Mariebythesea

    There is a certain amount of morbidity connected with photos of dead bodies, be they innocents or criminals. The quick turn-around in the Arab world, of the doctored photos with similar wounds as were verbally reported, are good enough. The fakes out there are good enough.
    This topic is getting old, and many countries are fast seeing that we are weak and timid if we continue to comb over and over it.

    Enough is enough, tomorrow is another newsworthy day, without bin Laden.

    May 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  19. Brian Mermon

    Good decision!

    May 5, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  20. carlene sailor

    i just read that the American Indians are now outrged because the name Geronimo was used – they feel insulted by the Government which is one more reason to get past this OBL news and get to something else! Talking and reporting about every detail just keeps people finding fault! I voted for Obama and I will again – I think he made a courageous decision and the Navy Seals carried out their mission superbly but the more it stays in the lime lite people will keep demanding more information and more information leads to more scrutiny!

    May 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  21. Dub gabriel

    If it is true that we killed him in the compound and we been following him since Aug., then that is 350 miles away from where we been sending drones and killing thousands of innocent people, Then America should be charged for war crimes.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  22. Beth Anderson

    I do not feel it is appropriate or necessary to post the photos of his corpse. I believe he is dead, I do not need to see half of his head blown off, that is sick, something the Islamic extremists would do. We have more class than that.

    May 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  23. Sue

    They sure didn't mind showing photos and video coverage of people having to jump out of windows, the buildings burning and collapsing on thousands of people as they screamed for help, people bleeding as they ran from the scene! See no difference, show the photos of this dead man!

    May 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  24. Betty Guariglia

    I agree with Obama 100 percent. Why stir up the pot?

    May 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  25. John

    Also to all of you who have no idea the type of hatred that is out there towards America.....WAKE UP!! The hatred will be there if the picture is shown or not. I think it is ignorant to think....well if we show the picture they might get upset....They already are upset. You really don't think there isn't another Osama bin Laden on deck? Get over yourself and Wake the **** UP!! As I like to call them the LCIA (Lack of Central Intelligence Agency) isn't even in the field. They get most of their intel through message traffic, sending them on blind runs of what if's!!!

    Wake up America. We are the most hated nation on Earth. Pics or no pics.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  26. K. C. Hill

    I have noticed some people do not capitalize the name of the President of the United States of America. I hope they are not US citizens. President Obama did what he said he was going to do. He is a decent, intelligent, respectful and genuine man. He deserves the utmost respect and praise for the command he gave and decision he made not to show any pictures. I do not want any newspapers, news networks or cable to make any money printing and reproducing obl's pictures. I think Trump needs to publicly apologize to our President.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  27. John

    I think we should see the photo. How many times have we seen the images of people jumping to their deaths out of the WTC? It was disrespectful for the families and loved ones to see over and over again what he accomplished on 9/11. Cnn, Fox, ABC, etc...didn't know when to stop. It made for a good news story. And now you don't want to show a picture of a dead terrorist b/c you are afraid of what type of reaction you would get? Abu Grabh was all over the place... they showed that? What makes this different other than the fact that he was #1 on the most wanted list, killed over 3,000 Americans on 9/11, over 5,000 Americans dead from the past 10 years looking for this guy.

    Why not let the American people see what they have been paying for?

    May 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  28. Yosh

    I think it was a good decision not to release the photos. If bin Laden is still alive, he would certainly let the world know.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  29. Robert Lee

    In times past, armies mounted the heads of their fallen foes on pikes, to both celebrate their death, and warn off enemies. In more recent times, executions were open to the public so that they could "enjoy" witnessing the deaths of heinous criminals.
    When we look back on these practices, we now consider them barbaric. Surely other members of Al Queda will know from the lack of communication that Bin Laden is dead. America does not need to celebrate his death, only to honor and mourn his victims.
    I salute President Obama's decision not to lower America to this level of barbarity.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  30. B-radd

    I think it's a MATURE DECISION. As proof it would be weak, but as fodder it would be useful.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  31. Lori

    I agree with President Obama. I'm glad the photos won't be public, they don't need to be. The President and that Navy Seal Team took care of business and that's all the proof I need. I feel it would be in very poor taste to bandy those pictures about, it would make it look like we were bragging and we aren't. When the news was announced that bin laden had been killed I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, I felt justice had been served, I don't need to view bin laden's bloody skull for closure, I got all the closure I needed hearing President Obama announce that bin laden was dead.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  32. iQs_SuperLoco9x

    osama bin laden wasnt responsible for 9/11!!!!!!

    May 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  33. armando munoz

    i KNOW bin laden isnt dead ๐Ÿ™‚

    May 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  34. colin

    false flag operation

    May 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  35. Angie

    ITS ALREADY AS BAD AS IT COULD BE. BY JUST "KILLING" HIM

    May 5, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  36. Ceffy

    I saw that Marine on tv and I am Marine from time past. When I heard Bin Ladin was DEAD I turn on the out side light and hung my US Flag outside and sung the Halls of Montazuma, being thankfull our troops have surpresed FBI"10 most wanted"and we are safer
    Semper Fi

    May 5, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  37. William

    Killing or not huh?... ๐Ÿ™‚ ...i'll absolutely believed it...i believed that OBL was killed in Photoshop ๐Ÿ˜€ ...LOL... and lets stand to our believe... OBL WAS KILLED... just idiot man believed it...that will include me..LOL... President is the most excellent and clever man i ever see and known... he successfully FOOLED a million of people just with 1 line of speech... "WE GOT HIM"... LOL

    May 5, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  38. Elizabeth

    Anyone who insists on seeing a photo of a dead man, even if he is a monster, is just plain ghoulish. If the commander-in-chief says he'sdefinitely dead (or that he was defintiely born in Hawaii), I'll take his word for it. Enough already!!

    May 5, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  39. costa

    the decision to not publish any photographs of the body is simply wrong.we where shown the body of sadam's right hand right there where he was killed, body not touched among civilians and army, we where shown sadam hanging from the rope televised around the world..
    if there was a true intention to give the world closure not just for the families he personally touched but the world .the body should have been brought back to the united states escorted by coallition of u.s.forces,representatives of the united nations,muslim religious society,immediate members of his family from saudi arabia.his body should have been transported by sea to arlington virginia naval bases where the world's press would broadcast live around the world,putting an end to any unanswered questions that all of us have had run in our heads.the body should then have been returned to the immediate family and muslim society to be returned to his native land. for those who say that publishing any photos of the mission would provoke the muslim community into another attack on our soil is an insult to our intelligence as a society in general.these people are soldiers and i believe that they would have been overwhelmed but as some of us wolves know better it is their job to let the sheep go to sleep at night in debt and in fear .

    May 5, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  40. Nancy

    President Obama is absolutely correct not to show the pictures. First of all people do not need to be exposed to a photo of a man with a gaping hole in his head where you can see brain matter. Secondly, those photos could inflame more people and spread as propoganda. There will always be the nay sayers and those who think it is all a conspiracy. Even if pictures were released, i am sure people would think they were photoshopped. Infact there has already been a fake picture of Bin Laden. I believe in my President – if he says Bin Laden is dead and gone from this earth than that is the way it is. With everything going on in our country, do you actually think our top officials would waste time on a fake mission? Thank you Navy Seals.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  41. nell

    I feel that the President has made the right decision. We need to stop and think. Would you want any of your family members photos published.Publishing photos could possibly cause even more friction.Let the dead stay dead.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  42. Marsha Wagner

    I agree with the president. I know some people doubt the death but as time goes on , one of two things will happen. If he's alive, he will show himself to reassure his followers or (2) if he is truly deal, sooner or later, the pictures will be leaked. Either way, I don't need to see it. I will take the word of President Obama.

    May 5, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  43. melda pearson

    I think he should show them gruesome or not it was also gruesome to see people jumping out of windows at the trade center the day of the attacks. If you can watch a horror film we can stomach the death pictures of the evil man behind the attacks ding dong the witch is dead

    May 5, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  44. Angie

    I think Osama is not dead. WE WANT PROOF. how can some islamic terrorist get burried within 24 hours after death ""AT THE SEA """" WITH NO EVIDENCE.. I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND HOW THESE AMERICANS FALL FOR IT. Barrack Obama and his Administration is really good at what they are doing.. WAKE UP AMERICANS...

    May 5, 2011 at 10:45 am |
  45. Angie

    I think that all of this Osama Bin Laden Death is false.
    I dont understand if its so brutal to show Osama Bin Ladens dead pictures and they dont want to release it. Then why did they release the courier's dead "BRUTAL" pictures. I think this whole deal with Osama's death is only made up to BOOST Obama's chances to get re-elected next year.

    May 5, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  46. KRay

    Were any photographs of Osama bin Laden taken after his body was washed but prior to him being tossed overboard? With all the contingency planning that went into operation surely the requirement to produce a photo for public consumption would have been anticipated. Were there "less gruesome" photographs taken at the airbase or on ship with his head wound masked?

    May 5, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  47. Beaver_Amtrak

    It was believed ObL died roughly ten years ago. A Pakistani official in those days mentioned that Osama died from the lack of a dialysis machine. Osama was badly injured during the fight in Afghansitan against the Soviets and was flown out for surgery. The injury was full power on his backside. The kidneys were seriously damaged and he needed dialysis twice a day. It was rumoured that the service kept his dead body to get it rid of in a moment of convinience.
    President Obama stated :
    "You won't see bin Laden walking this Earth again"
    Well, that's right regarding ObL is dead for the last ten years.
    During that period there was no video or message from Osama.

    Dead people have the notorious tendency to say nothing.

    May 5, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  48. MEL KUPER

    I AGREE WITH THE PRESIDENT NOT TO PUBLISH PHOTOS OF BIN LADEN. IT WOULD SERVE NO PURPOSE IN AMERICAN INTERESTS OR OUR ALLIES. PULL SANDY BURGERS SECURITY CARD AND PUT 24 HOUR SURVALANCE ON HIM. ITS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE HE STUFFS THEM IN HIS SOCKS AND SELLS THEM TO THE NEW YORK TIMES,

    May 5, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  49. Name*wth

    bull. the man had kidney disease. he died in dec 2001. it was carried on most news channels outside of america. otherwise it was a cowardly attack in another country on law abiding citizens. murder

    May 5, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  50. Patrick Fyfe

    I just saw Bill Bennett on CNN. He gave his opinion on the showing of the photo of Bin Laden and compared this event to some kind of homicide investigation photo's . Is he for real?? ...P.J. FYFE

    May 5, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  51. Carolyn

    Our President made the most responsible decision.
    Now let's move on to other things. Bin Ladin is history.

    May 5, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  52. Yuri

    Just saw Bill Bennett's comments on wanting to see the post mortem photo's of Bin Buried at Sea. Bennett has become more and more of a wind bag as the years roll on. This is another example.
    Although ultra conservatism has it's place in this culture (somewhere), this thing with needing closure only through a gruesome photo viewing is truly bizarre. Is this still the wild west? Is Jessie Jame's bullet riddled body photo necessary?

    May 5, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  53. mike

    Our president seems to care more about what non-Americans think than the American public. Show the video and pictures of Bin-Laden's call to justice following every replay of those planes hitting America.

    May 5, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  54. JAMES NUTILE

    They will be leaked sooner or later, better that than the US putting them out there. Has anyone freaked out about JFK or RFK shown with their heads bleeding ?
    So why is this so important an issue when there are starving and homeless children on the streets of America ?
    Get your priorities right people.

    May 5, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  55. solomon

    I believe that your President Obama made the correct and only choice! Look at the result of the actions of an unknow Preacher when he burned the Quran! To have the President of the U.S. authorize the release of the photos of bin laden would not satisfy the "doubters" and would put additonal risk to those Americans aborad and at home, and for what benefit?

    May 5, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  56. Sam

    I guess nobody cares that ALL of America watched when we were attacked, and to deny closure to all of those families is wrong.

    May 5, 2011 at 9:45 am |
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