Is graphic proof needed of bin Laden's death?

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May 3, 2011, 5:27 pm
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(NECN: Lauren Collins) - The White House says the photos of a dead bin Laden are graphic, and could inflame radical Muslims. But does the world need to see the graphic proof to believe?

Release the immediately infamous photos?  National security expert and Fletcher School professor Bill Martel sees no downside.

"It ends the debate otherwise the debate will go on and on and that's not something that helps either us or the international community much less the people in the societies that have been experiencing these wars and insurgencies."

The White House calls the debate sensitive.  Tuesday, spokesman Jay Carney said "in terms of the appropriateness of releasing photographs of Osama Bin Laden and the aftermath of this firefight and we're making an evaluation about the need to do that."
"And when they feel confident that it will have no adverse effects on U.S. interests around the world," adds UNH professor Jeannie Sowers, "they will probably selectively release them."

But Sowers says it's a tough call to judge without the benefit of knowing exactly what we'll see - images described only as graphic.

Students on the UNH campus have been following the events in the news and discussing them in class and wonder whether it's appropriate or necessary to release the photos.

"It's not something I would like to see," says graduate student Chrissy Ladam, "but I didn't appreciate it when they put on the front page of every news paper the picture of Saddam Hussien."

"I think it's absurd," says Adam Kelly.  "I don't think we should pander to conspiracy theorists.  I think it's completely unnecessary." 

Martel says that concern has no place in the discussion.

"I don't think we can really define policy in terms of what those particular individuals and groups will say," he says

Sowers believes the debate shouldn't be over giving evidence of Bin Laden's death, but rather over continuing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"What the Bin Laden capture and kill shows us is that counter terrorism measures can work but that full scale military, sort of long engagements are not necessarily the best counter terrorism measure." 

Tags: barack Obama, Pakistan, Lauren Collins, Osama bin Laden
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