President Barack Obama made the right call Wednesday when he decided not to release death photos of terrorist Osama bin Laden. There’s nothing to be gained from the release of the graphic pictures.
Skeptics who are not convinced by the DNA evidence and other identifying proof that bin Laden is dead will not be convinced by any photo the U.S. government produces. They will claim the image was manufactured by photo shop procedures and persist in believing that someone else’s body was buried in the northern Arabian Sea.
Any picture of bin Laden’s body, bloodied after the attack by Navy SEALS, could be used as an iconic image by his followers to promote him as a martyr. There is nothing to be gained from inciting violence or creating ill will in the Mideast by allowing the worldwide distribution of such a photo. Or as President Obama indelicately put it “There’s no need to spike the football.”
The precision of the raid on bin Laden’s not-so-remote compound and the painstaking, persistent planning and intelligence gathering that went into that successful military operation was mind-boggling. Now that was a feat that was almost unbelievable.
When it comes to the Al-Qaida’s departed leader, let the doubters doubt. Osama bin Laden is dead. His threats of “Death to America” have ended. And the world is an infinitely better place for it.