Tuesday, May 10, 2011

¡Viva la Revelatión!

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?


Anonymous said...

Good Post TSB: I saw just a little of Kerry's senate hearing on Afghanistan. The Theme seemed to be "How Do We Get To Good Enough?" My favorite line from one of the Senators was: "It looks like even if we get to good enough it won't be good enough." It is odd to watch these guys who have all voted for every step of this 10 year fiasco wonder how we ever got here?; And what do we do now! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: I didn't realize Tim Roehmer
resigned as Amb. to India April 26 til this morning. And it seems his only job was to push thru the arms deal for Boeing and McDonnel-Douglas.
Looks like the Indians are looking for a more reliable defense partner.
Roemer for VP?? Bye Bye Biden?? gwb

TSB said...

When a politician resigns, it is always to spend more time with his family.

If you're an appointee like Roehmer this is the right time for it, while you can still cash in at a lobbying job for the next two years. The rush for the exits is starting to pick up.

Anonymous said...

TSB: I thought it was interesting India didn't want to buy $10 billion dollars worth of F-16s. (and create all those US jobs!) Their foreign minister said: "We want to buy airplanes, not a relationship!" Pretty snarky! I guess if they buy French or Russian they can also get a
co-production agreement and create Indian jobs. gwb

Anonymous said...

Pakistani Parliament Reacts against US Incursions

Posted on 05/14/2011 by Juan
Pakistan’s elected parliament held a 10-hour session on Friday and decided at the end of it that US incursions, including drone strikes, into Pakistan must cease. TSB! This is cool! The civilian govt. is asserting it's power over the military and over Zardari. Maybe THEY will get us to leave Afghanistan?? gwb