Thursday, May 05, 2011

Releasing bin Laden Death Photos

I believe the photos will be released sooner rather than later, for the simple reason that they were taken by government agents on government time using government equipment. They belong to the US tax payers. There are two reasons that would justify withholding them in the near term: incitement to violence and compromising sources and methods. I'd guess that those liable to be incited to violence on the release of the photos, would be incited to violence by the killing of bin Laden itself and I haven't heard anyone argue that their release would compromise sources and methods.

Besides, a freedom of information request will eventually force their release.

I've no desire to see the photos myself. I've seen my share and hopefully my fill of gruesome photographs of the results of government action. In a previous life a played a role in releasing and distributing my share of gruesome photographs  of victims of government atrocities. Obviously, in this case Osama bin Laden isn't a victim and his killing isn't an atrocity (although some civil libertarians would beg to differ).

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