By Nic Gibbs |Staff Writer|
We should allow the public the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to see the images of Osama bin Laden’s death by releasing these images to the public.
Not doing so is an act of censorship and denies us our freedoms of press and freedom of speech.
Censorship has been used to manipulate populations throughout history and when a government decides to participate in censorship it better have a good excuse.
We have a right to choose to see another, albeit in this case graphic side of the story.
I have heard many say that we need to release these photos because we need proof that the real bin Laden is in fact dead.
However, releasing the photos does little to accomplish this goal because those who already decided on being a skeptic can merely claim the photos were doctored in some way and thus remain skeptical.
Proof is not the issue.
Honestly, I have no desire to view these photos, nor do I have a morbid curiosity to view the grotesque photos of a man shot in the head.
The withholding of information or communication by the government in order to spare the public may in some circumstances be just, but in this instance it is not.
I understand that when we were going after bin Laden censorship was vital to a successful mission.
However, now that the fear of losing the man is gone, those who want to know should have the opportunity to know.
The government has done a disservice to the American people by denying them access to these pictures and being vague about the entire operation.
It has only done more to increase the level of skepticism throughout the nation.
This is a minor issue to the fact that by not releasing the photos the government is saying it does not trust the American public to deal with information responsibly.
It is possible that al Qaeda could use this photo as a rally cry and by releasing the photo we are adding fuel to their fire.
This is not for the government to decide.
Once the threat of negatively affecting military strategy is gone, the information belongs in the public domain. The issue of censorship moves out of the realm of military censorship and into a discussion of moral censorship.
On the grounds of moral censorship I believe it was the wrong decision.
The public deserves the right to all pertinent information while formulating an educated opinion. This information is pertinent to the American public and thus should be released.
Right now the choice of the public is being made by the government and this can be a frightening thought. The governments’ decision to withhold these photos is an active decision to censor the information we receive.