Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The question of whether or not to show the "death photos" of Osama bin Laden continues despite recent statements by the President of the United States, who said in an interview (to be broadcast by CBS this weekend) that "[i]t 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."

Do I need to see these photos? No more than I needed to see video of an American "contractor's"' beheading, or what U.S. soldiers got up to at Abu Ghraib. Will seeing these photos incite me to "additional violence"? I can't be sure -- until I see them. But not likely, no. Can we be sure that these photos were not staged? No more than we can be sure that parts of bin Laden's brain were "photoshopped" out.

But these "death photos" -- are they the definitive bin Laden "death photos"? What about the photo released three days ago of the U.S. President, Vice-President, Secretary of State, etc. in their "situation room," watching what was likely a 'live' POV feed from the helmet of the first Navy Seal to reach "The Target" -- his shot between the eyes? Nothing we will ever see of a dead bin Laden will match what is going on in this photo.

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