Meant to blog about this all day, but wanted to do a little research first. I’m out of time, and before the day ends, I’m just going to throw it out there…
I was disappointed by Lindsey Graham’s criticism of the Obama administration for deciding not to release photos of Osama bin Laden’s bullet-riddled body:
WASHINGTON — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., criticized President Barack Obama’s decision Wednesday not to release death photos of terrorist Osama bin Laden.
Graham on Monday had congratulated Obama on Sunday’s daring raid that killed the al-Qaida leader, but he said withholding photos of bin Laden’s corpse would raise questions about whether he is really dead.
“The whole purpose of sending our soldiers into the compound, rather than (delivering) an aerial bombardment, was to obtain indisputable proof of bin Laden’s death,” Graham said.
“I know bin Laden is dead, but the best way to protect our decisions overseas is to prove that fact to the rest of the world,” the second-term senator said. “I’m afraid the decision made today by President Obama will unnecessarily prolong this debate.”
Obama, though, said releasing photos of the slain terrorist would amount to gloating that would only inflame anti-American sentiment and do nothing to satisfy skeptics.
“That’s not who we are,” Obama told CBS in an interview. “We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies.”
Especially since I seem to recall Lindsey Graham saying additional Abu Ghraib pictures should not be released, using pretty much the same arguments the White House uses for not releasing this.
By the way, in going to look up an Abu Ghraib link, I just noted that Mother Jones notes the same inconsistency that I do. Mark this day, folks — Mother Jones and Brad Warthen having the same thought.
Sen. Graham’s argument now is that we must shut up doubters by proving we did, too, kill bin Laden.
But you know what I think? I think this decision fits perfectly with the series of good decisions the president has made in this situation, from the start. He was right to send in the SEALS rather than B-52s so that we’d know we got him (not to mention the intelligence treasure trove that would have been destroyed in a bombing). He buried him at sea so that not one could make a fetish of his body or his grave. Then he similarly refused terrorists a rallying point by refusing even to let them see photos of the body.
The president knows he’s eliminated bin Laden (let anyone who says otherwise produce him as evidence). That’s enough for him. It’s enough for me, too.