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Show us the Photos! Obama’s Epic Error

Obama’s decision not to release the death photos of Osama Bin Laden is an egregious mistake that raises, not lowers, the danger to the United States.

This is a decision born in fear, and the United States should never be projecting fear. It tempts the wolves who prowl at our door.

Let’s take a look at Obama’s rationale for keeping the photos from the public, as expressed during a 60 Minutes interview that will air Sunday.

It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool

We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies . . . The fact of the matter is, this is somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received . . . we don’t need to spike the football . . . given the graphic nature of these photos it would create a national security risk.

The message being sent, right on the cusp of one of our greatest moments of Taking Care of Business, is this: We are afraid of you. We are trembling at the thought you might get angry at us. We fear your reaction. We killed your leader, but please don’t be upset with us.

Messages of weakness get lopped up by the jackals who are our enemies. Weakness incites violence against us.

Bin Laden Jack Ruby
Conspiracy? Bin Laden was actually taken alive but then shot by an outraged Dallas nightclub owner. Photo by iMaksim.com

What the release of the photo would actually prompt is the respect and the fear toward us from the rest of the world, which is far more likely than us to view the universe in Darwinian terms. It would be a solid affirmation of our strength. Releasing the photos says something true and awesome about the United States: “If you attack us, it may take ten years, but we will find you, and this is what will happen to you. Here, TAKE A LOOK.”

The U.S. is known, compared to the rest of the world, for a having short attention span. The photos would show we don’t always forget.

I believe the Obama White House thinks the planet beyond Western Europe has our kind of rational, compassionate mindset. But the world has a very different mindset. If we took Bin Laden’s mangled corpse and strung it up on a flagpole at Ground Zero, half the population overseas would think this a perfectly reasonable approach.

But we can’t even release a photo.

In what way is the picture of the Terrorist King with his cerebellum dribbling out the side of his head going to inspire future Jihadists? Sure, there will be some angry ululating, but after that dies down, the message is clear: this is what the United States does to bad guys. Don’t be one.

It’s not spiking the football. How silly. It’s a lesson and a warning. Our enemies and their potential recruits understand that Bin Laden played a risky game, and lost. The photos would not shock them. Why shouldn’t America blow half his head off? That’s what they’d do to us.

Bin Laden is not a particularly sympathetic figure in the Arab world anymore. The photo would  give sustenance to those seeking a better Arab world, a graphic message that the past is dead.

Obama holds football
Obama prepares to spike the ball. Photo by Keith Koffler

And then their are the conspiracies. The Arab street, and many other streets, think the sunrise is a conspiracy. We have left an indelible question mark in the minds of some around the world about whether we really got Bin Laden. The conflicting accounts we offered about the operation only accentuate the sense of a fictional story poorly told.

Gosh, some reasonable Americans took years to believe Elvis was dead. Jim Morrison of the Doors is still held by some to be in some shack in the south of France prying escargots out of their shells and laying down new rock music tracks.

Without the photo, Osama lives on. What better way to recruit the next generation of terrorists, gullible types who can be convinced that harems of willing virgins await their murderous self-immolation?

And what about us Americans. Don’t we have the right to see this? Don’t we have the right to see our worst enemy crushed by our brave protectors? Why, Mr. President, do you and some of the others in the elite ruling class grant yourselves permission to gain closure, while denying it to the rest of us?

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28 Responses to Show us the Photos! Obama’s Epic Error

  1. Keith,

    Great article.

    You know, this is Obama’s Zapruder moment. A caller on Limbaugh’s show today stated that the reason the photo is not being released is that it shows an entry wound to the Bin Laden’s back torso, i.e., he was shot while running away and then executed with a ‘double tap’ to the head. The caller stated that the photos may show this .. and that the Administration fears Muslim blow black.

  2. I know I keep saying I am staying out of this, and then I don’t–but we had to see those other guys blown to giblets. Might as well issue one picture. I do think all this is too morbid, but what I don’t like is being “protected” by this nose in the air president. I agree the rest of the world is pretty rough and ready and knows the rules–screw with the big dogs and maybe get mauled. I thought being killed this way will send Bin Laden to heaven–wouldn’t they be happy to see he is on his way.

    • I absolutely agree, Star. The pompous president acts in a patronizing way again. I don´t think a photo of a dead OBL could inflame the muslim world more than the killing of OBL. I read on Drudge that there already is a backlash over the death in Pakistan, burning flags and so on.So if a photo can make the event somewhat clearer it should be released. Otherwise there will be both “death riots” and various conspiratorial theories out there.

  3. As many crime scene pics from Sept 11, 2001 are shown, we saw people jumping from burning buildings, seeing this is to hard. The world needs to see that he is dead, the US took him out and we are not hiding from it. Yes spike the football!

  4. I’m thinking a poster with pictures and dates of their demise of Saddam, his two boys, UBL, mussaoui (sp?) and all the others we have taken out is in order. Just below those we put the next four or five bad guys who are in line with an open date box. Nosotros no somos pollos!!!!

  5. This article hits the target dead on (no pun intended). Not only does it make us look afraid of the terrorists, it serves as a recruitment tool by giving them the option of finding a look-alike and claiming that the US is lying.

    Also, it thoroughly undermines the credibility of the US by making us look like petulant teenagers. Imagine a kid comes home from school and says, “Hey, Mom. I made all ‘A’s on my report card!” When the mother asks to see the report card the kid replies, “I already said I got all ‘A’s. I’m not going to spike the football, and I’m done talking about this.” What would the mother’s response be? This is not the same thing, but it’s pretty close. When asked for any evidence that they really got the right guy, the administration chides the questioner for daring to ask.

    How does refusing to show any proof whatsoever make America safer?

  6. Here’s an interesting video from an encounter with a 9/11 relative today and Obama’s hostile response. I’m not surprised that he turned his back on her and walked away. I’ve read of two incidences of his doing exactly the samething, one when a neighbor brought up the subject of Israel and the other from Prof Richard Epstein of U. of Chicago.

    BO doesn’t take any disagreement or even implied criticism lightly. He’s a phony to the umth degree and a malignant narcissist to boot.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/05/05/burlingame_after_meeting_with_obama_he_turned_his_back_on_me.html

  7. People are remembering other incidents when BO turned his back on someone he disagreed with and rudely walked away. This incident is from John Lott, 2nd amendment advocate, in Chicago who said his impression of BO was that he thought that people who disagreed with him were evil:
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2116714/posts

    Turning his back on the sister of a 9/11 pilot? Beyond belief. Unfortunately, he’ll get away with it because only WH cameras were allowed for the inevitable campaign commercial and she is also a critic of his.

  8. Excellent article Keith. He won’t release it because he is agitating. It’s his job. We argue and fight over releasing the photo and behind the scenes his handlers are pushing out executive orders lickety-split.

  9. Well it just figures, we get a lefty liberal administration, and the next thing we know the US forreign policy, as well as every policy, is one of short-sighted cowardice. Barry, you are a coward. Your cowardice is empowering those (besides you) who want to tear us down.

    They’re burning our flags (which doesn’t bother me). But can we burn theirs? Oh my god the sensitivities would be violated!

      • Very compelling. Something simply not right with the whole scenario. After all, we all saw very graphic photos of Saddam’s son and of Saddam. Burial at sea is NOT “in keeping with Islamic tradition”. In time, I do believe the truth will come out.

  10. Totally agree. Obama, do NOT decide for me what I can and cannot see. Don’t let this become another birth certificate red herring, either. You should have more important things to do. God, he continually surrounds himself with idiots who give him the worst advice. This, in my opinion, has been his worst failing as president.

  11. This is a superb article.

    Assuming OBL was killed, I am utterly amazed that Obama could turn a moment of national triumph into a slight of the American people. After the price American’s have paid as a result of OBl’s actions, I believe we deserve some satisfaction. It is not our Government’s place to protect our sensibilities. Exactly who works for whom? Not to mention that Muslim radicals respond to power and nothing else. If you do not believe me, then I suggest you peruse the Quran. Turn the other cheek and the meek shall inherit the World were lost on Allah.

    Lastly, I at first agreed without the notion of an undisclosed burial site for OBL. However, in retrospect I have determined that a very public interment on Paris Island would have been ideal. Any desirous of making a pilgrimage to OBL’s burial site under that scenario would have truly earned their martyrdom.

    Regardless, great piece. I just discovered your site, and I have enjoyed reading your insights and opinions.

    • Oh, and I wanted to add that if Americans take some perverse satisfaction out of seeing OBL’s cerebellum dribbling out of the side of his head (loved that line had to lift it) then so be it. I would say we have earned the right to feel a tinge of morose pleasure at OBL’s dispatch. This could make me crazy if I allowed it to, but I refuse to give Obama that much power. I am convinced he enjoys terrorizing (pardon the pun) skeptics, but I take so.ace in realizing these pictures will be made public at some point. I can only hope it happens January 2013.