Why Can’t I see Bin Laden’s Dead Body?
Tibor R. Machan
I am baffled by this secrecy surrounding Bin Ladens’ death. Someone needs to do more explaining than has been done thus far.
Why when American taxpayers have funded a massive manhunt and eventual assassination of Osama bin Laden are they forbidden to see Bin Laden’s dead body? Why does president Obama’s presumed personal discomfort about seeing Bin Laden’s dead body determine whether American citizens may see it? What kind of law authorizes the White House to dictate to American citizens whether they may or may not view Bin Laden’s dead body? And I am sure there are many other questions roughly along lines of the above ones that could be asked and for which answers are arguably due us.
Over the nearly ten years since 9/11 there have been all sorts of conspiracy theories circulating about just who ordered the vicious attacks on the Twin Towers and the completely unjustified murder of the airline passengers and World Trade Center workers. Some of the doubters of the official story are difficult to dismiss but arguably certain alternative accounts are far less credible than the official account.
Nevertheless hiding Bin Laden’s dead body from us all contributes to suspicions about the entire matter. Why did President Obama make a unilateral decision about how Bin Laden’s body was to be buried? Is there any legal justification for what he did and if so why isn’t it communicated to Americans and the rest of the world?
And why is it so important to be deferential to Bin Laden’s followers concerning how Bin Laden’s body should be treated? Since when do supporters of mass murderers get to decide on such matters? Since when do their feelings take precedence of the feelings of those who have been targeted by such mass murderers and by those who may be left without a proper closure because of how President Obama decided to handle this?
My questions above aren’t rhetorical ones. I am giving voice to questions I know others have been raising and to which no answers have been made available by the White House. The exact protocol seems to be shrouded in mystery and none of the officials in the know seem to want to provide a solution to it. Not only is this fuel for conspiracy theorists but it also amounts to a level of official arrogance on the part of those who are dealing with the matter.
It was President Obama who not very long ago made a lot of noise about how the American people need to share the responsibility for the recent economic fiasco; if so why don’t they get to share in the knowledge about Osama bin Laden’s death? Why is the White House so intent on enjoying exclusivity about all this? Who does President Obama think he is, our ruler or our president--the presiding officer of the government? Why does he get to say that he is strong enough to cope with the sight of Bin Laden’s dead body but the rest of us aren’t?
Clearly some explaining is needed here. Even if most citizens are satisfied with how Mr. Obama has handled this, not all of them are and they are entitled to have their preferences honored, not just those who think nothing is amiss with it all. Not to mention its being dubious public policy in a democracy to leave millions of citizens shut out of the proceedings.
Also, those who don’t want to view Bin Laden’s bullet riddled body do not have to look at any pictures the White House could show us. No one would be forcing them to look. But it is clear that the White House is forcing those who do want to see to remain dissatisfied.
I recall being told by Mr. Obama during his campaign for the presidency and thereafter that he favors transparency on the part of the federal government. This instance belies that declaration point blank. And it continues providing those who keep casting doubt upon his veracity with ammunition. Could it be that he likes it just that way? Maybe he is testing just how much manipulation of the American citizenry he can get away with. Maybe he is planning other deceptions he’d like to know he can get away with.