"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thoughts on the Osama Photo

A good rule when thinking about any conspiracy is that, when the number of people who would have to keep quiet about X -- where X is something really really big, like the assassination of President Kennedy, or, now, the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan -- then the likelihood of there being a successful conspiracy to keep X quiet is vanishingly small.   So, if I never saw the picture of Osama bin Laden dead, I still wouldn't believe that there was a conspiracy to pretend that we got him, and that he's still alive, because such a conspiracy would have to involve hundreds of men and women whom, I believe, wouldn't countenance being part of it.   Men like the men of the SEAL team that took him down, men like our military leaders, and, yes, even men and women who work in the White House, even this White House.   We forget:  there are honorable people in the world, after all.  

I don't need to see the picture to prove to my satisfaction that we got him.    Weighed against the likelihood of it being used as a propaganda tool to enflame the Middle East and Islamists around the world, I'd say not releasing it is an easy call.   Another easy call that Obama has apparently gotten right.   It's the hard things -- what to do about Iran and Syria; what to do about our national debt; what to do about our unsustainable Medicare and Social Security programs -- that's when Obama has trouble.

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