CNN reports that the White House is relenting a bit on its decision not to show the photos of bin Laden's dead body.
Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as those in the equivalent House committees, will be allowed to view the photographs taken of Osama bin Laden after he was killed, a U.S. official told CNN Tuesday.
The viewings will take place at CIA headquarters in northern Virginia at a time to be decided, the official said.
-- snip --
President Barack Obama decided on Wednesday that he would not release photos of the body.
"It is not in our national security interest ... to allow these images to become icons to rally opinion against the United States," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at the time. "We have no need to publish those photographs to establish that Osama bin Laden was killed."
Once the White House starts showing those photos around town, you just know they will eventually leak out. And when they do, we can expect a wave of jihad kitsch that will eclipse Che Guevara for the martyred icon merchandising record of all time.
Which, come to think of it, ought to be a lesson learned. After the Bolivian army captured and killed Che with the help of the CIA (see the declassified documents here) they proudly displayed his corpse. Maybe they didn't care about the propaganda backlash, but those photos became the most reproduced images in the history of photography and led directly to the extremely successful political marketing of the dead Che as a mythic revolutionary figure.
I hope the White House changes its mind again, and sits on those photos. There is nothing to be gained by revealing them. Why run the risk?