With all due respect to President Obama, he is making a serious mistake by not releasing a photo showing that Osama bin Laden was killed. President Obama is expecting the world to trust his word, America’s word, that bin Laden is gone — but there are many doubts about American credibility in the world today.
Furthermore, bin Laden has been a “phantom” lurking out there, somewhere, perhaps in Afghanistan, perhaps in Pakistan, perhaps in Somalia — but lurking and virtually no trace of him.
Many American intelligence officials began to think some years ago that he was dead already. A senior FBI agent once asked me, “you don’t really believe he is still alive do you?”
If that is what high level Americans in the terror-tracking business thought, what does President Obama think that those through the Arab world will think.
Not releasing a photo of some sort furthers a bad trend of governments — that the public doesn’t have a right to know, that governments are better stewards of the truth and of basic information than the public. It is undemocratic and stiflingly paternalistic.
Wikileaks was a market reaction to the massive expansion of official secrecy not just in the US but elsewhere in the world.
President Obama’s decision to hold back the bin Laden photo/s only aggravates this trend.
— Steve Clemons