Right now the prevailing news everywhere is on the subject of whether or not the photographs of the slain Osama bin Ladin should be released. President Obama and the majority of his security advisors seem,at least for the present time, to have come down on the side of not releasing these images to the world to see. Arguments can be made for both sides in this debate.
In the final analysis, fear of retribution by radical Islamists should not be the criterion for this decision. Fear is never a strong position from which a nation devoted to openess and bravery reaches such decisions. America is such a nation. On the other hand neither should these photographs be released to quell some theory that bin Laden is still alive, or to brag about the fact of our success in bringing down the number one terrorist leader . These photographs should be released because we are an open society with the full right to see these images. America has outstanding values and these values include the right to access important information which will not have a critical impact on national security. The President’s decision seems much more crafted to pacify the Muslim world, and to avoid fearful consequences, than to serve the cause of freedom and American values. The release of the pictures should not be seen as “spiking the ball” in the end zone of public opinion, but rather the freedom of expression and the inherent right of the world,and all Americans, to experience something historic and important in our lives.