Speaking only for myself and not my colleagues at IWF, I say that the man of thousands of words should release the photos.
I realize that there are far more important issues than whether we get to see the gruesome photos of a dead bin Laden. A good argument can be made for withholding them. Well, a sort of good argument. But the president’s arguments seem to be based on fear of offending the Arab street and paternalism-as with so many things, President Obama thinks he knows best. In a way, his refusal to trust us with the pictures is emblematic of his view of government’s role in our lives.
I hope he does well at Ground Zero today. We will have an opportunity to be proud of our country and our president when President Obama goes there today. But I just wish he thought well enough of us to let us see the monster slain. Having watched our fellow citizens jump from the burning tower, we are entitled to that much. Lee Cary of the American Thinker agrees:
The meta-message here is that we who walk the American Street are children, to be lectured by our all-knowing parents, told that, “You kids don’t need to see this. It’s only for us adults. It’s too gruesome, and it’ll make the people who liked the dead man mad at us for what we’ve done to him.” This is told to Americans who are deluged daily by Hollywood, TV News, and videogame images of graphic gruesomeness.
Follow that logic, and TV news outlets, at the insistence of the Bush administration, should have censored the photos and films of the Twin Towers falling down. Blackened out those small, horrific images of people jumping off the top of burning buildings. And secured a court injunction to prohibit the New York Times, always sensitive of the American Street, from distributing photos of mortally wounded US soldiers. No problems with those pictures — no danger of offending the Arab Street there.
Speaking of the American Street, I caught just a few seconds of Eliot Spitzer last night-a Muslim woman was talking about how, upon learning of the death of bin Laden, she had gone to Ground Zero and quietly read some verses from the Koran. But there were rowdy Americans all around her. Some were cursing bin Laden! Shudder. It reminded her of…yeah, the Bush era. And you thought a mosque at Ground Zero dishonored the hallowed ground!
Spare a thought for George Bush today. Both presidents share in the glory-some of it rowdy-of this moment. Paul Kengor has a fine piece on “the sacrificial presidency of George W. Bush” out this morning.
Still, Bush quietly carried his cross, turning the other cheek, accepting the torment, sacrificing his presidency for what he thought was best for his country and citizens. He could’ve closed Gitmo. He could’ve stopped the “enhanced interrogation” of detainees. He could’ve stopped waterboarding. He could’ve picked up and packed up and abandoned Iraq and Afghanistan.