tv CNN Newsroom CNN May 4, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
bin laden, his son and three other men were killed. the white house had said that three men and one woman had been killed. bin laden also had about $745 in cash. and two telephone numbers sewn into his clothing when he was killed. in another development, the u.s. is demanding pakistan explain what it knew, and what it did not know about bin laden's location. cia director leon panetta minced no words in a closed briefing on capitol hill telling lawmakers that either they, pakistan, were involved or incompetent. neither place is a good place to be. a senior pakistani intelligence official has reacted angrily to panetta and other u.s. officials who have asserted that pakistan's leaders must have known about bin laden's whereabouts. he says, quote, what more statement can come than that we heard from panetta. at the white house, and on capitol hill, a growing dispute over whether the photos of bin laden's body should be made
public. as the president prepares to meet with 9/11 families at ground zero tomorrow, the administration is also facing pressure from some lawmakers to reexamine the long relationship with pakistan. for more on this, we turn to briana keeler at the white house. cia director leon panetta saying that the bin laden photo will be released. are you getting any confirmation on that? >> reporter: he says he thinks it will be released and the final decision will come down to the white house. there doesn't appear to be consensus in the obama administration about the photo. there are different opinions about this on capitol hill. it isn't even falling along party lines. you have some people who say, we have these photos, we should release them, this is visual proof osama bin laden is dead. there are others who say there are people out there who the dna evidence isn't enough for and these photos aren't going to be enough for them. releasing them could be inflammatory, and put troops
overseas in danger. we're hoping to learn a little more. white house press secretary jay carney at the briefing at 2:00. >> in terms of what the administration is actually doing to try and figure out what pakistan knew and didn't know about bin laden's location, what have you been able to find out? >> reporter: we don't know the answer to that specifically, what did they know, what don't they know right now. a lot of questions have been raised. here at the white house, as well as from lawmakers, how is it possible that osama bin laden was hiding out for years, not far from the capital of pakistan. a mile or so from what is the pakistani equivalent of west point. it's really drawing a lot of questions out about what kind of relationship should the u.s. have with pakistan. we're hearing some really kind of nuance points of views about this. jay carney was asked yesterday, the white house press secretary was asked, should the u.s. not trust pakistan. he said it's not a question of trust, it's a question of shared interest. the relationship is complicated. yes, we have our differences.
we've also heard as well from lawmakers like lindsay graham of south carolina, that you can't abandon pakistan, even if they have serious objections to this thought that pakistan is either in the words of leon panetta incompetent or knew something about osama bin laden being at that come pound. >> all right. briana keilar at the white house for us. thank you. there have been a lot of facts and fiction spread since sunday night. but one detail is a fact. the al qaeda leader's million-dollar compound was in pakistan. just half a mile from a military academy, and in a town roaming with retired ex-military officers. pakistan has been an ally in america's fight against terror, losing lives and military and police operations since 9/11. but there is a growing debate as we were just talking about as to whether pakistan authorities did or did not know bin laden was living right under their noses, in plain sight. jon stewart summed up those
feels last night like only jon stewart can. and it is today's sound effect. >> the nagging question in my mind concerns pakistan. a country whose suburb of abbottabad has been home to bin laden for apparently the last six years. and you know, pakistan, of course, was last year's honored recipient of the united states $3.2 billion scholarship, awarded each year to the country that if we didn't give them $3.2 billion would in no way be our friend. i was reminded of an interview that pakistan's prime minister did last year. >> osama bin laden is not in pakistan. >> how do you know for sure he's not in pakistan? >> because of military actions are very successful. therefore, he would have been -- >> really? would have been arrested?
your military actions were successful, would have gotten him. not only was there a chance that bin laden had been living in pakistan for six years, he was living a half a mile from pakistan's version of west point in a town surrounded by retired ex-military officers. a half mile. in new york city terms, bin laden was on 21st and 7th avenue. they were on 21st and 9th avenue. if the pakistani military academy were dominos, they would have delivered to bin laden on foot. >> just a little levity in all of this for you. as we mentioned, pakistan is reacting strongly to u.s. assertions that the government must have had some indication of bin laden's whereabouts. pakistani intelligence officials also say they've questioned some of the people left behind after the u.s. raid, including bin
laden's daughter. nic robertson joins us from abbottabad from the compound. nic, what are you hearing today from the pakistanis? >> reporter: well, pakistani intelligence sources, senior source says that bin laden's daughter, who they say is aged 12 to 14, saw her father being shot by the navy s.e.a.l.s, as they approached him in the upstairs room in that compound. they're also saying that they are treating some of the wounded from that compound, which according to u.s. officials would be bin laden's wife, who was shot in the leg, when she was in the same room where osama bin laden, when the s.e.a.l.s approached him. according to pakistani officials, she is getting good treatment. they say that she is a 27-year-old yemeni woman. they also say they also have in custody eight to nine children, who were taken from that compound. the pakistani intelligence source also says that four men
were killed in the compound along with bin laden, one of his sons, two brothers who were inside the compound at the time, believed to be living there, and one other unknown man. that's according to pakistani intelligence sources, randi. >> you've covered this region forl quite some time. do you get the sense that those in pakistan, at least pakistani authorities are also feeling the heat? do they realize that the relationship between the u.s. and pakistan is a bit rocky right now? >> reporter: they absolutely feel it. they've been very em bittered over what's happened over this year. the relationship between the cia and the isi, pakistani intelligence, says this has really eroded massively more significantly than in the past over the cia contractor who killed two pakistani individuals, was arrested and then released. that really eroded the trust. but both sides know there's a lot at stake here. pakistan needs the united states
in many ways. the united states needs pakistan to get the taliban to the negotiating table in afghanistan, to get to negotiate a settlement there, to help united states forces to leave afghanistan. on the streets here, there's mixed feelings. there's mistrust with their own government. many don't believe bin laden was in the compound. that this is a story put out by the united states and by their own government here. there are many other people here who say, look, bin laden could have got away living here almost in plain sight because in this city, there's a lot of people that come and go. and people wouldn't necessarily pry into other people's compounds. so there's a lot at stake for the government. and there's a lot of anxiety in the people here that the story will move on and not cause them any further problems. >> i'm sure. nic robertson for us in pakistan. nic, thank you. we're also watching a couple of other big stories.
the army corps of engineers says holes that it intentionological blasted into a levee worked. the goal was to allow floodwaters to spread over agricultural land designated as a floodway. but the controversial move is pouring water across 200 square miles of missouri farmland, damaging what the governor describes as the most productive part of our continent. >> sick to your stomach. farming is all i've ever done since -- and it's under water. >> the sacrifice that these people are making is for the greater good. and their sacrifices are going to benefit hundreds of thousands of people all through this region. >> the national weather service is just confirming at least 178 tornadoes hit during the outbreak on april 27th, making it the largest tornado outbreak in u.s. history.
alabama's governor pledges to rebuild his tornado-ravaged state. many are reaching out to help the victims throughout the southeast. a telethon going on right now. here's how you can donate. all donations will go to the tornado relief fund through the united way in central alabama. when you call in, direct your donations to any state hit by the tornadoes. this telethon runs through 3:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow, if you'd like to donate. they are the elite of the elite. and they took down the world's most wanted man. well, in two minutes, just who are these guys? we'll look at what it takes to be part of this navy s.e.a.l. special team. for pain?
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plus a 30-percent solar tax credit with a lennox system with sunsource. lennox. innovation never felt so good. there is a live shot of the white house. we are awaiting a briefing in the white house briefing room. it's supposed to start at 1:30. now we're getting word it's a bit delayed. we're expecting it sometime between 1:30 and 2:00. we will, of course, bring it to you when it does start. we're interested in what they're going to say today. the press secretary, jay carney, may talk a little bit about the debate to release these photos of bin laden after his death. when he spoke yesterday, we did get some interesting nuggets, new information, including the fact bin laden was not armed.
also, new today, we are now learning that his daughter, one of his daughters had actually seen him get killed. we were wondering if the white house would react to that. and we're wondering if they'll say any more with the relationship with pakistan and the efforts to find out just how much authorities in pakistan knew about the whereabouts of bin laden. so once again, we'll keep an eye on the white house for you. waiting for that briefing anytime now between 1:30 and 2:00. of course, we'll bring it to you as soon as it gets under way. we all want to know more about the navy s.e.a.l.s credited with killing osama bin laden in pakistan. to understand who they are, let's break down for you how one becomes a s.e.a.l. first, you have to pass a pretty intense test before ever starting your training. to meet the minimum requirements to begin training in coronado, california, you must swim 500 yards in 12 minutes and 30 seconds, do 42 push-ups in just two minutes and then 50 sit-ups in another two minutes. then, no, it's not over yet, do
six pull-ups and run 1 1/2 miles in 11 minutes. do you think you could do that? well, if you pass, then you start basic underwater demolition school, or buds as it's called. months of sheer hell. in total, s.e.a.l.s train between 18 and 24 months, with the pinnacle of training coming during what is not surprisingly called hell week. five days in which trainees are constantly cold, hungry, sleep deprived, and, yes, wet. it's designed to push a man past his breaking point and recruits sleep a total of four hours maximum over the entire five days. sounds pretty grueling, doesn't it? most recruits drop out long before this, because they can't take the training, which involves running 15 miles topped with a two-mile open water swim and other intense physical conditioning. the navy said a s.e.a.l. can fire more ammo in one training
session than some troops do their entire careers. historically, 75% of those who start training never actually finish. but the success rate is rising. that's in large part because the s.e.a.l.s are targeting men more likely to succeed. unconventional athletes like water polo players, there are no women in the s.e.a.l.s and most are white. according to the "washington post," they've stepped up the increase in the numbers of the minorities in the ranks. there are fewer than 2,600 s.e.a.l.s in the world. according to a former s.e.a.l., the guys who don't make it to the training are the rambo type. you have to function awe ton mossly, or you won't last for very long. getting on the special team means you establish yourself as a mature and steady operator with a real-world track record of high stakes sensitive missions. that is pretty darn impressive. well, when we come back, how
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we'll get back to our continuing coverage of the killing of osama bin laden in just a moment. but first, i wanted to take a moment to hit your money. because we've got new data this week on the use of food stamps in america. and it may even be actually some good news. a startling number, 44.2 million americans are receiving benefits from the food stamp program right now. in february the last month we've got data for, it rose 11.6% from the same month a year before. as we look across the country, there are pockets where the need is actually greater. across the south, for example, many of the states are above the national average of 14%. mississippi and oregon both have the distinction of having the biggest percentage of their population on the food stamp program. up there you see the state with the least, which is wyoming. that's at just 6.6%. if you take a look there. the number of americans using the program surged when the
recession hit. that is a stark reminder that this program was borne out of the depression when an unemployed factory worker used stamps to buy surplus eggs and butter in rochester, new york. of course, these aren't just statistics, they are family and faces and people trying to get by in tough economic times. where is the good news in all this? well, the increase in the number of people using food stamps is starting to level off, actually. and that could be an indication things are stabilizing in the economy. we turn our focus back to the killing of osama bin laden now. his death comes nearly ten years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. but at what human and financial cost? well, here's a look by the numbers, according to the week.com. we'll start off with this number first. 2,976. that is the official tally, the number of victims, the number of people killed on 9/11. not including the terrorists. next, our next number for you is 20%. that is the percentage of americans who say that they knew
someone who was either injured or killed in the attacks. 26 days, that's how many days actually passed before the u.s. started bombing afghanistan. now, from 2002 to 2008, the u.s. sent more than $5 billion -- $5.4 billion in military aid to pakistan, to help patrol the afghan border against the taliban and al qaeda. now, pakistani officials say during that time they killed 1,000 terrorists. there is the number right there. as for the billions? there have been allegations that pakistan misspent as much as 70% of that money. now, fast forward to sunday. here's the number we wnt you to know. 40 minutes, that's how long it took the navy s.e.a.l.s, it took them just that long to complete the mission that killed osama bin laden. between 20 and 25 s.e.a.l.s carried out the mission with zero u.s. casualties. president obama participated in
at least nine meetings. that's the number of meetings he had at the white house in the situation room prior to sunday's raid. and finally, take a look at this number. 99.9%, that is what they believe in terms of accuracy, that's what they believe, officials say that's the accuracy of a dna test confirming it was indeed bin laden who the navy s.e.a.l.s killed. former president jimmy carter sat down with our very own suzanne malveaux giving his thoughts on bin laden's death. we'll go in-depth with suzanne next.
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cnn in depth, what if any effect does osama bin laden's death have on the greater war on terror? suzanne malveaux got jimmy carter's take. >> what do you make of the fact that osama bin laden was found in pakistan in a city, $1 million home, not far from islamabad? >> i think when we're in doubt about pakistan, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. >> why? >> because they're so crucial. pakistan has probably at least 100 nuclear weapons. and i think that our alliance with pakistan, despite some obvious difficulties, is extremely important. >> suzanne joins us now in the studio. so what do you think of his
take? >> he was very pragmatic about it. we've heard from a lot of u.s. officials today who have been very critical of pakistan and its role. what president carter was saying is that we really have to see both sides of this. first of all, they're a nuclear power. we need them desperately in the war on terror. they have not been perfect friends to the united states. but it would be even more risky, more dangerous if we were to isolate ourselves, or isolate pakistan from our administration. he says a couple of things. he does not believe that the president of pakistan knew about bin laden's whereabouts. although i thought it was very interesting earlier, somebody described that place, that compound where he was staying, that $1 million home as being close to what we would consider the equivalent of west point. >> right. >> but really, it's very close to this military facility. >> people are wondering how that's possible. >> hidden in play view kind of thing. but he does believe pakistani intelligence officials probably had an idea that osama bin laden was in that compound.
but he says there are mistakes on both sides. he said the pakistan government has made mistakes, have not been a good partner, but he said the u.s. made mistakes as well, if you think about the drones that have fired on the afghan side and pakistan side that have killed civilians from time to time, both governments have weighed in on that. so he says let's hold back a little bit. let's not be so critical of pakistan during this time, because ultimately we still consider them a crucial ally in that area. >> did he say if he thinks we'll ever know, get a true answer about whether or not they knew? >> i don't think he's confident we ever will really get that kind of information. they've been cagey, at the very least, cagey about the whereabouts. and it was surprising that it was not in this kind of remote area, or even in the caves like a lot of people had suspected. but he also says, this is the time to reconsider where we are in the war on terror. and that it is not over.
but it certainly ex pe dits us to the finish line. other work in afghanistan, he says, it's not about al qaeda, it's not even about terrorists there, he said we've known for a long time that we didn't have a significant group of terrorists that were still inside of afghanistan. what it's about now is trying to win over the taliban, get a more friendly kind of government to the united states, and then we can actually pull out. >> i just want to -- we just have a little bit of breaking news, so let me just interrupt you. we have breaking news. according to cbs news, president obama has decided he will not release the photos of osama bin laden in death. i want to repeat that again. breaking news from cbs. getting this news apparently from the white house. this has been a tweet put out on twitter, that president obama has decided not to release the photos, coming to us from cbs. we know that secretary of state hillary clinton and also defense secretary robert gates was advising the president not to
release these photos. others saying he should. now we can tell you that cnn has actually confirmed that the white house will not be releasing these very controversial photos of osama bin laden. suzanne, what do you think? >> that's interesting, because one of the things that you find is that the compound where he was killed, they are now -- nic robertson are now considering -- the pakistani government is considering whether or not to blow up that compound, because they don't want bin laden to be considered a martyr. they don't want this to be a tourist attraction. they don't want some sort of gathering. i think those are the same kinds of decisions and things that they are thinking about at the white house. how is bin laden remembered. how is he memorialized. is he martyred. and i think those are the kinds of things you think about when you either produce those photos of his body. >> having been a white house correspondent, though, for so many years, what do you think went into this decision?
obviously he was feeling pressure from both sides. even really pressure from the taliban, saying we don't believe it. we want to know. >> certainly. >> what do you think went into that? >> it's interesting, because they went through this whole thing with saddam hussein. you know, the thinking behind that, whether or not they released those pictures -- >> which they did. >> which they ultimately did of saddam hussein. i think there are a number of things. sensitivities to the muslim community, whether or not this is going to play to the radical element, or the extremists. and also, the cost. because the cost is, and you bring up a very good point, is that there will always be people who will be suspicious of, well, we didn't see the body. he may still be out there. there may be a life beyond, you know, bin laden and this assassination. and those are the kinds of things that they're thinking. >> do you think the president considered that even if he had released the photos, that some would say, those have been doctored? >> it's almost like they can't
win. there are always going to be questions around this. there are always going to be people who are not satisfied. i think they're looking at how does this read in the muslim world. how does it read in the middle east. those sensitivities up against, weighing up against that balance of like, well, you know, offer the proof. >> right. if you're just joining us, we just want to tell you cnn has confirmed that the white house has decided not to release these photos of osama bin laden after he was killed by the navy s.e.a.l. team. and i know that we were just in the process, as this news came out, of talking about your great interview with former president jimmy carter. i think we have time for one more quick question about that. how does he see -- there's been a call to flee afghanistan, to get the troops out of there, to withdraw. how does he see our role there? does he think it's time to go? >> he believes that -- he does not have a lot of faith in the mission. what he has said is that the people who are responsible for
9/11 and particularly now with osama's death, they're not sitting around in afghanistan anymore. it is not a centralized location for al qaeda. what they need to do now, what the obama administration needs to do now is negotiate, is talk, cajole, whatever is necessary to win over the taliban, so that it is a more american-friendly place. so that u.s. troops can get out very quickly. >> did he say anything about the photos, what he thought if they should be released or not now that we know they're not coming out? >> well, we should have probably asked him that question as well. we covered a whole bunch of other things. and north korea. there was a lot on that as well. >> it was a great interview from what we've seen. i'm sure we'll see plenty more. suzanne, thank you. good to have you. facial recognition has come a long way from mug shots and sketches. it is technology like this that helped identify osama bin laden. we'll see how it works straight ahead.
match. >> reporter: it scans people's tattoos and searches for similar ones. a match there could mean they've been arrested before or belong to a certain street gang. >> it's all part of fingerprinting, by burning off his fingertips. >> reporter: another program looks at fingerprints. before this crime buster data base was built, police had trouble working with only partial prints, or fingerprints that had been altered. >> this is a significant feature that we can detect altered fingerprint. >> a perfect match. >> reporter: the last cyber crime fighter site matches artist sketches to mug shots. an especially important program for police as well as the public. >> these are murderers, sexual assaults, armed robberies. very serious crimes that are committed. the technology should match the level of crime. >> reporter: technology that offers a few more ways to make sure if you do the crime, you're going to do the time. gary tuchman, cnn. ♪
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we've been telling you we have this breaking news that the white house will not be releasing those photos of osama bin laden after he was killed. we want to get you straight to the white house, and we have dana bash on capitol hill. let's start with dan. can you tell us, dan, what was the thinking here behind the president's decision to not release these photos? >> reporter: i should point out first of all that the white house briefing that was to have begun at 1:30, was pushed back to 2:00. over the last couple of days, the white house has been talking about sort of the internal debate that has been ongoing as
to whether or not they should release those photos. they understood there was a lot of pressure out there for those photos to be releaseded, but they also understood there were some sensitivities and by releasing them can could be inflammatory. and also this thinking that those who had doubts, that osama bin laden was in fact dead, would not necessarily be convinced by these photos. whether or not all of that played into the president's ultimate decision, as you pointed out, that he will not be releasing these photos, we don't know. but certainly we will be asking. but this has been something, again, that this white house has been deliberating, ever since osama bin laden was killed by u.s. forces, randi. >> dan, can you give us an idea, who was in the president's ear? who was saying release them and don't release them? >> reporter: that is something that we have been trying to get at. white house officials not saying anything more than just that there have been those internal deliberations. jay carney trying to ratchet it back just a bit saying this was not some intense kind of
negotiations, but rather discussions that were taking place. but no doubt, all of those who are part of president obama's national security team who were intimately involved in this entire operations, many of those who we saw inside the room, those pictures that were released later from the white house, no doubt they were all playing a role in talking to the president about this. the question was asked yesterday whether or not there were external advice that the president was getting as to whether or not these photos should be released. jay carney saying that was not the case. so certainly inside the president's inner circle, his cabinet level officials as well, joining that debate. and ultimately leading to the president's conclusion today. >> and dan, stick around. i know you have this 2:00, roughly 2:00 white house briefing. if you can, just stay right there. i want to bring in dana bash on capitol hill. what is the reaction there now on the decision not to release the photos? >> reporter: we don't have reaction to the decision yet. but i can tell you all day long
our team has been talking to members in both parties. and it has been a real split here, randi, over whether or not this is the right decision, whether or not these photos should be released. it's very interesting, it doesn't necessarily fall on party lines. it seems to be personal opinions of people, some of whom have formed opinions. saxby chambliss from georgia, he is also the top republican on the senate intelligence committee, he says he has seen one photo. he said that it looks like what you would expect by somebody who has been shot in the head. it's not pretty. but he says the photos should be released. why not. it's the best thing to do to get these photos out there to prove to the world that osama bin laden is in fact dead. the other side is also coming from some -- a very high-ranking -- people here in congress. also with intelligence background, on the intelligence committee for example. the chairman and the republican
chairman of the house intelligence committee, both of them, randi, said it is the wrong thing to do to release the photos. effectively, that president obama is making the right decision not to disclose them. people are passionate about their position on whether or not it's the right thing to do. >> from what i understand, there is a disagreement about whether or not not to release them, but if you are going to release them, when do you release them. carl levin thought we should wait awhile. >> reporter: i was just talking to senator bill nelson of florida in the hallway who said the same thing. he is among many senators, and house members who have said, look, right now is not the time to do it. it's incendiary. it could backfire. and if there really is a desire to do it, pick a date down the road. do it then. but it is actually interesting that this decision, randi, is coming a day after the cia director, leon panetta, was here on thrill, briefing the house
and senate, making it clearly that he did some television interviews that he does personally believe they should be released. you were asking dan lothian about some of the decision making. based on what the cia director himself said here in congress and publicly, that the president made an opposite decision. >> i wonder who was in leon panetta's ear. dana bash, dan lothian, thank you both. we'll let dan head to the white house briefing, which should get under way maybe within the next 15 minutes. it's a bit flexible right now. we'll certainly bring that to you. we're expecting much more information about the decision not to go ahead and release these fought photos of osama bi after he was killed. technology like this that helped identify osama bin laden. we will see how it works, next. [ nurse ] i'm a hospice nurse.
i spend long hours with her checking her heart rate, administering her medication, and just making her comfortable. one night britta told me about a tradition in denmark, "when a person dies," she said, "someone must open the window so the soul can depart." i smiled and squeezed her hand. "not tonight, britta. not tonight." ♪ breaking news. we are just learning that president obama does not plan, does not plan to release the photos of osama bin laden, to prove that he is in fact dead. the decision comes amid growing debate whether the photos were necessary proof, or possibly too gruesome to be public. we know osama bin laden was identified according to the white house by facial recognition. one of his wives at the compound as well identified him.
also through dna he was identified. but apparently there was still pressure as to whether or not these photos should be released. there was concern on the part of the white house, and some member of congress, that maybe it would incite some violence, certainly for our troops abroad. and also that it might send the wrong message. once again we just want to tell you that those photos are not going to be released. we're waiting for a white house briefing coming up in the next 15 minutes or so, we hope. we'll bring that to you live. meanwhile, i mentioned this dna test and facial recognition software. that confirmed it was in fact bin laden who was killed. a south florida company makes the type of facial recognition software that navy s.e.a.l.s might have used to help identify him. reporter ted white with our affiliate wpbf walks us through exactly how this technology works. >> reporter: nestled in this office park, they're raising the bar to help u.s. troops fight the war on terror. >> the c-2 is being used.
commonly for identifying people. >> reporter: they designed and manufactured a hand-held device seek-2. it's a sophisticated tool that special operations forces ensure they've got the right man. >> this is a full windows xp computer, that will capture fingerprints, it can capture facial images, it also opens up and captures iris images. >> reporter: it's much quicker than waiting for dna comparison. according to a senior defense department official, chances are are the navy s.e.a.l.s used this tool sunday after they stormed osama bin laden's pakistan come pound and killed the al qaeda leader. this biometric information could be skand, verified and sent wirelessly to the fbi's data base within seconds. >> it can match against that data base against 60,000 known or suspect terrorists almost immediately. >> reporter: the department of defense started using a heavier version of this technology six years ago, during the iraqi war. this is the jump kit.
it weighs about 22 pounds. two years ago, they switched to the seek-2. it weighs about four pounds and is about the size of a cigar box. the makers say it is fast, portable, reliable with a longer battery life. >> the capture of an iris image. >> reporter: technology they say can match 500,000 iris images per second. >> capturing fingerprints is as simple as putting them on the scanner. >> reporter: csi-like technology helping our nation track terrorists around the world. >> that was ted white with our affiliate wpbf. a former navy s.e.a.l. gives us insight into what it may have been like for the s.e.a.l. team that raided bin laden's compound. you do not want to miss this. the authentic, the rare, the hard to define. to those who'd climb mountains or sail across seas for the perfect vanilla or honey from bees.
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to learn more. and once again we want to remind you that we are waiting for a white house briefing. no doubt, there you see a live picture of the podium and we are expecting jay carney the secretary to address the breaking news we have been telling you about here. the president's decision not to release the photos of osama bin laden. those would have been photos taken after he was killed by the navy s.e.a.l. team at his compound in pakistan, and also of his burial at sea. so we can tell you now that the photos will not be released.
cia director leon panetta said he expected they would be released yesterday, so we are curious how the white house explains the decision, and we are expecting to hear from jay carney at that podium minutes away, and we will bring it to you as it happens. becoming a navy s.e.a.l. is incredibly hard, but even more difficult is making the cut for s.e.a.l. team 6. the vast majority who try, fail. howard wasden made the cup,t,s d he is the author of a book, and he talks about what it takes to do what he once did. >> you knew instantly it would be navy s.e.a.l. team 6? >> i highly suspected, yes. >> why? >> this is their type of op. extremist op and close quarter battle and that is why the navy s.e.a.l. six is best in. >> and what is the difference of s.e.a.l. team six and any other team? >> well, all s.e.a.l. teams are
unique, and when you go to six, you have a close quarter battle, and breaching and the runs in the kill -- >> when you say breaching? >> breaching the doors to get in and the demolitions explosives and the mechanical breaching and basically being able to get in anywhere and fight your way up multilevels and down multilevels and clearing a building and getting out. so when i heard that, it was no doubt in my military mind that it was s.e.a.l. team 6. >> and it is hand picked from other s.e.a.l. teams, because you get into the s.e.a.l.s first and then they select various teams for s.e.a.l. team 6? >> yes, i was s.e.a.l. team 2, and after desert storm i put in application of s.e.a.l. team 6, and you go to a review board and then you go to six, but you are not there to stay, because you go through the green team which is a selection course and then if you make it through that
which is more highly intensified training, then you can become a s.e.a.l. 6 member. >> and how tough is the training? >> we have a saying in the s.e.a.l.s that you don't have to be crazy, but it helps. i mean, physically tough is one thing, but it is mentally tough and the day in, day out grind and it is tough on the family and your personal life. but, you know, it is something that you have to want. it is a desire to be a member of something very special. you know, that is the motto, someone special. >> and the fact that so few people know about it, did you guys take pride in that, that you are sort of doing your jobs without recognition from the larger public? >> sure. nobody does it for the accolades or whatever. i think that a lot of people know about s.e.a.l. team 6 or i would not have written by book. >> i found it interesting in the book, you have pictures of all of your brothers in arms, but you had to black out all of their faces. >> sure. i don't know if some of them are still active or whatever and i won't give them up, their faces or whatever.
so that is why i did that. >> right. >> and what was the hardest part about being in the s.e.a.l.s? >> being able to try to manage time between two masters, between family and wife and, you know, the s.e.a.l. team that you belong to which you could be called out on a minute's notice and be gone for months at a time. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> god bless our troops. as new details emerge, "ac 360" takes you inside of the covert mission and what it took to find and ultimately kill osama bin laden. that is tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern time. breaking news this hour that president obama will keep photos of osama bin laden classified, but do most americans want to see them? cnn has a new polling on this very topic, and i will show you the results.
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--mcaptions by vitac -- th twww.vitac.comales we are keepking a close eye on the podium there, and we are waiting for press secretary jay carney and we don't know who else to talk to us a little bit about the president's decision not to release the photos of osama bin laden's body. that decision just came to us a short time ago. we announced it here on cnn. we are curious what the thinking was behind that. we certainly know that the president had a lot of people in his ear telling him one way the other what to do about the photos, so we hope to learn much more about how he came to the
decision not the release the photos. we will keep an eye on the podium and as soon as the white house briefing gets under way, we will bring it to you live right here on cnn. meanwhile, it is time now for the a cnn political update. cnn deputy political director paul steinhauser joins me now from washington. paul, a new cnn polling shows that a majority of americans may not agree with the president's decision announced just a short time ago not to release these bin laden photos. >> yeah, let's take a look at the numbers. this is from the national poll, and we did it monday, and this is the day after the announcement of bin laden's death. 56% say yes, and 39% say no, the government should not release a photograph of the body. and more men than women say they would have liked to have seen the release of the body. >> and paul, what do americans think about the killing of bin laden in general? any numbers on that? >> well, overall, most americans
believe it is a major achievement, and two/thirds, 66% say, yes, it is a major achievement for the united states, but here is the flipside for this. the next number, does bin laden's death eliminate al qaeda as a terrorist threat to the united states, and most americans do not believe that. but they still worry about a threat from al qaeda, randi. >> one day, it would be nice to see that number go down, wouldn't it? thank you, paul steinhauser in washington. thank you, paul. we begin this hour with the latest development in the death of osama bin laden. the obama administration tells cnn that the white house has decided not to delease t releash photos of osama bin laden. and the decision was made by the president. we expect to hear more about it in the white house briefing that is expected to happen at any moment, and we are keeping a close eye on the podium, because we want to hear how the
president came to that decision given that yesterday, just yesterday the cia director leon panetta said he expected the photos would be released. so reaction to president's decision is starting to come in to cnn and a few moments ago we heard from rep steny hoyer. >> i share the president's view. in my opinion, there's no end served by releasing a picture of someone who has been killed. i think that there's absolute proof that osama bin laden was in fact the person that was taken into custody and was killed in the process in the firefight. but i don't think that there is any necessary to release a picture. >> so of course, we want to know what the white house has to say about that, and once again, we have the live picture ready for you once the briefing starts in the white house briefing room. we were told it would start at
1:30, and now were are told between 1:30 and 2:00, and so should be any time. and we know that osama bin laden had been identified by facial recognition and by one of the wives in the compound in pakistan, and now the president's decision not to release the death photos of osama bin laden, and so we will find out exactly what is behind that and bring it to you as soon as the briefing gets understoodway. we have new details a bt the night that the raid went down. a pakistan source says that one of bin laden's daughters says she saw him shot and killed by u.s. forces. the daughter was one of eight or nine children left behind in the compound in abottabad after the raid. among two or three women being questioned is one believed to be bin laden's wife. as for those who died pakistani intel sources say in addition to bin laden, his son and wife had been killed, but originally, we were told that bin laden and three other people had been
killed. with we were told that he had about $745 in cash and phone numbers sewn into his uniform. and pakistan is explaining what it did know and didn't know about bin laden's location. cia director leon panetta minced no words telling people on capitol hill that either they were involved or incompetent, and neither place is a great place to be. and there are many who assert that he must have known that pakistan knew about bin laden's statement, and they say that what worse statement can come from what we heard from panetta? and so we go to abottabad, pakistan, and where the house was located, and what have you heard at this late hour about
the president's decision not to release the photos? >> this is going to cause some consternation here, because this is a city of half a million people, and he said that 400 to 500 lawyers have been demonstrating today against the compound here, and they don't believe, and the lawyers don't believe that bin laden was living there. and that the one thing that he said that would change his mind and change the minds of the lawyers and other people in the city, he said would be traffic evidenc -- photographic evidence, and so people here say they need to see a photograph because they don't believe he is was here. they believe it is a fabrication on the part of their own government for their own political leaders self-aggrandi self-aggrandizement, and to further political positions as
well. so it is clear that the photograph is a very important issue to some people. it is quite obvious also that for some critics, it is not going to matter what you put out. you could put out a photograph of bin laden, and the critics would say, well, he is not really dead, and this is a doctored photo of when he was alive and somebody has photo shopped it or whatever. and so there is a risk with putting anything out, and some people won't believe it at all, but at least the lawyers here say if they see a photograph, they will believe it, and they are an influential class of people in the city. >> and nic, how do you expect the taliban to react to this? >> i think that we are going to see from the taliban that they have been relatively pragmatic on it so far and saying don't jump to conclusions and wait until we get more information before you make your reactions. it seems that they, at least, perhaps more intuned with their
sort of base supporters if you will, and that they are willing to accept and believe that potentially has been killed, but like all of these groups, they are going to want to have proof. we have heard from some radicals who have said that, again, they don't believe that bin laden is dead. they think that he is still alive and out there fighting, and that he never would have been killed. there is always going to be those skeptics, but some of the taliban at least are prepared to accept that this has happened, but they are still analyzing the information they have available. anyone involved in this, whether it is the top leadership in pakistan, whether it is the taliban here, knows that there are political advantages and disadvantages to the way they play this particular situation. they cannot be wrong-footed or called out, but they will play it to their own advantage and they have constituencies, and they will play it to the best of their ability here, randi. >> all right. nic robertson, thank you for your insight as always there in pakistan for us.
i e want to want to remind s at home that we are waiting for the white house press conference to get under way. we will show you the podium there empty until jay carney comes out to tell us about this decision. as we told you there was quite a bit of concern of whether or not to release the photos of bin laden after death, and there was some concern by the president that it may incite violence and certainly violence against the troops and possibly sending the wrong message and didn't want to appear celebratory here in the united states, and it is going to be interesting what press secretary jay car 234i sney say he takes the podium, and we will bring it to you live at cnn when it gets under way. they are the elite of the elite and they took down to world's most wanted man. who are these guys? we will look at what it takes to be a part of the navy s.e.a.l. special team.
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plus a 30-percent solar tax credit with a lennox system with sunsource. lennox. innovation never felt so good. welcome back. you can see there the white house briefing room. we are expecting a briefing by press secretary jay carney and yu can s you can see that it is crowded there with the room abuzz with the news that president obama will not release the photos of osama bin laden's dead body. and also news that we want to bring to your attention, correspondent ed henry saying that senior democratic official close to the white house says flatly that the president was never in favor of releasing these photos and the president
felt that releasing the pictures would be over the top given the fact that so few credible people have questioned the death and the lonely conspiracy theorists will never be satisfied, and this is coming to us through our white house correspondent ed henry. this is coming amid news that the president is getting support from hillary clinton and bill gates. and this is described as the leon panetta's i'm in charge moments yesterday when he said yesterday that he felt that the photos should be released, and he fully expected that they should be released. meanwhile, we knew that secretary clinton and defense secretary robert gates were both in the president's ear telling him not to release the photos. that is why we are keeping a close eye here in the podium on the white house briefing room to see how this exactly all went down, but it is a little bit of insight into the president's
decision-making process from our ed henry there working his sources at the white house. well, we all want to know more about the navy s.e.a.l.s credited with killing osama bin laden in pakistan. to understand who they are, let's breakdown for you how one becomes a s.e.a.l. first, you have to pass a pretty intense test before ever starting your training. take a look. to meet the minimum requirements to begin training in coronado, california, you must swim 500 yards in 12:32 and do 42 push-ups in two minutes and do 50 sit-ups within two minutes and then six pull-ups and run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes. i i'm tired thinking about that. can you do that? well you start a course that is described as sheer hell. and s.e.a.l.s train with the
pinnacle of training known as hell week. and they are cold and sleep deprived and wet as well. it is designed to push a man as you can imagine past his breaking point and recruits sleep total of four hours maximum over the entire five days. most recruits not surprisingly drop out long before this, because they can't take the training which involves running 15 miles topped with a two-mile open swim and other intense physical conditioning. the navy s.e.a.l.s can fire more ammo in one training session than most troop dos their entire career. and 75% of those who start the training never finish it, but the success rate is actually rising in large part because the s.e.a.l.s are targeting men more likely to succeed and unconventional athletes like say water polo athletes. there are no women in the
s.e.a.l.s and most s.e.a.l.s are white, although they have stepped up efforts to increase the number of minorities within their ranks. there are fewer than 120 s.e.a.l.s in the world. these guys are not the action hero wannabes according to a former s.e.a.l., because the ones who do not make it through training are the rambo-wannabe, because you cannot function autonomously, and getting on this team means that you have established yourself as a mature and steady operator with a real world operator of high stakes missions. and there it is a picture of the navy s.e.a.l.s. we bring your attention once again to the podium there at the briefing room in washington, d.c. and we are keeping an eye on it and waiting for the briefing to get under way. the reporters are gathering there and we want to hear more about the president's decision that we told you about a short time ago and does not plan to release photos of osama bin laden at thehe compound or the
burial at sea. we will learn how that decision was made, and we will take a quick break. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ shorts! tanktops! [ female announcer ] grab a box of multigrain cheerios. get a code to... ...a 7 day plan to get going on your summer weight loss. get the box. get the code. get started! ...a 7 day plan to get going on your summer weight loss. you know rheumatoid arthritis means pain. but you may not know it can also mean destruction. not just of your joints, but of the things you love to do. and the longer you live with the aching, swelling,
and once again, you can see more folks gathering there and more members of the media, and we are told that this briefing really should start any moment now. that is the door where press secretary jay carney will be entering from. we hope to get more detail about the president's decision and some of the back and forth that
went on there at the white house when it comes to the decision not to release the photos of osama bin laden after he was killed by the navy s.e.a.l.s at that pakistan compound where he had been living. once that briefing gets under that, and other news we are updating on. we will keep an eye on that. in the meantime, a 22-hour telethon in alabama to help tornado victims of the biggest storm in history. the national weather service confirms 178 tornadoes touched down last week across the south surpassing the previous record from april 1974. that number could still rise as additional surveys are completed. alabama was the hardest hit state. news that broke a short time ago, we have been telling you that the obama administration has decided against releasing photos of osama bin laden's body
as evidence of his death, and that is according to the administration officials briefed by the white house, and a cnn opinion research poll shows 66% of americans think that the government should release those photos. tomorrow, president obama pr will be in new york for a wreath-laying ceremony at the 9/11 memorial and he plans to meet privately with the first responders and 9/11 family members. 2,976 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks nearly ten years ago. of course, we want to take you back to the white house briefing room where we are waiting for jay carney, the press secretary to tell us exactly the details that went into the thinking of the president's decision not to release the photos. our ed henry has been gathering some interesting information from his sources, as we await this, and i can tell you that the senior democratic official telling our ed henry that the president was never in favor of
releasing these photos of osama bin laden. saying that the president felt that releasing the pictures would be over the top given the fact that so few credible people have actually questioned the death, and the lonely conspiracy theorists would never be satisfied is the official stance of the white we are hoping to more on that when the briefing gets under way. the president is said to get private support in this position from not only secretary of state hillary clinton and defense secretary robert gates. and also ed henry saying that the president's inner circle was not thrilled with what this source described as a cia director leon panetta's i'm in charge here moments late yesterday. we know that panetta said yesterday he did expect the photos to be released, and so here we have jay carney approaching the podium, and he will tell us exactly why the president has decided against that. finally, we will listen in to what he has to say.
>> okay. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. before i take your questions, i'd just like to say to you that the president has made the decision not to release any of the photographs of the deceased osama bin laden, and rather than, or rather, first, i will give you the language that the president used when he was recently interviewed about an hour ago to explain his decision. this is an interview with cbs "60 minutes", steve kroft. the president was asked, well, he said that they were discussing when bin laden's body was taken out of the compound, the president was asked about how they knew it was him, and he said when they landed we had very strong confirmation at that
point that it was him. photographs had been taken. facial analysis indicated that in fact it was him. we hadn't yet done dna testing, but at that point, we were 95% sure. question, did you see the pictures? the president, yes. question, what was your reaction when you saw them? the president, it was him. question, why didn't you release them? the president, we discussed this internally and keep in mind that we are absolutely certain that this was him. we have done dna sampling and test sog there testing, so there is no doubt that we killed osama bin laden. it is very important to keep very photographic evidence is floating around as incitement or propaganda tool. that is not who we are. we don't trot this stuff out as trophies. the fact of the matter is that
this is somebody who was deserving of the justice he received, and i think that americans and people around the world are glad that he is gone, but we don't need to spike the football, and given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk, and i have discussed this with bob gates and hillary clinton and my intelligence teams, and they all agree. question, there are people in pakistan for example who say, look, this is all a lie. obama, this is another american trip, and osama is not dead. the president, the truth is that we were monitoring worldwide reaction, and there is no doubt that bin laden is dead. certainly, there is doubt no doubtm a mong m m among al qa that he is dead. we don't think that a photograph are going to make a difference. there are going to be some folks who deny it. the fact of the matter is that
you won't see bin laden walking on this earth again. that's the conclusion of the excerpt. i think that states rather thoroughly why the president made the decision that he did. with that, i will take your questions. >> thanks, jay. with the comments that the president made with a compelling case of nt release the photos, and what was the internal debate and was he ever seriously considering to release the photos? >> obviously, there were not any photos until bin laden was killed and so there is not a great deal of time to make the decision. there are arguments on either side. the president described, these are photographic evidence of someone who is shot in the head. it is not in our national security interests tole a lou t -- to allow those images as has
been in the past icons for rallying opinion against the united states. the president's number one priority is the safety and security of american citizens at home and americans abroad. there is no need to release these photographs to establish osama bin laden's identity. and he saw no other compelling reason to release them give ten -- given the national security risk and given clearly he said, this is not who we are. >> so,k he in the time period that we are talking about from the moment of the killing to the photos, and did he stand clear or did he gather other opinions? >> well, i don't know about the evolution of his decision-making process, and when i have heard him discuss it, he held this opinion very firmly. and he has held that opinion very firmly, but this is a short period of time.
obviously, he wanted to hear the opinions of others, but he w was -- very clear about his view on this, and obviously, his decision is categorical. >> one other question. director panetta in one of the interviews yesterday said that the government is talking about how best to do this, but i don't believe that there is any question that ultimately a photograph would be presented to the public. how do you explain that? >> well, i would say that there are compelling arguments in general for the release of information, and, you know, there was a discussion to be had about the pros and cons. and the president engaged in that discussion and made a decision. the -- every member of the national security team is aware of and expressed the downside of releasing which is i think weighed heavily on the president in terms of the potential risks to americans abroad and
americans traveling abroad, so that the idea that this was 100% obvious, i mean, that is the fact of the matter is that the president never gets to make a decision that is 100% obvious, because those kinds of decisions never get to his desk. >> well, that i understand, but the commend was -- that there was no question that -- obviously, that was wrong. >> look. the thing is that the president made this decision. he consulted members of the national security team. there's reasonable arguments to be made. the president felt very strongly and made the decision he made. yes? >> jay, you talked yesterday a lot about the firefight. who was it that was shooting back at the u.s. commandos? >> we have, as you know, since the moment this operation became public been as helpful as we can
be to provide as much information as we can. in terms of the operational details, we have gotten to the point where we cannot cross lines because of the necessity for preserving the methods and operational techniques and capabilities of the kinds of forces that were used yuused in case. we have gone to our ability to do that and still maintain the things that we need to maintain and be kept secret, and that is a long way to begin the answer by saying that we have revealed a lot of information and been as forthcomeling with the facts that we can. a lot of information came out quickly, when we needed to clarify some of to information that we had and as more information came in, we have provided that, but in terms of the more details of the operati operation, i don't have any for you. you are welcome to consult with the defense department about them, but i don't have any more information and i am not going
to discuss beyond what i have said already the operational details. >> and some things as you have acknowledged yesterday have changed since the information came in. is the fact that a firefight -- >> well, you heard the account that i read yesterday, and that is information that i provided and i am simply saying that i am not going further than that. >> okay. i guess that i'm just curious about -- >> i won't go further than what i said yesterday. so you can ask a lot of the operational details, but the answer to your question is certainly contained within the account i read yesterday. but we are at a point where we need to be mindful of the necessity to protect our ability in the future to go after other bad guys, perhaps in the same way we went after this one, and some of the capacities that we have and the methods that we use need to be protected and not compromised.
>> one follow-up question. are you concerned about the way in which bin laden was killed and buried at sea might hurt the president's ability to reach out to the muslim world, as he has tried to over the last two years? >> the efforts that were made to give osama bin laden an appropriate burial following islamic precepts and traditions were considerable. however, i would also say that there is nothing -- the respect that was shown to him and his body was far greater than the respect that osama bin laden showed to the victims on 9/11 or any of his other victims, and that is because that is who we are. so, we feel very comfortable
with the fact that we took extraordinary measures to show that respect. to the traditions of the islamic faith. >> my question is about the president's specific outreach to the muslim world -- >> you heard the president speak sunday evening about the unbelievably important fact to make sure that president bush made clear and president obama, there are efforts in the fight against terrorists and against al qaeda are not aimed at islam and not aimed at muslims, and the fact is that the cooperation and assistance provided by muslims around the world are essential to the fight, and it is not about them, because osama bin laden was not a muslim leader. he was a mass murderer, and mass murderer of people around the world, including muslims. so we obviously believe that we were absolutely within our rights to go after the most
wanted man in the world, and the most wanted terrorist in the world, and the man who ordered the attacks on so many americans and kill sed so many americans, and we -- it needs to be recognized that seen as a good thing throughout the world. and yet who we are, we took extraordinary measures to show the respect that was shown in his burial. >> yes, jay? >> what do you say to the families of the victims of 9/11, and the "uss cole" and other terror attacks by al qaeda that the families say they want the photo released so they can have closure, and what is the white house response to that? >> well, i won't go beyond the words of the president, and i will rephrase them to say that there is no question at all that osama bin laden is dead. he will not walk this earth again. we have established beyond any doubt, through dna evidence,
facial recognition, visual recognition, the naming of him by individuals on that compound that osama bin laden was shot and killed on sunday night. he is dead. they think americans feel a great sense of closure because of that. >> is there any other -- i understand that the photographs are off of the table. are there any other evidence of his death that might, that you are still considering releasing, and that the president is still releasing whether it is video of his burial at sea, whether the dna evidence or is there anything else that could be released? >> i will simply say that the decision applies to all visual evidence, and in terms of discussions that might be had to go into more detail about how the dna evidence was analyzed and collected, and how the facial recognition evidence was analyzed and collected and how the experts reach their
conclusions that this was without any shred of doubt, osama bin laden, and you know, i'm sure that that information will be made available in the future, but the, but this decision that i cited the president made has to do with the visual evidence, the photographic evidence. >> lastly, the cia director leon panetta, said in a closed door briefing in capitol hill about the pakistani government that they either were involved or are incompetent. is that the position of the white house? >> i assume you mean by a closed door briefing a classified briefing? >> yes. >> i have no comment. >> okay. >> chip? sorry, dan. >> i just wanted to ask you that you said that the president in your observation always felt that the photos should not be released -- >> well, we are two and a half
days since this took place that i heard him express this view yesterday, but there was still, and he was gathering the thoughts and views of others on his team. so, long held is an impossible statement to make since we are only talking about a couple of days. >> well, he had made up his mind and wanted to open it up for opinions to sway him as to whether or not they should be released? >> the president has a national security team and he wanted to hear the opinions of others obviously. that is how he makes decisions in the white house, and he wants to hear as he did with the decisions to authorize this mission which has been reported was not a decision that every member of his team supported or thought was, you know, that people had reservations obviously, because it was a risky mission, but this is a process that he undertakes, because he believes that is the way that he wants his presidency
to function. he wants the unvarnished opinions and advice and assessments of the top adviser and in a situation like this, the last thing he wants is a bunch of people telling him what they think he wants to hear. >> can you give us a sense of whether or not it was the majority opinion of those who were giving him advice that the photos should not be released? >> it was a majority opinion, yes. >> and also, can you give us anything more about this team that will be going to, i guess, brief former president bush? >> i don't have any information on that. >> yes, chip. >> thank you, jay. i know you said you don't want to get into the operational details. >> well, you can try. >> well, you opened up the door on one thing, because you said he was shot in the face, and then you said rather the head. are you saying that he was not shot in the face? >> no, i system p shg, i simply above the neck. how's that. >> okay. but you are not saying that it
wasn't -- >> i don't have details to give you on that. >> and why has the president decided not to speak at ground zero tomorrow? >> the president thinks that it's entirely fitting and appropriate to visit the site of ground zero in the wake of this significant and cathartic moment for the american people. and he wants to lay a wreath to honor the victims, to honor the first responders who so courageously rushed to the scene and in many cases gave their own lives to try to save others, to honor the spirit of unity in america that we all felt in the wake of that terrible attack. i think that the power of that requires no words. he will also meet with families of the victims and first
responders. in private. >> was there a decision not to speak and to use his expression "no need of spiking the ball." >> well, the president did speak sunday night and in a remarkable large audience and a remarkable number of americans saw him speak, because the word travel sod fast about this monumental event that occurred, so no, there was no debate. >> and quick question on the new york times/cbs poll. his approval rating jumped, but at the same time the approval rating on the economy is the lowest ever at 34%, and can you comment if you think that there is any significance to that? >> i think that the country is still emerging from the worst recession since the great depressionment i think that gas prices have weighed heavily on
americans as they try to make ends meet, and it is entirely understandable why that sentiment is out there, because people are struggling. and people in the case of how they are dealing with the high gas prices are suffering. so, that's -- we are fully aware of that and that is why this president, i think that you will see will continue his focus on growing the economy, creating jobs, on working with congress to pass legislation that does na, an that, and working with congress on measures to reduce the deficit, that invest in those areas that allow us to grow, and allow us to compete and educat the children so they can compete in the 21st century. the remarkable thing to me working from the inside is that
the train never stops and the speed, and the rapidity of the events and the demands are so great, and what, you know, we have seen in the historic times since the president came into office is that it has been the case and then some. his focus on the economy, and that has not waivered even as he has dealt quietly with only a select number of people with this mission in its, from the inception to the execution, and that focus will continue. it's -- there's no -- and the two things that he thinks about the most is security of the american people and the economic security of the american people. and at the same time. so that's the economy continues to be a major priority. >> we are hearing that more and more lawmakers are seeing the bin laden photo or photos, and to be clear, are they just being shown the photos or copies floating around the hill? >> i'm not aware of any photos
being floating or being shown. >> bin laden, sunday when the raid happened, was there any opportunity for u.s. officials to question him before he was shot? >> again, i'm not going to get into operational details about any, beyond what we have done, and what i have said in the past yesterday is what i would say today. so, you know, what happened on sunday night is that an incredibly courageous team of u.s. personnel entered a foreign country in darkness on an incredibly risky mission, executed it with at great risk to their own personal safety with executed that mission with great professionalism and accomplished a goal that this country had sought for 9 1/2
years. in a mission that dramatically minimized collateral damage and civilian casualties that was pulled off without any casualties among american personnel, and it resulted in the bringing to justice of osama bin laden. we have enormous regard for what was accomplished on sunday by those men. >> they are american heroes, but i just didn't know if -- >> well, again, i refer those questions to the defense department. >> again, last question, any attempt by american officials to interview, question, bin laden's wife who was there at the scene? >> not that i'm aware of, but you might ask the state department that. yeah. >> are there any u.s. officials involved in the questioning of anybody else in relation to that compound? >> well, that goes to what mike
just asked, and i don't have an answer. so, we obviously cooperate and have a important relationship with pakistan and with the pakistani government, but i don't have any information with which to answer that question. >> and are they sending briefings of their -- >> again, i just don't know. i don't have an answer. >> is there going to be an updated narrative on what you released yesterday? >> i made pretty clear that we have provided a great deal of information and have made an effort to get that information to you quickly. the nature of this operation and the rapidity with which we tried to respond to the understandable desire of information about it has meant that we needed to clarify some facts, but we don't -- i don't have any more operational details for you. >> is there any final narrative?
>> i don't have any operational details for you? >> is that final? >> again, the -- i don't draw any lines like that, and it would be foolish to. but we don't have any information for you today. i think that we have provided a great deal of information for you about that operation. the focus and most people's focus is on the remarkable nature of what was accomplished, the fact that it was done with no american casualties and very limited collateral damage and done in a way that we could be entirely sure that osama bin laden had been brought to justice. >> one more on the issue of 9/11 families, given that many members of congress are being shown this photo, if they asked to see the photo under some
circumstance that would not be public but for them, if they asked for that opportunity, would the administration be open to give them that opportunity? >> i don't have an answer to that right now. >> let me get it, jerry. >> i believe we spoke with the chairman of the 9/11 commission who said that one of the glaring recommendations that has not been given is the free radio wave for the first responders -- >> i just don't know. >> and can you clarify, no visual evidence at all is going to be released, including video or anything of that nature? >> right. no visual record of osama bin laden's death or his deceased body. >> and one other topic if you don't mind. does the administration have any expectations or what expectations does the administration have for the meeting tomorrow that biden is
hosting with the congressional leaders? >> look. this is the beginning of an ime por -- important process. the president by appointing the simpson/bowles commission, and implementing the plan at george washington university vision for reducing the deficit in a balanced way by investing in the essential priorities in government to allow us to grow, and allow us to create jobs, he is now taking this step to move this process forward, because he believes that we are at an important point here where the republicans and the democrats alike share, recognize the problem, and that is important. and they agree that it exists. they share the same end goal which is $4 trillion in deficit reduction, and they share the same general idea of what the time line should be, 10 to 12 years. this creates the potential for a
bipartisan compromise on some of this at least. that is what this process we hope will launch on thursday. and so, i don't want to -- there is going to be no announcement after that meeting that a deal has been reached, because it is a process, but you know, we expect progress to be made. yes? karen. >> i am just wondering and trying to get some clarity here. why did the narrative released yesterday not mention bin laden's son? was he killed in the raid? >> you know, this is the kind of thing that i'm trying not to first of all go beyond what i said yesterday and secondly to -- what i would just say is that for questions like that, i refer you to the defense department, and they may be able to get an answer for you. >> because john brennan on monday gave one name, and it turned out -- >> well, this is made clear and this is an important point.
the transcript, and he gave a name and it is the correct name, but unfortunately when the transcript was put on paper, an error was made in transcribing that name. john brennan's, i think that we have corrected that and what he said was accurate. >> and was any other person dead or alive taken from the compound and transported from the scene by u.s. personnel? >> no. >> and then on tomorrow, is there -- does the president have concern about possibly exploiting 9/11 families? does he want to keep some of this private or what can we expect? >> he is meeting in private with 9/11 families. >> is there any -- >> in private. no press. >> okay. >> so what are the public events tomorrow then? >> he is going to the world trade center site and laying a wreath in public. that will be -- >> and why did he decide to make these meetings all private? >> well, i think that you said so in the question that you suggested why that would be the case. it is about that hen't,s to m s
wants to meet with them and share with them this important and significant moment, a bittersweet moment i think for many families of the victims. he thinks it is appropriate to do that in private. >> why did he want to invite president bush and what is lost by president bush not being there? >> president obama wanted to invite and did invite president bush, because as he made clear on sunday night and we have made clear that this is a moment of u unity for americans and a moment to recall the unity that existed in this country in the wake of the attacks on 9/11, and he wanted to -- he invited president bush because he had hoped that if president bush could come, he would join the president in visiting the world trade center site.
we completely understand that he is not able to come. but, that the invitation was made in that spirit. >> and to follow up on ben's question earlier, when cia director panetta spoke to nbc and the lawmakers on the hill, he was pretty clear that it was a question of when and not if the photos would be released and so was he overruled? >> a final decision had not been made? >> so he spoke out of line? >> the president made a decision, and there are obviously arguments to be made on each side of this, but the final decision was not made until today. >> so he was just wrong. >> the final decision was not made until today. >> what time? >> this morning. i don't have -- i don't remember precisely, and i did not look at my watch. >> you were with him when he made the decision? >> yes. >> can i clarify something when you talk about the president's role tomorrow in new york, are
you ruling out comments even informal ones? >> there is no plan for him to speak at the wreath laying ceremony and the meetings with the first responders and families are in private. as was the case the other day when he did not speak at the cabinet meeting, i obviously don't, he is not a robot, and he may potentially could speak at some point tomorrow, but there are no plans for that. >> yes? >> thanks, jay. has the president spoken to anyone on the team who carried out the mission? >> i don't have any information for you on that at this point. >> do you know if anyone in the white house has, mr. brennan? >> well, the team is a big, and it is not just the men who went into pakistan, and there is a bigger network that represents the team, the operation team, and i just, i'm not sure. there is the head of the special forces who obviously has spoken
to members of the administration, and he's very much a part of the team. so i don't have any information about more contact. yes? >> the u.n.'s top human rights official said yesterday that she hoped that the administration would release full details about the operation in order to settle any questions about whether it was legally justifiable, and does the administration feel or any have plans that it needs to say anything more about how the operation was carried out, the rules of engagement to justify the actions? >> well, let me address that question, and forgive me, because i want to read so i am very precise here. the team had the authority to kill osama bin laden, unless he offered to surrender in which case the team was required to accept the surrender if the team could do so safely. the operation was conducted in a manner fully consistent with the laws of war. the operation was planned so
that the team was prepared and had the means to take bin laden into custody. >> was there anybody on the team -- >> there is no question that this operation was lawful. bin laden was the head of al qaeda and the person who directed the te errr terrorism 9/11, and continued to carry out threats against the united states. the operation was conducted to minimize and avoid if at all possible civilian casualties and i might add that was done at great risk to americans. furthermore, consistent with the laws of war, bin laden's surrender would have been accepted if feasible. that is my response. yes? >> two questions, thanks, jay. one, was president obama did on sunday, he began talking about
the relief of the millions of people in india, and the vickm top f-- victim of the last 20 years of his terrorism, and i understand that president spoke to president zardari, and what is the reaction from pakistan and other leaders he has spoken? what are they saying inside of pakistan? >> well, i think that i don't want to speak for the pakistani government and in terms of the analysis of the reaction within pakistan, i would point you to the state department. president of pakistan obviously wrote an op-ed the other day, and you can glean some information from that. and in terms of other leaders, the president did speak with a number of leaders from around the world, and they all congratulated the united states on this accomplishment bringing to justice osama bin laden. but i don't have any other characterization to give you. >> may i ask then, for the last ten years this is what i have
been see neerg ting here in the house and the pentagon that bin laden is living and protected by the pakistan intelligence and living like, and the world saw what his lifestyle was sunday, and so doesn't pakistan have questions to answer to the international community and so many people about what has been done? >> well, what john brennan and others have said that we are interested in finding out the details of the support network that helped obviously mr. bin laden hide in abottabad. we don't know the members of that support network. we also note that the pakistani government has launched an investigation of its own, and we think that is a good thing, and when we work to find out as much as we can about how that happened. i would then further state that our relationship with pakistan while complicated is very
important and it is very important precisely because of our need to continue the fight against al qaeda, to continue to fight against terrorists. the fight is not done. and we look forward to cooperating with pakistan in the future. as others have said, more terrorists have been killed on pakistani soil than probably any other country. the cooperation that we have received from pakistan has been very useful in that regard. i thi >> and one more. >> i think that is the third. >> and the president said that this is not a war against islam or the muslims, but my question is to including the muslim communities in the u.s. because they say they are being targeted an congressm and congressmen are talking about the attacks on muslim, so
it is time to talk about the -- >> well, i don't have any other announcements for other speeches. i will let the president's speech sunday stand on its own. yes? >> has the president indicated that he wants you to stop giving out clarification or information or d.o.d. to stop, because you are directing us in that sphere? >> well, we have provided a great number of details, and i don't have any new details here the reporters have done pieces on the special operations and the kinds of operations that we are talking about here and there are equities that we need to protect in terms of the, you know, it would be extremely foolhardy for us to divulge information in the recounting of what happened on sunday that would in some way, in any way limit our capacity to perform a similar operation in the future. we are not done going after
terrorists. we wish we were, but we are not. >> are you suggesting that to answer that question or any of these questions today would harm national security compared to the details that you are giving out for the last two days? is that what you meant? >> we have given out a great number of details, and i don't have anymore for you, and you can certainly ask the department of defense for more details, but the point moreover here is that we have divulged an extraordinarily amount of information about this operation and we don't want to release more infor that would impede a similar lawnlaunchp in the futu and that is enarable, because the amount of detail and the amount of information has been extraordinary. >> right. >> and there has to be -- and we did, and -- >> can we keep doing that? >> well, you can ask, but the point is that i don't have any clarifications for you. what i said yesterday stands and, youow