A new NBC News poll found that the vast majority of Americans agree with President Obama’s decision not to release the death photos of Osama Bin Laden. 64% of those polled thought that the photos should not be released.
The NBC News poll will be released in full on Monday night, but a sneak peek was released today. A majority of those polled strongly believe that the Obama administration should not release the photos. Another 12% agreed but not as strongly. 24% strongly believed that Obama should release the photos, and of this group 5% strongly believed that the photos should be released.
Despite the complaints of many on the right who want to paint not releasing the photos as some sort of Obama failure, most Americans are fine with not seeing the photos. It isn’t like the government is hiding anything from us. We know Bin Laden is dead. There seems to be very little to be gained by releasing these photos, except for the fact that the media stands to gain an image to plaster everywhere and another news cycle out of Bin Laden’s death.
I agreed with Jon Stewart’s point earlier in the week that we need more honest coverage of the wars that America is currently involved in. We need to see pictures of everything, but I believe that the Bin Laden photos are not the most relevant starting point. We need to see video of the consequences of these war decisions on our brave men and women on the front lines. Instead of painting every returning solider who is missing a limb as a brave warrior, let’s tell it how it really is.
Show us how these people are being permanently disabled by war. Highlight not the occasional uplifting outcome, but wounded warriors who return home and struggle with the day to day challenges of their new and forever changed lives. Let’s talk about the mental illness and PTSD that is torturing those who fought for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s show the American people what our bullets and bombs are doing in those countries. It’s time for concrete images must be added to the vague jargon of “fighting for freedom.”
Releasing the Bin Laden photos would do none of these things. The Bin Laden death photos would serve as a justification of the wars over the last decade. They would do nothing to show the real face of war. The reason why so many Republicans want the photos released is because they will use those photos of dead Bin Laden to claim that they were right all along. War is the answer.
al-Qaeda has confirmed the death of Bin Laden. With the exception of a few conspiracy theorists, the vast majority of people believe that he is dead.
The neo-cons want the photos released so that they can use them to argue for more war, but Osama Bin Laden’s gaping head wound is not an accurate portrait of war. It was the outcome of a CIA operation.
America needs to see what war really looks like, and a flag waving yeah, we got him look at Bin Laden with his head blown off moment would be manipulated until it became more preemptive war propaganda. Releasing the Bin Laden photos would fit into the way America’s politicians and media have always portrayed these wars. It would be another feel good moment used to sanitize and whitewash the realities of war.
Those calls for Bin Laden’s photos on the right are really a masked siren song for more preemptive war. Don’t let their flag waving full you. The neo-cons will use anything as justification for the blood on their hands.