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Obama's Situation Room photo added to list of iconic presidential images
May 4th, 2011
01:35 PM ET

Obama's Situation Room photo added to list of iconic presidential images

Since the death of Osama bin Laden, questions about whether photographs of the terrorist will be released have lingered. But one photograph has become iconic – President Barack Obama and the rest of his national security team in The Situation Room, monitoring the mission on Sunday. has put it on a list of presidential 'photos for the ages' and the Situation Room moment is on the list.

What would you choose as an iconic presidential imaget? Check out more of the photos below:

George W. Bush at Ground Zero:

John F. Kennedy in the White House:

See all the iconic presidential images here.

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soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Mucdup

    why are pictures not published? We were totally looking forward to seeing them, it's such a shame.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • mike a,lakewood,co

      the reason Obama won't release the photo's is because it's another cover up for the truth. There is no proof that Bin Laden didn't attempt to surrender. no proof that he was killed nor any proof that he was buried at sea. only the word of politicians and governmment parrots. maybe osama was trying to give up was shot and wounded, taken somewhere else and a mock burial at sea performed so that the U S can interrogate him further then execute him when they want.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Betty

        No the reason is in plain terms We don't want to fuel the fire, alot of muslims over their loved him. Our service members are over there. You want it to be a bloody mess???? What don't you understand about this part of the issue?

        May 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • John P

        Pardon me Mike for I gonna say. I can't blame for being skeptical on OBL killing. On classified matters esp. about govt powers one you will not understand in one day. In religion we believed in Him but only with in "faith" but we don't see it.I salute Pres Obama's decision not to release OBL death photos-it will not proves nothing but to inflame more the situation. This proves despite its enemy Pres Obama has sense of decency and human moral values in him not to make the situation get worse. If you stick to saying "to see is to believe concept" I can prove it to you right now that "You don't have no parents'" 'cause you never seen them when they are making you.#

        May 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Carlos Sakalimo

        i can't believe how stupid everybody is to go on and on
        about if bin laden is dead or not.

        if not, then u.s. is lying to the world about.
        if u.s. is lying to the world about then the worst thing that could
        happen to u.s. is to be shown to be lying.

        if u.s. is lying, then all bin laden has to do is make a video saying
        "here i am, the u.s. is lying"

        the u.s. would not put it self in that postion.

        bin laden hasn't done that.

        bin laden is dead
        end of story.

        May 5, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
    • noreen salter

      Why is it , when Americans can't have what they want, it's all about the freedom of speach? . Obama has a responsibility for the men and women over there and remember it isn't only service ppl from the states there so why should the American ppl have the right to put out service ppl in more danger just cause others want to see the pic of bin ladden

      May 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carrie Hetzler

      I am proud that the White House is taking the high road and not publishing the pictures. I am having trouble understanding the comments about Osama Bin Laden being unarmed. How about the people in the towers and on the planes, they were innocent and were just going about their business on that horrible day. I am proud of the President and the Navy Seals who made the world a little safer..And also that we are a country who never give up in righting this terrible wrong on September 11th 2001. Now is the time for both political parties to unite and be proud to be Americans no matter what party.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. jeff odegaard

    release the photos! what are they hiding?

    May 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Serge Crespy

    " BAFFLED !"

    Dear Piers:

    A CNN article mentions that Osama bin Laden's "custom-built" compound as, "the most heavily secured property, in the area"; is it not silly of bin Laden not to have included an "escape tunnel / chute" , from (or) a "false-room" ..... No guard dogs; no motion detectors, or radar ?...... Were there any "stinger missiles" found on site. to handle a possible air attack? ..... No 24 hr. surveillance / guards? It would seem the Mexican Drug Lords would be much better prepared.

    Best Regards,
    Serge Crespy
    Collingwood, Ontario

    May 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jimmymac

    Why is there so much on Bin Laden now being unarmed or armed......

    He killed so many INOCENT and UNARMED PEOPLE himself
    The world is so much better without him now
    Thank GOD!!!!!!

    Jesse James and Bonnie and Clyde paid for their crimes
    now so did Bin Laden

    Do we need a castrophe to stop the full 24 hour coverage on him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    He was a criminal and killer,
    Dead and gone

    I watch the garden channel
    you news media make so many hand jestures as he talks
    so that you get involved into him

    I am sure his house will become a shrine.
    BLOW IT UP........,
    not the marijuana plants outside the wall
    Hippies love it


    May 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Christopher

    I do not have a problem seeing the photo of Bin Laden dead no matter how disturbing it is. Everyone needs to remember we had to see people make the choice of burning or jumping out of the trade towers because of this monster. Death is not a pleasent sight no matter who it is but in this case I will make an exception.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. James Climer

    The American people paid for the extermination of Osama. They paid with their blood, sweat, tears, and lives on 9-11, they paid for the war in taxes, and they paid for it in the lives of family and friends in the military. Any national security threats we have will not arise from the release of the photos, but from people who are already infuriated with our policies. If it is obvious who is in the photos, then it would quell any disbelief in doubters except for the 1% who are disturbed either way.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. lgalton

    Why are we listening to this totally insufferable Brit, who has no authenticity, degrade our president and insinuate that the death of Osama is a "set up."
    CNN should do better than this dried up, 2d rate, over the hill con.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. CHUCK

    I watched Piers tonight for the first 15 minutes and had to change the channel. The tone of the "interviews" tonight with regard to should the President release photos is just insane. Then he goes on to show photos of Sadam's two dead brothers. Piers, this is trashy TV, not appreciated and goes one step further in showing why people have just had it with sensationalism with TV news. We need to accept the fact that Osama is no longer with us and move forward.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • NonaCarole from WA

      I AGREE! I was disappointed in how Piers came off tonite so continuing to watch when I heard him admit that he as a person, not a journalist, understood how danger to our troops is a "just" concern. I believe the President & our brave soldiers who carried out the successful missionl I don't care how he died! I care that the world is without his threat now! Just because Bush & his White House group lied about getting us into Iraq is NO reason to think this President would do the same!

      May 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Vincent Shaun

    Regarding showing the photos of Osama. The question that has to be asked is do you, the people of America, what to sink to the same level of the terrorist you fight? They have posted pictures of the beheaded, the wipped etc online. Have you sunk to a level where a bloody trophy has to be hung in the town square. I believe, as a Canadian looking in, that the Obama has a little more class, more ethic than Bush and others. Do we post photos on a daily basis of people shot in our cities, crushed in car accidents??? No.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • NonaCarole from WA

      Thank you for posting & I most definately agree with you! GO NUCKS!!!!

      May 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. CHUCK

    CNN let Campbell Brown get away for Piers Morgan? Somebody was asleep on this one.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Charlie Mankin

    Just show us a freeze video frame of OBL before he was killed so we can see the fear in his eyes.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Angie M Hamilton

    What's wrong with not buying the newspaper or magazine that show the photos or changing the channel on the TV? If you do not show everything equally what stops the government or others from deciding what we should and shouldn't see in the future because they decide we can't handle it?

    May 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. ruthless in canada

    If Osama was still alive he would be all over the screens showing that he was still around. Just like that leader in Libya. the minute it was announced that maybe he was dead he was all over the media.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Liz

      but if he's still detained the he can't now can he? I think he's been secretly interrogated somewhere....I don't think they'll let him off just that easily. Death is too quick and too good for Osama.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Samer EL Hajj

    Dear Piers,

    Why is the media giving so much attention to how this terrorist was killed. It is over we should move on and focus on more important issue that is happening around the world. He is dead and he deserve that. He killed a lot of innocent people around the world and now justice is served. Story ended and we should move on. Also the more we speak about him the more importance the media is giving him. President Obama great leadership and the hard work of all the involved people around him should be given more attention by the media. They are the one keeping us safe.

    Thank you


    May 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Nicole G.

    We keep talking about the photos so show them. Show them move on and get back to the economy because thats the real problem plus President Obama is just like all the other Presidents before him he will never let the troops truley come home...

    May 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sydney Faulconer

    Who is the idiot commentator this evening, Wed., May 4, that referenced rhe Bin Laden activists as Donald Trumps with dark hair! He is a disgrace to the news industry. Donald Trump is a patriot and loves America. This commentator needs to be stripped of being allowed to speak on a national press level and better yet, send him overseas to a Bin Laden terrorist camp..Let him make some comments there...He doesn't use his head and they will surely see that he doesn't carry one on his shoulders either! As for the pictures of Bin Laden, he has received enough publicity...let the sharks enjoy him.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sido B.

    I dont think its necessary to show the photos of Osama. I believe the president when he siad that he is dead. I mean it will be silly for the president to just wake up one day and lie to the entire world that he has killed Osama in the name of gaining political mirage. Its not only silly of the president to do that but he will playing a dangerous political game. If he lies and Osama shows up the following day then he is done for good so why would he take that route. OSAMA is dead unless OBAMA is silly!

    May 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JOHN P


    May 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Derrek Raison

    From being "proud to be an American" merely 2 days ago, to being completely ashamed of what "we, the people" have become today. Anyone who has lost a loved one to the attacks on the American embassy in Kenya, the USS Cole, the twin towers in New York, and to all of the courageous troops who have been killed while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, or to the American taxpayers who have spent trillions on this war on terror, or even to anyone who has been forced to remove their shoes and belts at the airports after being forced to discard their shampoo bottles that they spent their hard-earned money on, to all of you, for all of us, we DESERVE to see pictures and proof that Osama Bin Laden is indeed deceased. "We, the people", who have lived in constant fear and borderline poverty these past years, DESERVE to know for sure, without a shadow of a doubt, that "we, the people" still in fact have a voice within our own country. "WE, THE PEOPLE" have EARNED the opportunity to view these pictures. "We are not that kind of people", says the president, yet, we've shown the hanging of Saddam Hussein, and the beheading of young American Nicholas Berg? We will not show these pictures in fears of retaliation from the Muslim extremist community, so then, we are now proclaiming to the world that the terrorists have won. We pat down little children in airports after walking through full body x-ray machines, and now we will not be shown what the majority of the country wishes to see, because of fears of terrorism? Congratulations, for you, the Muslim extremist community, are victorious over the United States. "We will not show these pictures, so please, don't retaliate against us, okay, terrorists?"......seems as though we really do negotiate with terrorists. Oh, and by the way, I'm truly amazed to know that "we, the people" have given full authority to the United States Commander-In-Chief to veto our first amendment as needed; and to think, I was never even made aware of the public vote as to whether or not we give him this authority. Truly a sad, sad day in America, for "we, the people" have learned that the terrorists have defeated us. Mr. President, in your brash attempt to prevent any further retaliation from a small community of Muslim extremists against our extremely well trained military who would like nothing more than to take off the gloves and fight rather than being told "no" and being turned into sitting targets and glorified mediators and security guards, all you have truly done is single-handedly crippled the last leg of patriotism and pride that this nation has so vigorously waited for these past 10 years now. You have produced the straw that has broken the dehydrated camel's back. You have assured all American citizen's that we have no voice any more, and that we are to live our lives in fear, forever. You, Mr. President sir, have destroyed this once great nation. Please, on behalf of a cowardly, spineless President and his cabinet, to all of the victims of terrorism, and to all of the families who have lost loved ones overseas while fighting this war, and to all of those whom still bravely and proudly serve this country, I say to you all, thank you so very much, and I'm so very sorry; I'm sorry that while you we're doing your part, we here back at home could not complete our part of the deal. I'm sorry, America.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Kelechi Okoronkwo

    I think most Americans want to see these pictures
    I have a solution that will work for everyone
    Why not have a room in Washington or in locations around the country where people can see these photos

    Also if the pictures where released as the news was made public we wouldn't have this issue.

    May 5, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Kelechi Okoronkwo

    I would even pay $100 to see this pictures if they agree to this

    May 5, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Andy

    Looking at the photos of bloodstained rooms in the hideout, it would be very easy for a forensics team to prove or disprove whether Osama's blood is present (through DNA testing), and also the trajectory of the bullet/s that killed Osama. For that reason alone, I think that Osama was indeed killed in this op.



    May 5, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Pablo

    Dead or not.... I still have to undress and get searched at the airport.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Brina

    I am proud to be an American but sometimes my fellow citizens aggravate me with their complete disregard for common sense. 1. Of course he is dead, if he wasn't another of UBL's videos would be out there mocking us. 2. The burial at sea makes perfect sense if you consider the fact that any accessible burial site would no doubt be made into a shrine by other extremists. 3. Showing off the photos would, no doubt, incite extremist to even more horrendous atrocities and ruin what's left of our global reputation as morally upstanding. And finally 4. why take the risk of inciting more violence towards our troops (and the service people of other nations) that are overseas? Is the safety of the bravest among our race (human that is) worth silencing a few conspiracy theorists and nay-sayers? The president is meeting privately with the families of the victims of 9/11 and as far as the rest of us go, use some common sense and decency.

    May 7, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  25. jdt44

    Anyone familiar with lighting in photography and the use of photoshop will note that this latest "iconic photo" is faked up. Obama is obviously too small, the lighting on him is different from others and he's looking in the wrong direction. If this is "Iconic" it's because it tells the story that his entire presidency is a faked up mess.

    May 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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