Gov. must release bin Laden photos

The decision not to release the post-mortem photos is shortsighted.

by Daily Editorial Board

Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced in an interview with CBS that he will not authorize the release of pictures taken of Osama bin Laden after he was killed in MondayâÄôs Navy SEAL assault on his compound in Pakistan. While it is wise not to unnecessarily inflame public opinion in the Middle East, failure to release the photographs of bin Laden is a shortsighted and ultimately futile decision.
For starters, the federal government has been unable to stop massive leaks of secret government documents through Wikileaks. Despite ObamaâÄôs wishes to the contrary, it is likely that the photographs of bin Laden will be leaked at some point.
Additionally, Obama stated that the photographs would not be released because they could be an âÄúincitement to additional violenceâÄù or âÄúused as a propaganda tool.âÄù
However, recent events in the Middle East show that there is little popular support for the kind of religious fanaticism preached by bin Laden and his followers.
It would be far better to release the photos as a deterrent to others who would attack the U.S. than to withhold them based on the fear of building support for our enemies.
A decade of war has already shown that bin Laden and his followers do not have large-scale support across the Middle East.
It would also be advantageous to release the photographs and move on âÄî a lesson Obama should have learned from the controversy surrounding his birth certificate.
Obama should release the photographs of bin Laden in order not to permit the issue to sidetrack other important foreign policy discussions.