Culture

The case for releasing photos of Osama Bin Laden’s corpse

There’s a fierce debate taking place in some corners of the web today about whether or not the White House should release the photos of Osama Bin Laden’s bloody corpse. From what I’ve been able to surmise, they are, in fact, leaning toward doing so, and rumors are swirling that the big drop could happen as soon as later today. But in case Obama administration officials have any doubts, Wonkette’s Jack Steuf makes a pretty convincing case as to why they should release them.

…And it is only fitting the photos live forever here on the most horrifying place in all the world: the Internet. 

The problem with movies and video games, some people say, is that they give people a lust for violence. But the actual problem is they give people a lust for violence that isn’t real. Does your child think it’s cool to shoot somebody’s head off? Take them the Internet. Show them a photo of a real human being who was shot in the head. That kid won’t think it’s so cool anymore.

The news media can have their protracted debates about whether it’s suitable for them to air the photos if they are released, but it won’t matter, because they will exist on the Internet, the most suitable place of all. The Internet needs these photos so badly it has already made fakes. It needs them not just out of morbid curiosity, but to conclude another chapter of the Internet: the videos of office workers, people’s family members, jumping out of the World Trade Center in terror, and the videos of U.S. citizens being decapitated by terrorists and insurgents in the Middle East. Without the gruesome image of a dead bin Laden, there is no true justice to answer these crimes that will continue to float forever on the Internet.

I couldn’t agree more.

UPDATE: They will release at least one photo.

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