As of the writing of this blog, the Government (that is the President) has decided not to release the death photos of Osama bin Laden. Personally I’m kind of indifferent to the decision. On one hand there is no point to releasing the photos, no one who believes that bin Laden is not really dead will be convinced by photos. In 30 minutes I could photoshop you up a picture of bin Laden with a bullet hole, arrow wound, shaving cuts, dandruff, Hitler moustache, goofy haircut… you name it. You might say (or hear someone say) that they would believe if only they had a photo. That’s a lie. No matter the reason (conspiracy kook, don’t trust the government, don’t trust this particular government, whatever) a photo is not enough to change anyone’s mind about this. And if you don’t believe me, just remember that the government or the President could still change their mind about releasing the picture. That’s when we would find out that I’m right, until then I suppose it’s just my opinion.
On the other hand (why I’m indifferent to the problem) I don’t see any particular harm in releasing the photo. Some have said we don’t want to rile up other countries or religions. This is a useless argument as well. Osama bin Laden was not officially aligned with any country, so there are no repercussions on that front. And even though approximately 1/5 of the world’s population is Islamic, only a mathematically insignificant percentage of them are the zealot terrorist scum that would give a crap about bin Laden. And it’s not like we’ll be changing the terrorists’ minds about us by simply showing some common courtesy after HEADSHOTTING THEIR LEADER.
So, does it matter whether or not they release the photos? Not a bit to me I guess. But that leaves us with a problem, and the titular “Something to Watch For.”
You’ll get emails, facebook messages, ad popups, and so forth that will advise you to click “here” for photos or videos of bin Laden’s demise or corpse. I can’t stress this enough, DO NOT CLICK “HERE” or DOWNLOAD THE ATTACHMENT. Just for my own amusement I redirected those above links to snopes.com’s article about this very subject. But if you click that link anywhere else, or download an email attachment of so called bin Laden death videos or photos… You’ll wind up with a computer destroying virus, or worse a bank account emptying and ID stealing bit of spyware.
I may not be enough of an expert on global politics for my opinion about releasing the photos to be worth anything, but I am enough of an expert on computers and the internet to be 100% sure that clicking on so called bin Laden “death photos” links or downloading the e-mail attachments will cause you to have a very bad day.