The White House Releases Situation Room Photos From The Bin Laden Raid


With all of the important news going around in the past few days regarding the death of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, I feel it’s important to pass along at least some bit of new info as it gets released. These are historic days, it’s kinda hard not to comment on them. The White House has released photos that were taken in the Situation Room as the raid on the bin Laden compound was taking place on Sunday. The photos give us an intimate look at just how tense the situation was for our nation’s leaders as they carried out the plan to finally get bin Laden. New details have been released about bin Laden’s burial at sea and Time magazine is readying the release of a special issue dedicated to the death of bin Laden — one that crosses out his face in a final F-You send off.

As special-operations military troops prepared for a firefight about 7,000 miles away, President Barack Obama entered a room in the Washington area early in the afternoon on Sunday to follow along. Like a page plucked from a Hollywood screenplay, Obama and other principal coordinators for the mission that killed Osama bin Laden convened in order to remotely monitor the situation, John Brennan, the U.S. counterterrorism chief, said in a White House news briefing on Monday. Obama arrived after many of the mission’s leaders had assembled there, but the president joined before the attack on bin Laden’s mansion in Abbottabad, Pakistan, began, Brennan said. “We were able to monitor on a real-time basis the progress of the operation, from its commencement, to its time on target, to the extraction of the remains,” Brennan said. “We were able to have regular updates to ensure that we had real-time visibility into the progress of the operation.” The White House and Central Intelligence Agency didn’t have access to a live audio feed, but they were able to tap other communications, a U.S. official told CNN. There was some live video, though the official declined to elaborate on the nature of that footage … After Obama had signed off on the operation, CIA Director Leon Panetta gave the official order around midday Sunday for the operation to commence, the Times reported. “We have rid the world of the most infamous terrorist of our time,” Panetta said in a statement Monday. “We gave President Obama and his team accurate, relevant, timely intelligence — providing the information and insight they needed at key points as this mission developed.” The CIA had been tracking bin Laden and provided intelligence to the White House saying the agency was “confident” the terrorist leader was inside the Pakistan compound, Brennan said. “It was probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time, I think, in the lives of the people who were assembled here yesterday,” Brennan said. “The minutes passed like days, and the president was very concerned about the security of our personnel. That was what was on his mind throughout.”

It’s clear that things were very, very serious in the White House as this raid was taking place. So many things could’ve gone wrong … but in the end, US military special forces got the job done and rid the world of a heinous monster. A different photo from inside the Situation Room made its way to Twitter that seems to show how the job of finding Osama bin Laden really got done:

Yep, I knew it! Chloe O’Brian ALWAYS gets the job done!

Despite the fact that bin Laden was THE most heinous man alive, the US government decided to still afford the man the courtesy of a proper burial in death. Altho some people feel he wasn’t worth any courtesy of all, I think it was wise for the decision to be made to handle bin Laden’s burial in a proper way:

He may have been America’s enemy number one, but after U.S. forces killed him, Osama bin Laden was afforded Islamic religious rites by the U.S. military as part of his surprise at-sea burial on Monday. The U.S. military said preparations for the al Qaeda leader’s burial lasted nearly an hour. His body was washed before being covered in a white sheet and religious remarks translated into Arabic by a native speaker were read over bin Laden’s corpse. “The burial of bin Laden’s remains was done in strict conformance with Islamist precepts and practices,” said John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser … Under Islamic tradition Muslims need to be buried within 24 hours. Transferring the body to another country for interment could have taken too long, officials said. News of the sea burial ignited immediate outcry, raising the possibility of wide backlash despite the apparent care the U.S. military gave to his last rites … Brennan said the U.S. government had not determined whether it will publicly release a photograph of bin Laden’s corpse and it was unclear if a video of the burial might be made public. The body was transported to the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, which brought him to his final resting place somewhere in the north Arabian Sea. Preparations for burial began at 1:10 a.m. EST and were completed at 2 a.m. EST. His corpse was lowered toward the sea on one of the aircraft carrier’s elevators. “The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker,” the U.S. official said. “After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased’s body eased into the sea.”

There’s actually new word going around today that the White House *may* release the photo of bin Laden’s body. I honestly believe the photo and other identity proof will be released to the public but it remains to be seen when that info will be released. IMHO, because bin Laden’s body was rightfully disposed of in such a quick way (adhering to Muslim custom), the photo and DNA evidence should be released. Maybe not today or tomorrow but at some point. It may be gruesome but … release the photo, White House.

And finally … Time magazine is readying the release of a special issue marking the death of Osama bin Laden. In much the same way as they reported on the deaths of Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Time will be releasing an Xed out photo of bin Laden as their coverphoto:

Time magazine will publish a special, 68-page issue on the death of Osama bin Laden. Hitting newsstands Thursday, the cover will feature a Tim O’Brien illustration of the terrorist’s face with a red X across it (the issue will be available on the iPad the same day). Bin Laden is the fourth person in the magazine’s history to receive that treatment (Adolf Hilter [May 7, 1945], Saddam Hussein [April 21, 2003] and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [June 19, 2006]).

Good riddance, good riddance. As sobering as this “real” news may seem on a celebrity/pop culture blog, the information coming out is, IMHO, too important not to address, share and comment on. This is not a news site. Real news should be gotten from actual news outlets. But, sometimes even stories this big, this serious do creep into the realm of pop culture. The man responsible for masterminding the 9/11 attacks has been brought to final justice … that’s a news story that absolutely should be repeated … and often.

[Source, Source, Source, Source]

  • Margie

    Thanks for the update and your opinions because they mirror my own.

    USA FTW.

  • Mr. Gyllenhaal

    A picture does express a thousand words. Look how tense everyone is. That is so crazy. I couldn’t imagine being in that room. So if they were watching it on live feed I wonder if they were privy to seeing him get shot?!?!

  • Justin

    I just spit my drink out when I saw Chloe there in the second pick I was laughing so hard. Just brilliant.

    • danielle

      Hahaha! Same here. I couldn’t help thinking Jack Bauer led this operation with Chloe as wing-woman. Uhmerrica, F**k yeah!

  • Meghan

    I agree, Trent. Even though they are gruesome the photos should be released. Already, there is a movement of conspiracy theorists cropping up that don’t believe that he’s dead or that he died long ago. Since they took such care to ensure they would have evidence of his death the photos should be released.

  • Meagan

    I have mixed feelings about this… I do not mean to offend, but I wish they had been able to avoid killing him for the time being. I just cannot see that this is going to go over well with his following, as they are calling it an assassination, and we all know what they are capable of. If we keep taking an eye for an eye, the vicious cycle of revenge is never going to end. That’s not to say that he didn’t have it coming, it’s just I fear the backlash because killing him is not going to put an end to terrorism, and it’s angered a LOT of very dangerous people.

    • Meagan

      Having said that, I feel this quote from Mark Twain says it best: “I’ve never killed a man, but I’ve read many an obituary with a great deal of satisfaction.”

    • @Meagan — Let’s be clear, they didn’t just kill him. When he was found during raid, he was reportedly given an opportunity to surrender. He did not, so they shot him. The man was a monster, he deserved much worse. Terrorists don’t need provocation to attack, that is the sad fact of life. Whether we found bin Laden or not, the threat of attack is always with us. This is the world we live in because of monsters like bin Laden. None of this is easy for civilized people … but given the alternative, I’m glad bin Laden was finally found and dealt with.

    • Meagan

      Ohhhh, I didn’t realize that he didn’t surrender! I just keep hearing kill kill kill, raid raid raid but didn’t actually hear that part about him being given a chance to give himself up in the newscasts. I guess they were really given no choice, then. I did hear that he used a woman as a shield which made me feel sick to my stomach (although, if she is associating with him then she can’t possibility have been any good either). And yes, it is true that they do not need to be provoked. It’s just I hope that this doesn’t spur sudden attacks in retaliation (as I’m typing this, I see an ad below on your site about travel warnings, yikes!). It’s so scary to think that they believe that engaging in such evil, heinous crimes against humanity is their calling in life and there is nothing we can do to persuade them otherwise.

    • @Meagan — From what I’ve read, they did give him a small chance to surrender … but his immediate refusal resulted in a shot to the head. So yeah … ugh.

  • Madsme

    Trent, 2 things:

    1. To show the photos would be a pretty clear violation of international law under the Geneva Conventions. Bush did it with Saddam and it was lambasted in the international community. Sooner or later you guys are just going to have to trust the word of the man you elected. Plus, any photo can be doctored so easily, it won’t stop the critics.

    2. I expect that it was an assassination. Legally the law is murky, and there’d be little reason not to. Any trial would be a huge target for attacks, and as most of the US has the death penalty, and there’s little doubt of his guilt, it’s clear that’s where he was headed, unless you handed him over to the ICC, but I don’t think that there’s even been an indictment.

    • Meghan

      @Madsme-I agree with your point, but the Taliban and many others will not believe this man is dead unless a photograph is produced. Also, the case with Saddam was a little more tricky than Bin Laden. While both were terrible, Bin Laden was in a whole other league of monster than Saddam. I do not think we would get the International flack we did with Saddam. In fact, I think many would be pleased to see the proof since Bin Laden orchestrated attacks that killed hundreds in many parts of the world.

    • danielle

      Huh? I thought the Iraqi people executed Saddam and released photos. Where did Bush play into this except deliver him to the Iraqi people?

  • Winona

    Love the pic with Chloe!!!

    I called the Time magazine cover – Hubby and I were in bed awaiting Obama’s speech with the official announcement, and I said, “Time magazine will do their cover thing with the red X.”

  • Julie

    “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

    • @Julie — That is a false quote that has been attributed to MLK. He never said that, it’s a fake that’s been making the rounds on the Internet.

    • Julie

      Irregardless, the meaning is still the same, whomever came up with it.

  • Julie

    Also, I looked it up, and only the first sentence is not MLK’s words.

  • Dezden

    Those pictures are SO intense… yet amazing.

  • J

    Sucked me in with the Chloe picture! Thats for sure. Didn’t read the paragraph first and was like, there is no way someone in that room looked like her. Thats so funny – til I realised the photoshopped funniness.

  • Dreamah

    Do they normally have a photographer in the situation room to snap “candid” shots of time like these?

    • @Dreamah — Yes, the White House photographer is always on call at any time.

  • Samy

    Welll congratulations America for now; 20 years from now; when this generation is dead; the documenst would be released for public; Bin Laden would be retiring somewhere in Oregon playing Golf. He is a CIA; did his job well to turn the world into a war-on-terror arena to save US arms industry. Selling a 300 million$ obsolete jetfighter or tank is far profitable than than bidding for a 10 mil $ school or a bridge project, which the cheap chinese win the contract…And; hey Bin Laden; where ever you are; may you rot in hell for real…