The photos

I can see the arguments on both sides in the debate about whether to release the photographs of Osama bin Laden’s body, though I suspect not releasing them is the wisest course.

Or, should I say, I understand most of the arguments on both sides. I was listening to Sean Hannity’s radio show this afternoon (because it feels so good when I stop). He was almost frantic in his desire to see the photos – which I really don’t get. But it just got silly when he said the decision not to release the photos negated the rationale for sending in the SEAL team instead of just dropping bombs on bin Laden’s suspected compound. The whole point of sending in the SEALs, after all, was to make sure that we could verify that bin Laden got killed. If Hannity can’t see the death photos, then, apparently, that proof doesn’t exist.

This is, frankly, dumb. We did verify bin Laden’s death. The United States has photographs and DNA samples that conclusively prove bin Laden was the person thrown off the deck of the USS Carl Vincennes. Had we gone with the alternative – dropping bombs from 30,000 feet, we wouldn’t know if bin Laden had even been in the compound before it was turned into a crater.

In addition to that point that apparently flew over Hannity’s head, it isn’t as if photographs would dispel any conspiracy theories (which, at this point, are as ridiculous as the birther conspiracies). Photoshop and Hollywood makeup artists could easily combine to stage a realistic photo.

I am dismayed, but not shocked, at how quickly the right has gone from giving Obama grudging credit for taking out bin Laden to going crazy to find any little thing to criticize him about.

The Washington Time, for instance, ran a ludicrous editorial criticizing Obama’s decision to mark the occasion of bin Laden’s death with a ceremony honoring his victims at Ground Zero. Even though The Times admitted, “Honoring those who fell on 9/11 days after Osama bin Laden’s demise is fitting,” the editorial criticized the action as hypocritical because Democrats in 2004 criticized George W. Bush for appropriating images of 9/11 for a campaign commercial.

Yes, because a solemn ceremony honoring the victims of 9/11 is exactly like using images of 9/11 in a campaign ad.

Too many of today’s conservatives are unable to celebrate a pure victory for America because of who was at the helm when it happened. That’s disturbing.

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