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THE SITUATION ROOM
President: No Pics of bin Laden's Body; New Adds to Terror Watch List?
Aired May 4, 2011 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: You are in THE SITUATION ROOM. Happening now, it's the image much of the world is clamoring for, but we won't be seeing photos of bin Laden's body any time soon, at least not through the Obama administration.
Also new details of the historic events that took place inside this house, the showdown between U.S. Navy SEALs and the world's most wanted terrorist. We are getting new information about his final seconds. Stand by.
And -- look at this. An up close look at technology like the kind that helped the White House follow the raid in real-time. Breaking news, political headlines, Jeanne Moos, all straight ahead. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Within just the past hour, we've learned some critical new details about how U.S. Special Forces operations took out Osama bin Laden. Including the shots that killed him and what he was doing when he was hit.
There are huge interests around the world and exactly how this historic mission went down. Let's go straight to our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
She's working her sources on this and you are learning new information not only about the final minutes, but final seconds of Bin Laden's life.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. It was all over in seconds when the Navy SEAL team burst through the door into the room where Osama Bin Laden was.
They killed him within seconds. According to officials we have spoken to who have seen the reports. What we now know from these officials is Bin Laden was moving. It is interpretive that he was making threatening moves and not saying exactly what they were, but the Navy SEALs saw him moving and they took their shots.
We know now according to the reports that these officials have explained to us, the first shot against Osama Bin Laden was right to his chest. As he reacted to that shot to his chest, perhaps moving back like this, we are told, that -- SEALs took a second shot. That was to his forehead above his left eye. And at that point, he was dead within seconds. They were taking no chances. This is how Special Forces are trained -- pardon me, trained, of course. This is the so-called double tap, two nearly simultaneous lethal shots to a target and they will be dead. That's how it goes.
Now typically, you know, SEALs are trained to take the first shot to the head. Right between the eyes, but the speculation at this point is that they couldn't quite make that first shot between the eyes.
There was movement in the room and it was dark and it was confusing, but they got their job done. Again, first shot to Osama Bin Laden was to his chest. The second one was to his forehead.
BLITZER: So the order going in, it sounds to me, Barbara was that if there was any threat whatsoever to the U.S. Navy SEALs it wasn't shoot to injure, shoot to wound, it was shoot to kill.
STARR: Absolutely, Wolf. U.S. Special Forces and I would tell you -- I think all U.S. military forces in combat situations shoot to kill. When they are facing a combatant of Osama Bin Laden's strength, when they are facing a situation that is that dangerous, remember by the time they got to this third floor room where he was hiding, they had already faced opposition.
They had been in what is being described as a fire fight from the minute they entered the compound as they moved through clearing rooms and moved up the stairs to the third floor room where he was hiding.
Or -- that -- that is the situation that they were facing. There's -- we don't know -- I-want to add in, though, we do not know the level of opposition that was put up to the SEALs.
We don't know how many of the people on the compound had weapons and were firing at them, but clearly the SEALs were moving quickly and taking out all the threats that they saw and felt they were facing.
BLITZER: Remember they said administration officials that there was a fire fight going on. So we assume that -- the Bin Laden supporters, the people who were there did have some weapons.
Hold on for one moment, Barbara because we are get something new images coming in and I want our viewers to see this. These are some new pictures, still photos, coming in.
You can see here clearly you can see this is the helicopter that failed the U.S. military helicopter. This picture taken inside the Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad.
You can see this helicopter along one of the walls and here you can see more of the debris apparently from the helicopter and itself.
What kind of helicopters, Barbara? Do we know what kind of helicopters the U.S. Navy SEALs came in on? STARR: Well, they came in on a variety of helicopters, Wolf including Blackhawk helicopters sort of standard fare. But I have to tell you, this picture has generated interests around the world amongst military aviation buffs.
There is a lot of talk that this may be some type of helicopter especially equipped with so-called stealth capability. In other words, not so visible as it moved across Pakistani air space perhaps not so visible to Pakistani air defense.
We are looking into this. There are a lot of questions about what exactly this helicopter may have been equipped with. By all accounts, it is -- it went down because of a mechanical failure and essentially clipped something on that wall.
And the SEALs destroyed it. They set it on fire so it wouldn't be left behind. Another helicopter came along and picked them up. This is really the only glitch, so to speak, that we know of in this entire 40-minute assault.
BLITZER: Yes, I assume they destroyed the helicopter because some sensitive technologies, some sensitive information, part of the stealthy helicopter, as they say. They didn't want anyone to get access to it so simply blew it up. You saw the debris there.
Barbara, thank you. President Obama has decided against releasing pictures of Bin Laden's body. Citing both national security and American values. The White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, was grilled at length by reporters about the decision earlier in the day.
He in turn read to them from a transcript of an interview the president gave earlier in the day in which the president was asked how U.S. forces knew that they got their target.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: 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 percent sure.
Question, why didn't you release them? The president, we discussed this internally. Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain that this was him. We have done DNA sampling and testing. So there is no doubt that we killed Osama Bin Laden.
It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. That's not who we are. We don't trot out this stuff as trophies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Let's get some more on this controversial decision by the president. Joining us, our CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend. She's a member of the external advisory board for both the Department of Homeland Security and the CIA. Fran, why do you disagree with the president's decision?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, FORMER BUSH HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: Well, one thing, Wolf, they knew before the raid ever took place that there were going to be photos. Why we took three hands of hand wringing internally to debate this is not at all clear to me.
Second, let's be honest. If they are worried about inflaming the Muslim world, killing Bin Laden would not inflame the Muslim world. I don't see that you don't add a whole lot by releasing the photos. Besides, we've done it before with the sons of Saddam Hussein, with Zarqawi and these were pretty graphic photos.
It is not as though that we have seen any evidence that there is some additional problem. By the way, Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA who's in the best position to assess such a risk, he seems to think they should be released. While that may be inconvenient for the president, frankly, it ought to be persuasive.
Finally, Wolf, here is my biggest problem with this. You know, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Americans saw very graphic photos of the planes into the buildings, the buildings falling down and Americans jumping to their deaths.
If the United States, if people want to see these photos, they ought to be given the opportunity to see them. We spent billions, as you've suggested, of their tax dollars to get to this day. I think that we ought to be listening more to American opinion and less worrying about foreign opinion.
BLITZER: When Bin Laden was killed, they found 500 euros, about $750, sewn into his clothing. Also two phone numbers sewn into his clothing. What does that say to you?
TOWNSEND: You know, Wolf, it suggests he must have had a nearby network that he was going to rely to get him to safety because, of course, 500 euro was not get him very far. He had these two phone numbers. We don't know who they were to yet.
Remember, this neighborhood is filled with retired military. All suggesting, Wolf, you know, some complicity. I mean, he was pretty comfortable there and didn't think he had to go very far if there was an attempt to capture him.
BLITZER: The attorney general, Eric Holder, was testifying on Capitol Hill today. I want to you listen to the exchange he had with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The material that was seized from that residence is being reviewed by interagency team. CIA, and Justice, other intelligence agencies, other law enforcement agencies are all contributing people and machines to go through that material. As we glean information from that material, we will make appropriate decision was regard to who might be added to the terrorist watch list and the no-fly list all those things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You expect you probably will add people as a result of what have you?
HOLDER: My guess would be that we probably will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What kind of information got -- might they get from all of this treasure-trove apparently of material?
TOWNSEND: Well, what they are referring to there, Wolf, is that this material is likely to identify at least by what they call -- war names, pseudonyms, other operatives. It may give information specifics about who they are, whether it is by phone number or location.
And all that information before they even know where these people are, before they can find them, they will load those names into the terrorist watch list. Where you worry first and foremost they could be inside the United States.
But if they are not yet if they have been deployed to Europe and -- going to attempt to get into the U.S., you want those names there so that you can use that to try to capture them.
The other thing they are likely to get, Wolf, is that they will look for martyrdom videos. I suspect that Bin Laden prepared for this day just as we were and so there is likely to be at least a martyrdom video from him maybe other video messages from him.
They will also look for communications, potential attack plans. I mean, this is really a gold mine for the intelligence and law enforcement communities.
BLITZER: A video that Bin Laden may have made, maybe years ago in case he was dead they could release it to inspire his supporters further. Fran, thanks very, very much.
Let's go further right now. CNN's Tom Foreman is standing by over at the data wall. Some dramatic new images coming in. Tom, show our viewers what you have.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is fascinating, Wolf. We made a lot about how close this was to the capital here. If we move in here you can take a look at how close this was to Islamabad that's only about 30 miles.
But now we have evidence of something that's actually much closer than all of that. If you zoom in here, we light up the nearby military base, here's something worth noting. Over here at this Pakistan Military Academy over here, just back in 2008, U.S. troops were here, training Pakistani troops. Right on this base and this base from the compound where he was, it is actually only about 750 yards away. That's how close we were to Bin Laden if he was there at that time. We also have new details coming out in this.
If you look at this wall, some of the details in the pictures from new images about GOI, among them, new images where you can see roadblocks along this road leading up to the compound. We don't know if those roadblocks came in before or after the attack. We know they are now there now.
This is the compound. I want to look at the -- this picture very closely. If you look at if dark space right here, this is the first we have seen in this GOI image of the helicopter in question. This is a Blackhawk helicopter. Barbara mentioned earlier the question is did it look like this? Or did it look like something different before this crash?
She talked about this cloaking possibility, a stealth helicopter of some sort. You have to know military analysts around the world that will study the video and pictures for every detail to see if they can figure that out.
Nonetheless, Wolf, this is sort of fascinating images of what's going on there. And the simple notion, as we said before, that when you look at the location of this, this military compound, if indeed he had some idea of getting out he was not very far away from some people who might have been able to help them if that was the plan.
BLITZER: Very strange, strange location for Bin Laden so close to a military academy, the so-called West Point of Pakistan. Thanks very much, Tom, for that.
Two females believed to be Bin Laden's wife and daughter left behind as U.S. Navy SEALs choppered away with his body. So where are these women now? What information might they have?
Also, Bin Laden's house shockingly as we say close to one of Pakistan's best known military academies. We will drive from point to point, trip of only about one mile.
Plus, half a world away, the president and his top advisers watching the raid unfold. We are going to show you the kind of technology that made it possible to monitor what was going on in real- time from the White House situation room.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here with the "Cafferty File." Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: There's a line in the movie "The Godfather II," that goes keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. So when it comes to Pakistan, which are they?
Osama Bin Laden living in a million dollar compound, 12 to 18- foot high walls all around, topped with razor wire, in the middle of a quiet suburban town filled with retired Pakistani military officers, and just a few yards away from the Pakistan Military Academy, basically that nation's West Point.
The compound was reportedly was called Waziristan mansion after the tribal mountainous region of Pakistan where Bin Laden fled after the September 11th attacks. There was no television. There were no phone lines.
And instead of putting their trash out for collection like everybody else did, the people living there burned it. Come on. If Pakistani officials didn't know who was living there, the neighbors likely did and neighborhood kids reportedly suspected something was up.
They weren't allowed to get a ball if it was accidentally kicked or thrown on to the property. Instead they were paid $2, $3 to go buy a new one. Other kids reported being invited to play with pet rabbits on the grounds and noticing that there were security cameras everywhere.
Ray Charles could have figured out who lived there. My guess is that Pakistani government wasn't trying very hard and it is not because they didn't have the means to do so. The United States has given $20 billion to Pakistan over the last eight years, money to help combat terrorism.
And as long as Bin Laden remained at large, it was pretty easy to make an argument for more money now, wasn't it? Here's the question. What should the United States do about Pakistan? Go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post your comment on my blog.
BLITZER: Thanks, Jack. Good question. No simple answers on this one. We are joined now by Professor Fouad Ajami, the director of Middle East Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of International Studies.
You wrote a very insightful article in the "Wall Street Journal" yesterday. What was Bin Laden's unique appeal to his supporters?
PROF. FOUAD AJAMI, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: You know, Wolf, it is very interesting. If you take a look now at the world, Osama who? They walked away from him. If you look at the Afghans, the Pakistanis, Muslims beyond, he has much greater popularity.
So the interesting about our world, it exploited Osama Bin Laden and Osama Bin Laden took these assets he had. His command of lyrical Arabic, his birth in the land of the revelation in Saudi Arabia, he took these things on the road and they worked much more among more gullible westerners than among the Arabs.
The Arabs have grown very cynical of him. They followed him and beat his drums. They were devoted to him. They thought he was their hero for the mid '90s until probably about three, four years ago and then they walked away from him.
BLITZER: Well, not all of them because Hamas signed an agreement with Fatah for a new reconciliation among the Palestinians. They issued a statement the other day basically condemning the U.S. for killing Bin Laden.
AJAMI: Well, absolutely. Hamas - I mean, we're talking about the -- more dangerous thing, Wolf, during the late '90s and the aftermath of 9/11, before we showed the Arabs that we were not running way from the region, that we were not abandoning the American positions in the region.
The fact remains that the people on the fence, people on the fence ordering people, you know, could you talk to the millionaires and people I knew intellectuals, journalists, very educated men and women were very devoted to Osama Bin Laden. That was the difference. The difference with -- the ones in the middle.
BLITZER: If President Obama asked you as an authority on the Middle East and you are one of the world's leading scholars on this subject, what -- should he release the photo of Bin Laden's body or not? What would you have said?
AJAMI: I would say the president is doing it just right. We do what we do. You know, Wolf, look at it this way. For the -- people of the world that believe in conspiracy, no proof, no proof is sufficient.
For the people who rational - who understand the world, who knew this was Bin Laden no further proof is necessary. You can't win all these arguments. There will always be -- there will always be a renegade out there. There will always be people out there.
Osama not killed, he's on the loose. You just ignore these people. You do what you think is right by our norms and our standards. The raid was right. The decision to withhold the pictures was made by the president and I think that the president has the right to make that call.
BLITZER: Do you believe Pakistan or at least senior elements of the military or intelligence community of Pakistan protected Bin Laden?
AJAMI: Well, you know, there was Mike McConnell, remember former director of National Intelligence who said the ISI has the department of hedging your bets. The Pakistanis are our friends, but they also doubt us. We doubt them in return.
You know, it is a kind of very inning relationship. We need them. They need us, but we don't trust them. They don't trust us. What interests me, what's a riddle me is that $25 million reward for the capture of Bin Laden.
Why no one in the neighborhood if you will volunteer that kind of information, but did the ISI know? Absolutely. Did President Zardari know? I doubt it.
BLITZER: Fouad Ajami, thanks very much for coming in.
AJAMI: Thank you.
BLITZER: Left behind in the raid on Bin Laden's compound, the al Qaeda leader's wife and young daughter. We're going to tell you where these two women are now and what the daughter is telling authorities about what she saw that night.
Also, there is a lot more going on. CNN's Nic Robertson is in a town where Bin Laden was holed up all those years. We will go to speak with Nic in a few moments. That's coming up right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: All right, Jeanne Meserve, our Homeland Security correspondent is getting new information on what else Navy SEALs found in Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. What are you learning, Jeanne?
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we have heard before about the computers and hard drives that were found. Now in addition, U.S. official tells me that cell phones were found. The official put the number at about five.
In addition some guns including AK-47s and pistols, the number around five. Lots of paper documents and this very interesting, audio and video equipment. Interesting because, of course, we have had audio and videotapes from al Qaeda.
In fact on Monday, we were told that it was possible that a tape of Bin Laden himself might surface in the near future. We have not seen that yet. The official with whom I spoke said the material appears to be living up to what it was being called, which is a treasure-trove of information.
This official notes that even the historic information can provide insight into people and into relationships. But there is an expectation that there will be more current information involved, too. Of course, the exploitation of all of these materials, devices still going on at this point in time. It is going to take time because there is so much of it, Wolf.
BLITZER: I heard, Jeanne, but maybe you know more that all of the sensitive material was just sort of lying out there. It wasn't buried or wasn't in a safe and any secure areas. Is that right?
MESERVE: That's absolutely right. This official described it as hiding in plain sight within that compound where Osama Bin Laden was found, Wolf.
BLITZER: Jeanne Meserve, thanks for that information now. When U.S. Navy SEALs helicopter out of Bin Laden's compound with his dead body, they took arm loads and arm loads as Jeanne said of that seized computer material with them.
They didn't take two people, though with intimate knowledge. Two women believed to be his wife and daughter. CNN's Brian Todd is working this part of the story for us. What are you finding out about these two women?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we know already that one of the wives was with him in the room when he died. Now we are finding out that a young teenage daughter was not only on the scene, but now claims to have witnessed the grisly event.
TODD (voice-over): Among the children left behind by U.S. SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden, a daughter of the terrorist leader. That's according to a senior Pakistani intelligence source who tells CNN that the daughter could be 12 or 13 years old.
The source says that she's told investigators that she saw her father being shot. I asked CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank about the daughter's identity.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It is possible, but not certain this could be a daughter called Safia who's believed to be the daughter of Osama bin Laden's Yemeni wife. Bin Laden's bodyguard before 9/11 talks about Bin Laden having a new daughter, Safia, just before the 9/11 attacks.
TODD: Information which seems to fit with CNN's sourcing on the raid. Our Pakistani source says that among the two, three women left behind at the compound, one believed to be Bin Laden's wife is a 29- year-old Yemeni citizen.
GO TV has shown a passport of a Yemeni woman found in the compound, but it is not clear if that belongs to the wife who Bin Laden married the n the year 2000 when she was a teenager.
CRUICKSHANK: She traveled from Yemen all the way to Afghanistan with Bin Laden's chief bodyguard and married him in a ceremony in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
TODD: Why wouldn't U.S. forces have taken Bin Laden's wife and daughter with them to gather crucial information? CNN is told the mission was to get Bin Laden, take any relevant materials, and get out. Paul Cruickshank says this information about information the wife and daughter might have.
CRUICKSHANK: Bin Laden kept his family life very separate from his work life, his life as an international terrorist. He did not share details about his terrorist career where certainly the wife and his family, the daughters.
TODD: Bin Laden, experts say, married at least five times, starting when he was about 17, and had at least four wives at the time of his death. The wife and daughter apparently left behind are now in Pakistani custody.
Murad Khan, a former Pakistani government spokesman, says they'll likely be repatriated to the mother's country of origin.
(on camera) Will the wife and daughter be put in any danger, any kind of vulnerability, by being repatriated?
MURAD KHAN, FORMER PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: Depends which country are they from and then it will -- if we will tell you how they did with the people who are in terrorism -- I think they should be, you know, dealt humanely, and because they were dependent on bin Laden. They are not the terrorists.
TODD: Now, that country of repatriation could be Yemen. Contacted by CNN, a Yemeni official said his government has not yet been informed of any request to repatriate anyone from the raid -- Wolf.
BLITZER: How would they be treated if they were sent to Yemen? What's your sense?
TODD: Well, I asked the Yemeni official that. He said it's too early to say right now. He did acknowledge they would have to go through security procedures. But he said, look, this is a unique case. It's going to take his government a while to figure out how to handle them. I mean, imagine Osama bin Laden's wife and daughter coming into your custody. That's a tough case to handle in any -- in any sense.
BLITZER: I know U.S. intelligence officials, counter-terror, they'd love to have access to these two women and interview them, because you never know what kind of tips they may provide. I suspect the Pakistanis are not going to let that happen, although they may give some information to the U.S.
Thanks very much.
There are pointed questions being raised here in Washington and beyond about how bin Laden was able to hide in plain sight just down the road from an army school known to every member of Pakistan's armed forces. Our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, shows us just how close bin Laden was.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Pakistan's famous military academy. They've got a great big tank right outside of it, and it's famous because this is where all of Pakistan's army officers come to get trained, and it's literally is about half a mill to a mile from where bin Laden was living. Going to go take a look at how far away it was how to get there.
It's straight down this road. You can see the road goes long and straight towards the mountains. Plenty of soldiers around here. It's the equivalent, if you like, of West Point in the United States, or Sandhurst in Britain. It's absolutely famous throughout Pakistan.
But further up the road here we've got a problem, because where we were able to drive up the road yesterday, and then take the back streets to get across to bin Laden's compound, today the police upon -- the police are up there. They've got a check point, and they won't let us go through. So we're going to have to park up in a minute and dive down, take a walk down some of these little back alleys.
But this is about -- we said about a kilometer, just over half a mile from that military academy. It's quite an affluent area. There's another house here being built. Quite posh looking. Cut above the average here. Protection along the railings here. And then just painting the walls.
This is an up-and-coming town. People here tell us that it's expanding quite rapidly. An ideal place for bin Laden to move into unnoticed.
If it wasn't for the police checkpoint we wouldn't have to go across the river, but this does seem to be the only way we can get to bin Laden's compound. He made it look easy. I'm not sure that I will. Some of them are a bit wobbly.
We're about a mile from the military academy now. Over out in the farm, the fields, cabbages, over here. Cows grazing over here. It's a completely different feel to the center of the town. And this is perhaps how bin Laden was able to hide away because there weren't so many people around. More houses, though. This one is almost as tall as bin Laden's. But it doesn't have the wall. But this one over here -- it's quite large. The wall's not as high, but it does have the barbed wire.
And again, the thing that made bin Laden's different, the wall was just higher. Probably twice that height. And it also had the barbed wire at the top.
This is about as close as we're going to be able to get to bin Laden's compound. It's about 500 yards that way. There's a police checkpoint here. Army checkpoint over there. Police checkpoint there. The police are coming down here. We're not going to be able to go any further forward.
How come he was able to live here and get away with it and that intelligence services didn't pick up on him sooner, that's going to be a lingering question. And no indications we'll get an answer to it any time soon.
Nic Robertson, CNN, close to Osama bin Laden's compound, Abbottabad, Pakistan.
BLITZER: Severe doubt among some Pakistanis that bin Laden is really dead, even in the very city where he was killed. Why are so many of these people so skeptical?
Plus, watching the raid in real-time over at the White House. The technology that makes it possible. We're going to get an up-close look.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: We're just getting the exchange that President Obama had earlier in the day with Steve Kroft of CBS News "60 Minutes" on his decision, the president's decision, not to release those photos of bin Laden's body. Listen to this exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE KROFT, CBS'S "60 MINUTES": Have you seen the pictures?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.
KROFT: What was your reaction when you saw them?
OBAMA: It was him.
KROFT: Why won't you release them?
OBAMA: You know, we discussed this internally. Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain this was him. We've done DNA sampling and testing. And so there's no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden.
It is important for us to make sure that we are -- very graphic photos of somebody who is shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence, as a propaganda tool. You know, that's not who we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The decision not to release the picture of bin Laden's body will likely fuel, though, some doubts among those who question whether he was really killed. And that includes many young people in the town where it all went down.
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is there.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's a great deal of skepticism here in Abbottabad as to whether or not bin Laden was ever killed in Pakistan and particularly whether or not U.S. Special Forces hunted him down in this city. And we've come to the university to talk to some of the town's brightest and youngest as to whether or not they believe they ever had bin Laden as a neighbor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just propaganda. Obama has been killed ten years ago in Afghanistan. And it's social propaganda to finish the war in Afghanistan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was just a reason to come over here in Afghanistan to occupy the resources of Sandrilashia (ph) and Disaltasia (ph).
WALSH: Who thinks bin Laden was actually in Abbottabad?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if Osama is killed, then didn't the Americans show -- like a...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His body.
WALSH: If you saw the body would you believe it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe, maybe. Maybe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If they killed Osama in Afghanistan, and they killed his dead body here in Abbottabad, and show the whole world, Pakistan, the rest of the country and Osama is here in Abbottabad. It is possible they killed him.
WALSH: The Pakistani government admits that he was here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this is true then why are they not showing his body?
BLITZER: That was Nick Paton Walsh on the scene for us in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Some of those students, by the way, that you saw in his piece might be convinced if the U.S. released -- if the U.S. released bin Laden's body, the photos of that body.
Our latest poll, by the way, of Americans shows 56 -- 56 percent say the pictures should be released. But President Obama, as you know, decided against it.
Technology on the battlefield. What's going on as far as technology is concerned. You're not going to necessarily believe how it's changing some crucial military operations. We'll tell you about some of the incredible breakthroughs that helped officials in the White House Situation Room. Watch what was going on in real-time.
And what should the U.S. do about Pakistan? There are growing tensions over the killing of bin Laden. Jack Cafferty and your e- mail, much more, coming up.
BLITZER: President Obama monitored the bin Laden raid in real time, according to administration officials. But how was he able to know what was happening on the ground as the raid actually went down? The answer is still a mystery. But our Mary Snow found one high-tech possibility already used by the U.S. military.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wolf, we don't know exactly what the president and his national security team used to monitor the mission. But we did get a sense of what's possible with technology out there.
It's become an iconic image: the president and top officials in the White House Situation Room monitoring the mission to get Osama bin Laden. CIA director Leon Panetta doing the same at CIA headquarters.
Until now, seeing a mission unfold in real-time from thousands of miles away was the stuff of Hollywood. Remember "Patriot Games" when the CIA's Jack Ryan watched a raid on a terrorist camp on a satellite feed. Nearly two decades after that movie, retired Army General Dennis Moran says most people are unaware of the kind of technology the military now uses.
GENERAL DENNIS MORAN (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Sometimes they watch TV and, you know, shows like "24" and they think that this -- this kind of capability is -- you know, is just science fiction.
SNOW: General Moran works for a company supplying the military and Special Forces with equipment to transmit sound and images from battlefields. Moran says he does not know what kind of technology was used in the Osama bin Laden raid, and the CIA director told PBS he did not see Osama bin Laden get shot.
LEON PANETTA, CIA DIRECTOR: We had some observation of the approach there, but we did not have direct flow of information as to the actual conduct of operation itself as they were going through the compound.
SNOW: General Moran showed us one way the military can monitor situations on the ground through these cameras worn on helmets.
(on camera) This is the kind of equipment that allows the soldier to communicate both by video and audio. They'd wear this in their backpack, and it weighs about 11 pounds.
It's a tiny camera that transmits video and audio to global command centers miles away.
(voice-over) A command center, says General Moran, could be in a Humvee and pulled up on a laptop. Or it can be transmitted to a plane where the range is much greater. Then the images, even instant messages, can be sent by a secured satellite to a central command center that could be anywhere.
Exciting technology, yes, says General Moran. But it also poses challenges.
MORAN: There was always the danger of having connectivity or the fear of being connected from a foxhole to the White House. And what would that really mean? Well, now we have technology that enables that.
And so leaders and commanders at all level need to understand that it -- that they need to allow the -- the commanders on the battlefield to execute the mission that they've been given and give them the resources that they need and only react as appropriate.
SNOW (on camera): Wolf, this is just one company providing this technology and it says it started being used about two years ago. And it says one crucial use beyond monitoring battles is being able to try to match biometric information instantly. Things like fingerprints, facial recognition and iris scans. Something that could have taken days in the past -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Fascinating stuff. Mary, thank you, very much.
So what should the U.S. do about its relationship with Pakistan? Jack Cafferty and the Cafferty File. Your e-mail coming up next.
BLITZER: Check back with Jack for "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question this hour is: "What ought to be done about Pakistan?"
Stan says, "Push for more accountability on the aid that Pakistan gets from us. Push for more of the aid to go to the public sector instead of the military. If the administration withholds all aid, Pakistani likely will go to China for aid and stop any cooperation with the U.S., like allowing use of bases and supply routes to Afghanistan for U.S. troops, among other things."
Centena writes, "There's no doubt Osama bin Laden was Pakistan's cash cow. As long as he was alive, they could milk the United States of billions of dollars in aid money. It was in their interest that Osama bin Laden be protected. What had to be done was done. This ends the free ride. The USA should now seek more trustworthy allies in the region and use part of that foreign aid fund that would have gone to Pakistan to boost homeland security."
Patricia writes, "This morning while watching CNN news, I saw a story showing Pakistanis having a 'funeral'" -- in quotation marks -- "for bin Laden. And they were burning American flags. And we send them billions of dollars every year? Tell me, what's wrong with this picture?"
Elizabeth in Ontario: "Nothing. Sometimes it's best to just do nothing. U.S. doesn't always have to do something. The USA has to stop acting out what everybody else wants it to do. Move onto the next thing, like getting U.S. citizens jobs!"
Sam writes, "The Japanese export cars. Saudi Arabia exports oil. Afghanistan exports heroin and opium. And Pakistan exports terrorism. For the Pakistani military, terrorism is a revenue-generating business with terrorists bartered and sold like a commodity. Until the rest of the world understands and deals with this problem, it won't go away."
And Rich in Texas writes this: "Sadly, there isn't much the U.S. can do. As long as we have military in Afghanistan and in Iraq, we need Pakistan to some extent. They also happen to have nuclear weapons. And we can't ignore that small but very lethal fact."
If you want to read more on the subject, go to my blog: CNN.com/CaffertyFile.
BLITZER: Yes, I think that Rich in Texas, Jack, the fact that Pakistan has at least 100 nuclear bombs in their arsenal. Would have been a whole lot different if they didn't have those nuclear weapons. The U.S. has to worry about that.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty with "The Cafferty File." Thanks very, very much.
A New Yorker extremely excited about Osama bin Laden's demise tries to spread that enthusiasm on the subway. We're going to tell you what happened next.
And the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee weighs in on the operation that killed bin Laden. Senator Dianne Feinstein, she'll join John King at the top of the hour. Stand by for that.
BLITZER: Here's a look at some of today's "Hot Shots." Pictures coming in from around the world.
In Misrata, Libya, African migrants line up to board a ship leaving the city besieged by Gadhafi forces.
In Berlin, a member of a bomb squad -- disposal squad, I should say, checks a suspicious package under a bench.
In Singapore, the sun sets as people attend an election rally.
And look at this. In Budapest, a man takes the ball from the hand of an advanced robot at a technology exhibition.
"Hot Shots," pictures coming in from around the world.
There were spontaneous celebrations all over the United States when word came out that bin Laden was dead. One very, very enthusiastic individual tried to generate some support on a subway. CNN's Jeanne Moos picks up the story.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ever since Osama bin Laden was killed, we've been hearing...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA, USA!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA, USA!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: USA, USA!
MOOS: Until this...
JONATHAN STOKES, TRIED TO GET CHEERING STARTED ON SUBWAY: All right, New Yorkers. This isn't always appropriate, but it is today. So if you don't mind, anybody with a pair, join me. USA, USA! Come on. USA! Bin Laden's dead. USA! MOOS: But the subway car remained in a united state of silence.
STOKES: For crying out loud, if there was any day to be proud of our military and our country and our president...
MOOS: Despite waiter Jonathan Stokes's best efforts, all he got was a one-finger salute.
STOKES: USA! Anybody give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED)? USA! USA!
MOOS (on camera): Chant in a subway? New Yorkers don't even have eye contact in the subway. And they hate it when you point a camera at them.
(voice-over) Divided we stand. And sit.
Jonathan had been at Ground Zero earlier and was over the rainbow about bin Laden biting the dust.
STOKES: You're welcome to all the military. Everyone who protects you while you sleep!
It took me a while to realize that I was kind of obnoxious and I was that crazy guy that I probably might have ignored if that had happened, so I don't -- I forgive everyone there.
MOOS: When he posted his video to YouTube, he got comments like, "Cheering death is just plain old bad karma." Yes, well, then what's this?
MATT GILLESPIE, WEST VIRGINIAN CHEF: Woo!
MOOS: A West Virginian tooling around on his ATV.
MOOS: With a flag tied to a fishing rod.
GILLESPIE: USA, USA!
MOOS: And firing off a nine millimeter and a .357 magnum. Matt Gillespie was called every dumb redneck name in the book.
(via phone) So what do you say to all those people that are writing nasty things about you being some hillbilly hick?
GILLESPIE: It's hilarious.
MOOS (voice-over): Matt is a chef. And he cooked this up as an over-the-top display of patriotism, sort of performance art.
(via phone) The way you were going in and out of frame was funny. I mean...
(voice-over) All of this inspired by Osama bin Laden's demise.
STOKES: The new fish food at the bottom of the Arabian Sea, as I like to say.
MOOS: But even blind patriotism beats shooting blind.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos...
STOKES: USA! USA!
MOOS: ... CNN ...
MOOS: ... New York.
BLITZER: That does it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
"JOHN KING USA" starts right now.