Today President Obama announced that he would not be releasing photographs of Bin Laden’s body to the public. The president stated his concern for inciting the wrath of terrorists who might use the pictures as propaganda for recruiting new members to their cause, which could further hurt the United States’ efforts to end the War on Terror.

I agree with President Obama’s decision for a number of reasons. First, I think that many terrorists have been angered over Bin Laden’s death, and they may already be planning something in retaliation to this attack on their infrastructure. Why would we want to goad them with violent pictures of one of their leaders?
Secondly, I think it is still not appropriate in this day and age to display graphic pictures to the public. Sure, we as a country have grown more desensitized to violence in the past few decades, but we should still consider that these things are not images that should be thrown about lightly. With the access that many young individuals have to the internet, it could be dangerous to release such graphic pictures to the public without knowing who might see them.

Finally, I feel that even if President Obama did decide to release the photographs, that someone would do something with photo editing software to offend a particular group or religion. Even in the case that the actual photos were not inflammatory, there is always someone out there who has the potential to alter the images in an offensive way. As we saw a few years ago with the political cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, some people get very upset over images, even if everyone else does not see a problem with them.

For the record, I would like to see the images of Bin Laden for myself, as I’m sure most people in America would. 9/11 is a day I will never forget, and the idea of Bin Laden as a criminal mastermind has remained in the back of my mind for the past decade. In order to satisfy the conspiracist in me and know for sure that Bin Laden is dead, I think seeing the pictures would be a good way to close the book on the horrific events of the past ten years. However, I understand that my wants don’t necessarily come before the safety of the people in this country, and I’m ok with that.

Undoubtedly, the pictures probably will be leaked one day. The ramifications of this happening are still unknown, but we can only hope that for now the american people will be satsified with the results of DNA testing and official confirmations from the White House of Bin Laden’s death.

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