To Release or Not To Release

Last night I asked for your opinions on whether or not the President should authorize the release of photos of bin Laden in death. I’ve read many of them and learned a lot. There are so many and so many good ones I don’t know where to start in reprinting any, though I may come back to it later today. I’d say on balance, though I haven’t done a formal count, they lean against release. But there’s a tremendous diversity of opinion.

I also read this piece in The New Yorker by Philip Gourevitch, arguing against the release. His argument is basically moral and aesthetic: let’s leave the visual memory of bin Laden’s killing as that already classic photo from the White House Situation Room or the celebrations after the announcement rather than a gruesome death photo.

I can’t say I’m any more sure what the right answer is but I’ve gone from believing it’s a gruesome necessity to thinking it may be a bad idea, at least so soon.