According to this MSNBC article, CIA director Leon Panetta has announced that the U.S. is planning on releasing one or more photographs of the dead body of Osama Bin Laden. Panetta said, "The bottom line is that, you know, we got bin Laden and I think we have to reveal to the rest of the world the fact that we were able to get him and kill him”.
Why? What possible good would that do? How would we look to the rest of the world?
I considered Bin Laden to be the most despicable and evil man who lived during my lifetime. I cannot grieve his death. But on the other hand, I have to admit that I don’t feel any stirrings of patriotic pride knowing that my country sent out a hit squad to kill a man.
Some people have claimed that Bin Laden was "brought to justice" earlier this week. But read the definition of "justice":
1. The quality of being just; fairness.Had we captured Bin Laden and brought him to trial, I wouldn't question that we'd met the standards of this definition. As it stands, I question whether we can claim that he was "brought to justice". And to display a photo of his dead body seems, at best, an example of extremely poor taste.
a. The principle of moral rightness; equity.
b. Conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude; righteousness.
a. The upholding of what is just, especially fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards, or law.
b. Law The administration and procedure of law.
4. Conformity to truth, fact, or sound reason:
And I have to wonder: how would American citizens feel if another nation sent out a hit squad to kill a public figure, then released photos or videos of his carcass? Would we call this behavior civilized?
The MSNBC article I mentioned said that the White House reacted to Panetta’s statement almost immediately with a statement indicating that a final decision hasn’t been made about whether to show Bin Laden’s body to the world. I suspect the White House is waiting to see how people react to see if this move will be politically wise.
I don’t know how others will react, but I strongly oppose such a tasteless display.
What about you?
Update: The White House has announced that these photos will not be released.
I applaud this decision.