According to reports, Senator James Inhofe has viewed pictures of Osama bin Laden’s body following his reported killing by Navy SEALs on 1st May. The Senator was permitted a viewing in a locked room and afterwards said,
“Either a bullet, the significant bullet, went through the ear and out the eye socket, or vice versa. It wasn’t a very pretty picture.”
Nothing is ever straightforward in politics of course but on the face of it, as an opposition, Republican Senator, Inhofe would seem to possess the requisite credentials for a reliable witness (always assuming that his position has not been compromised by his recent dealings with the FAA).
But why the need to view photographs in such tightly controlled conditions? One obvious answer is to accept the administration’s assertion that it is anxious to avoid the photographs’ wider circulation to prevent inflaming bin Laden’s followers. However, team Obama is making such an extended muddle of disclosure that the general release of a few photographs would seem to be the most effective way of dampening down speculation and taking the story off the front pages.
And how genuine is the reason given by the administration for withholding the photographs?
It doesn’t look too watertight when considering that there were no such foibles about releasing the fake photograph last week.
And that could be the real reason for non-disclosure and the viewing by selected officials in a high security environment: if the new photos are as fake as the last one, they will not bear the scrutiny of the wider, tech-savvy world.