In the Arena

About the Photos

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I’m torn between basic human curiosity, journalistic voyeurism…and my better angels, which tell me that any death photos of Osama bin Laden will make life more dangerous for the thousands of American soldiers and diplomats, as well as untold numbers of private citizens, both businesspeople and tourists, who spend time in iffy places overseas. In this case, my better angels are bolstered by parental instincts–my oldest son, a diplomat, spent last year in Iraq. When the question of releasing more Abu Ghraib torture photos was raised, my immediate gut reaction was: No way! I don’t want any more POIs (pissed off Iraqis).

That’s essentially my feeling now. The Obama Administration is showing some grownup good sense in not releasing the photos–and my colleagues are grasping onto a subsidiary tendril of news when they blow this up into a bigger story than it needs to be.