I know there are many out there who believe the president made the wrong decision. Here are a few reasons why I am certain he did not:
- There are certainly people out there for whom a picture of the dead OBL would be the last straw, inducing them to join a radical group opposed to the United States and our interests.
- OBL was shot twice in the head. In the face, in fact. The photo is certain to be gruesome.This can only add to ability for our enemies to use the photo against us.
- A photo will not prove to any non-believers that OBL is dead. This is the country that gave us the Birthers movement. If there are people in this world, even this country, that believe that OBL is not dead, a photo of him dead is certainly not going to be convincing.
- If we suppose that there are people who don't believe OBL is dead who would be convinced of his death if they saw a photo (and again, I suspect that number to be very small), how are we harmed by the fact that they don't think he's dead? Sure OBL was a symbol. If you believe that he is not dead, he remains a symbol. But if you do believe that he's dead, he remains a symbol. If there are people out there who don't think he's really dead, I say who cares? There are also people who believe that the moon landing was faked, 9/11 was a government conspiracy, and the world is flat. Seriously, there are people who really believe that the world is flat. Next.
- Some people have cited the idea that 9/11 victims families should be able to view the photo because they deserve closure. If showing the photo could bring back a single victim of the 9/11 attacks, I would do it. In a heartbeat. But it won't. The only thing it could do is add to the death count. And the victims' families, I imagine, can not possibly want more Americans to die because of OBL.
- If just the photo alone is not enough to serve as a recruitment tool for terrorist groups, picture this: dead OBL on a T-Shirt. I imagine that they would have become available within 24 hours. T-Shirts, baseball caps, door mats, toilet paper, you name it. You know how we Americans felt when we saw people celebrating 9/11? That is how many young Muslims would have felt watching arrogant Americans partying on television with a picture of a mutilated, lifeless OBL on their T-Shirt, probably with huge writing saying something ignorant like, "My Christian President can kick your Islamic Fundamentalists Leader's ass." Or maybe not. They'd have to concede that President Obama is Christian, and that seems unlikely.
So thank you, Mr. President for being our leader. Thank you for being the grown up. Thank you for protecting Americans in uniform and civilians, around the globe and here at home. Thank you for putting national security ahead of political maneuvering. Thank you.
You already had my vote in 2012, but I'm from Chicago, so now you'll get my second and third votes as well.