Release the Damn Pictures

The Obama regime has decided not to release any photographs of Usama bin Laden’s dead body.  Talking with 60 Minutes, President Obama stated:

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. As a propaganda tool. You know, that’s not who we are. You know, we don’t trot out this stuff as trophies. You know, the fact of the matter is this was somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received.

Yes, he deserved what he got.  But how exactly would releasing a photograph incite radical Muslims more than they already are?  I’m pretty sure al-Qaeda has plenty of other propaganda tools to use.

Writing for Hot Air, Patterico argues the bin Laden photos should be released.  He makes a good case:

If we really think about it, we need to confront the fact that releasing the photos may indeed serve as an icon for radical Islam. The reason we don’t care isn’t because “it will happen anyway.” It’s because we have another, better argument for why withholding the pictures will inflame radical Muslims even more.

The reason we believe this is simple: we don’t see radical Islamists as appeasable. We have walked the road of trying to gain their friendship by gestures of appeasement before. Ask the Israelis how that works out. Every time they make a major concession to the radical Islamists, it brings Israel closer to peace, right? Wrong. It emboldens the radicals.

Simply put: you don’t back down with radical Islamists. They see the weakness and try to exploit it.

As for the sensitivities of the non-radical Muslim world, they disowned this cretin bin Laden long ago. If they didn’t, they’re radical by definition. So let’s not worry about their sensitivities either.

Forget “Muslim sensitivities.” We need to prove that we did what we did.

Let me back up a second and explain my perspective. As a prosecutor, proving assertions is my habit. If I say something, it’s second nature to want to provide the evidence. There are limits to this principle, as there are to any principle — but generally, if you make the assertion and you’re holding the proof in your hand, but you won’t release the proof . . . it makes me suspicious about what you might be hiding.

Releasing the photos won’t convince the whole world. But it is part of the proof, and will go a long way towards convincing those who are capable of being convinced.

Sure, people will claim that the photos are doctored.  But who gives a crap about what the conspiracy nuts think?  The release of the photographs would send a strong message to radical Muslims everywhere:  If you mess with America, you’ll get your face blown apart.


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