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The case for releasing photos of bin Laden’s corpse

Post by Cheryl Tucker on May 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm with 2 Comments »
May 5, 2011 3:56 pm

In an editorial appearing Friday in the print edition, we argue that releasing the gruesome photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse would do more harm than good – for two reasons.

• The hard-core skeptics (they’re being called “deathers” now) wouldn’t believe anything they were shown.

• They could potentially incite violence against Americans abroad, including our military, diplomats and aid workers. That’s why the military asked that the photos not be released.

Of course, there’s a case to be made for the other side – and I could have written an editorial supporting that, too. William J. Bennett, for instance, argues that release would give a better sense of closure and withholding them “carves out an exception in our history of documenting major world events.”

He disputes the notion that the U.S. should not release the photos because they might incite violence. That, he writes, “is to grant jihadists a veto on our public policy, and it is a veto that can never be satisfied, that will never be powerful enough.”

To accept this veto would be to hobble everything a free people should stand for, from the exercise of free speech and religious freedom to the right to walk down the street peaceably. We should not defer our rights and liberties and policies to the threats of madmen, nihilists or fascists. It doesn’t work anyway.

Read Bennett’s entire story here.

Rick “Ozzie” Nelson – director of the Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies – argues that President Obama faced a “no-win decision” regarding the photos and that he made the right decision for the short term. Eventually, though, Nelson believes Obama probably will feel pressured to release them. Read his story here.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. nwcolorist says:

    Cheryl, I had to laugh at today’s cartoon showing Obama talking to a staff member, and asking him “is there any way we can kill Osama bin Laden every day?”

    I mention this because it’s the first time in many months that I’ve laughed at a Tribune cartoon. 98% of the cartoons are done by the far Left and intended for their fans. It’s a relentless attempt to make Republicans and Conservatives look bad.

    Not that that’s bad in itself. The Left needs their fun. They certainly need some laughs the way things have been going for Obama. But what are the chances of getting some more balance?

  2. Obama is making a good decision by not releasing the photos. The nut cases will have their paranoia regardless of his actions. They’ll scream “Photoshop!” or some other mindless blather.

    As for the Arabs, they already know OBL is dead. If he wasn’t we’d be getting the “Swing and miss” call.

    The world won’t miss seeing OBL’s brains leaking out on the floor. I just wish they hadn’t polluted the ocean. Its a perfectly good one and was minding its own business. When all of sudden, the Americans take a dump in it. We can do better.

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