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Should the U.S. Government Release the Photos of a Killed Osama Bin Laden?

Posted on the 11 January 2013 by Real Talk @talkrealdebate2012

infamous photo of President Obama and his cabinet watching the raid on the OBL compoundWith the recent buzz over the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” , there has been renewed interest in the photos of a dead Osama bin Laden.  CNN is reporting that a federal appeals court panel is considering whether photos of Osama bin Laden’s body should be released.

“Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, argued Thursday before a three-judge panel that the Freedom of Information Act requires the government to release the pictures or better explain why the release of specific images would damage national security.”

There are 52 photos of the dead Al Qaeda leader from his death at the compound to his burial at sea.  The U.S. government argues that releasing the photos could incite more violence against America.

It is not in our national security interest … to allow these images to become icons to rally opinion against the United States,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said at the time.

My take:

Should the photos be released?  After his death I thought the photos should be released.  I have since reasoned that the administration properly handled the situation (yes, I am giving “props” to the Obama administration).  It is very easy to say well these fanatics are always trying to kill us and therefore we shouldn’t withhold our “rights” to appease them.  It is very easy because most of these same people aren’t overseas fighting in Afghanistan.  Their lives aren’t at risk.  Most of these people aren’t U.S. Ambassadors stationed in tumultuous and dangerous countries. 

What good would the release of these photos accomplish?  They surely wouldn’t appease hard-core conspiracy theorists who think we never killed OBL.  They would just think the photos were doctored.  You have to ask yourself, are the lives of our citizens across the world less important than your need to see photos of a dead man.  I can’t answer yes to that question.  Can you?


What do you think?


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