Who really needs to see photos of Osama?

The US Government is up against Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, in a court case to continue keeping photos of Osama bin Laden’s corpse a secret. Meanwhile reports from Pakistan say a highly agitated Pakistani media and military is stoking fears of US military intervention. A Pakistani senator put it neatly in the NY Times: “American PR in Pakistan is very poor”.  Disclosure is usually preferable to secrecy but inflaming unpredictable sentiment with the release of photos that provide no additional information (he is unquestionably dead) is certain to create an even more volatile context for escalation and instability.

The PR Verdict: B Plus, for the US Government. No release is the best option. A halfway measure to show transparency might be to guarantee release in 50 years.

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