Freedom New Mexico
President Barack Obama decided Wednesday to keep classified the reportedly gruesome post-mortem photos of Osama bin Laden.
It’s a good call. Yes, the pictures belong to all Americans because they are government property. Few organizations have fought as long and hard as Freedom Communications for open government and open records. But the codes to launch nuclear weapons are government property, and no one of sound mind would suggest they be released for public review. No, the photos aren’t the same as nuclear codes. But they easily fall into the category of publicly owned information that should be classified.
It is true that an alarming number of Americans and Middle Easterners don’t believe bin Laden died. The photos won’t change that. With modern technology, authentic-looking photos can be altered and fabricated from scratch. Conspiracy theorists, with their minds made up, will consider them fake no matter what. Forget trying to convince them.
While nothing good would result from releasing the photos, an abundance of harm could ensue. Those who harbor anti-American hostilities would see it as a distribution of trophies to satiate the masses. Why should we care? Because the anger could result in the death of Americans, resulting from the needless antagonization of those who already live to hate the United States.
We do not need to gawk at photos of a dead man. DNA and multiple eyewitness accounts are all the proof we need that Obama’s mission killed bin Laden.