I may be wrong and perhaps you may prove me so, but for cathartic reasons I must write about the non-disclosure of the Bin Laden death photos.
As a journalist, it is in my inherent nature to call for a full disclosure of documented facts and transparency within our government, even if people who side with the government don’t like it.
Journalists also have a duty to protect history as it’s made.
History should never be sanitized.
I understand the argument that releasing the death photos could inflame the small percentage of religious fanatics. Whatever. The fanatics are always inflamed. They’re fanatics. Something else is bound to come up in a few months that will rile them up, photos or no photos.
“A threat to national security” is an all too common government refuge and a platitude long worn out by public officials.
The White House needs to do the right thing and show the world it killed Bin Laden.
Keeping the photos in the dark is a betrayal to world history and a betrayal to future generations who must know what Bin Laden did and must see the nature of his final demise.
History is more credible with proof of fact and photographic evidence even if that documentation is gruesome and offensive.
100 years from now when we are all dead, I’d rather have a history teacher hold up photo of a dead Bin Laden rather than just recite an account out of text.
How many times have you seen JFK’s assassination, the bodies of soldiers on the battlefield from the Civil War era, or photographs of gruesome hangings from the early 1900’s?
Ten years ago we had to watch planes hit the Twin Towers in horror and we had to watch people jump to their deaths from the burning buildings.
We’ve had to see the flag draped caskets of soldiers.
We’ve all had to undergo ridiculous security measures at the airport and in many cases we’ve had to watch our government lie and abuse its power in the name of the War on Terror.
I think we can tolerate the image of a terrorist with a bullet through the head.
We should be more horrified at censorship out of fear.