Friday, May 06, 2011

857 Show Us The Pictures

857 Show Us the Pictures

This post is dedicated to the memories of Michael Tucker, Andy O’Grady and the other 2,994 people killed in the trade center, the Pentagon and on board the four hijacked planes. And to those of the 343 firefighters and paramedics and 60 police officers killed at ground zero. And to the countless first responders and others who have since died from the afflictions the attacks caused; to the 3,000 kids who lost a parent and to the half million of us for whom post traumatic stress syndrome struck at 8:46 and 9:02 on 9/11/01, a lousy condition, but far better than death.

There’s a big fuss going on in Washington about whether to release the pictures of the newly harvested corpse of Osama bin Laden.

CIA Director Leon Panetta promised they eventually will. But it’s not Leon’s decision, it’s the President’s. And of this writing, the President says “no,” the pictures are too gruesome.

There should be no question and no debate.

One side asks “are we so morbid and in need of sensationalism that we have to see the guy sprawled out in a pool of blood running out of bullet holes?”

The other side says “we need to prove he’s dead.”

Both sides are wrong.

This is not Crazy Joey Gallo in 1972, sprawled in the courtyard of Umberto’s Clam House in like pose. It’s not the infamous and grisly John Lennon autopsy photo of 1980.

This is public enemy number one. And we know he’s dead. We don’t need a picture to show us. We just need to see the picture.

This is a small piece of emotional revenge for the thousands of people who died in the 9/11 attacks. The current idiot expression for that is “closure,” which really means we want something concrete to demonstrate that this part of the horror is over.

We want to see his already ugly face as it no doubt became twisted into even greater ugliness in the same death agony he brought to us, and even to his suicide bomb-strapping followers.

Maybe it’s the same urge that makes us slow down and stare when there’s a car accident on the other side of the highway, even though we already more or less know what an auto accident looks like. Maybe it’s the same urge that draws us to look at an open sewer or cesspool, even though we know what raw sewage looks like.

For those of you who don’t know how to recognize twisted metal or the end product of your plumbing, all you need to learn it is one look at the photographs.

But spare us the video of the “respectful” burial at sea. That itself was an act of evil.


--Cool move of the week from an unlikely source: George W. Bush declining President Obama’s invitation to join him in yesterday’s 9/11 commemoration at the Trade Center site. Bush was all talk and dry-drunk daddy-envy, has pretty much gone into hiding, and should stay there.

--Runner Up Cool move of the week: NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams’ using the story of soon-to-be-competitor Scott Pelley taking the top job at the CBS Evening News and welcoming him to the time slot. Graceful, statesmanlike, and impossible if Brian’s program wasn’t eating the other dinnertime newscasts’ lunch.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2011

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