Fake Bin Laden Picture Fools America's Sexiest SenatorS

Turns out that Bin Laden's guards didn't put up much of a fight—and that those helmet cams didn't work very well. Obama won't release Bin Laden's death pic, so a disappointed nation drowns their bloodlust in fakes. The SEALS that did the deed remain in hiding, and the crazy Bin Laden hunter wants his reward. It's day three of our post-Osama world, with updates.

12:00 a.m. ET Update

  • New accounts of the raid on Bin Laden's compound indicate that it was—in the words of The New York Times—"a one-sided battle." As it turns out, the Navy SEALs only took fire at the start of the mission, and then moved quickly through the house without encountering any more armed guards; when they reached Bin Laden, he had "an AK-47 and a Makarov pistol in arm's reach."
  • One reason it's taken so long for the administration to get its story straight: Despite the now-famous photo of the president in the situation room, CIA Director Leon Panetta tells PBS Newshour, for "20 or 25 minutes... we really didn't know just exactly what was going on." It wasn't until Joint Special Operations Command head Adm. William McRaven heard the team say "Geronimo" that they knew the SEALs had been successful.
  • A "source" tells The New York Daily News that President George W. Bush isn't going to Ground Zero because he feels "slighted" over President Obama's apparent failure to give the Bush administration credit. Well: He probably should have caught Bin Laden when he was president, then.
  • That helicopter that suffered mechanical failure after the mission and had to be incapacitated? It wasn't a helicopter at all. Okay, well, it was a helicopter, but not one that any internet aviation nerds had ever seen before. Most likely, says Wired's Spencer Ackerman, it's "an upgraded, stealth-optimized MH-60."

Previously

  • Obama is not going to release the Osama Bin Laden death picture, so the internet has kindly made countless fakes. Don't feel bad if you get taken in by a photoshop: Sexy Senator Scott Brown did, too. In an interview with Boston's Fox 25, Sen. Brown bragged that "I've seen the picture, he's definitely dead and if there's any conspiracy theories out there you should put them to rest." Asked if it was gruesome, Brown replied, somewhat exasperated, "Listen, anytime you have anyone who's been shot certainly it is gruesome." But, whoops, here's update from Fox 25:

    Scott Brown tells FOX25 - "The photo that I saw and that a lot of other people saw is not authentic."

    We're guessing one of these other people was New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, who claimed "another senator showed her the photo." Senators: Blood-thirsty savages just like us!

  • But is it a good idea not to release the photo? At Slate, Jack Shafer argues that withholding the pics "infantilizes the nation."Philip Gourevitch of the New Yorker says we should not release them: "A photograph of the violence you inflict is always, in very large measure, a self-portrait," and Osama's blasted head would make a pretty ugly self-portrait indeed. Sarah Palin makes the worst possible argument: Obama is "pussy-footing around."
  • Let's not get distracted from the real issue: Is Osama Bin Laden in Hell? A stupid CNN poll says 61 percent of people believe, yes, Osama Bin Laden is in Hell. How many people think he's in hog heaven?
  • This is the worst Osama/Obama gaffe.
  • Everyone wants a (literal!) piece of the hunky and mysterious Navy SEALs that did the deed. Sorry, they're "resting" at Andrews Air Force Base and will "likely be honored privately." Maybe you can stand outside the base and flash them as they drive out.
  • Here's a picture of Osama Bin Laden's giant jar of vaseline. Jokes away!
  • Here's what some smart photo editors have to say about that famous picture of Obama and his team watching the Bin Laden raid in the White House situation room. "What's most interesting to me about this photo is what you're not seeing. The mystery of what's happening off camera is captured wholly in the expression on Hillary's face," says Newsweek director of photography Scott Hall. It truly is the photo that launched a thousand caption contests.
  • Gary Faulkner, the crazy renegade Osama Bin Laden hunter who was arrested in Pakistan with a pistol, sword and night-vision goggles, thinks he deserves a quarter of the $25 million bounty on Osama Bin Laden's head because he "believes he had a hand in forcing bin Laden out of the mountains."
  • Online poker players aren't the only ones making tenuous connections to Osama Bin Laden news: An ABC affiliate in Branson, Missouri broke the "news" that a random dude was on the aircraft carrier that buried OBL. "He is (several) stories under the flight deck and his job pretty much keeps him contained below deck."

[Image, of Bin Laden's compound surrounded by media and locals, via AP]