Open Questions For Andrew Sullivan

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 4, 2011

I cannot help but notice your endorsement of the Obama Administration’s decision not to release the photos of a dead Osama bin Laden. I guess that your post makes me wonder whatever happened to “the validity of asking empirical questions”. Given the fact that there are a number of people who–however foolishly–doubt that bin Laden is dead, isn’t it the case that despite the Obama Administration’s statements on this matter (which I hasten to add that I believe fully), “none of these [statements], alas, prove the [death of Osama bin Laden] the way simple [photos] would”? Why isn’t your “goal in all this . . . simple: to find out the truth, whoever it might embarrass”? Why don’t you accept that “[t]here was no vetting of [the claims that] this rogue [terrorist is dead]“? Why don’t you “stay on the case” regarding this issue? After all, you are a blogger. “If [you] were not a blogger [you] could have ducked this. But [you are obliged to feel] it [is your] duty not to.”

You know, when it comes to the birther nonsense, at least “Obama provided the salient empirical evidence – his birth certificate – one of those humiliations that public figures have to endure sometimes.” Why would it be outrageous to ask that the Obama Administration provide pictorial evidence that bin Laden is dead? Providing such proof hardly counts as “one of those humiliations that public figures have to endure sometimes.” Kindly don’t lecture us about the need to preserve “human dignity”; this Tweet pithily undercuts that and similar objections.

“C’mon, [Andrew]. Clinch this for good and all. You can do it. Just ask [Obama's Administration] for [photos of a dead bin Laden]. And if [you refuse], explain what [your] reasoning is, given [your] position on [investigating Trig Palin's matrilineal line]“.

  • Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » PEJMAN YOUSEFZADEH asks the hard questions: “cannot help but notice your endorsement of the Obama A…

  • Anon

    Osama is only dead because he’s Trig Palin’s real father.

    • trlbasser

      Is there a single living cell in your brain, or do you always post every ignorant thought that pops into your little head?

      • Pejman Yousefzadeh

        Wherefore the anger in this comment?

  • RCT

    I’m the least likely person on the planet to defend a decision by the Obama administration, but I do agree with th decision not to disclose the photographs. The reasoning is simple: digital photos are so easily retouched, or faked outright, that a photograph would prove nothing to the skeptics, but the effect of rallying the jihadists might in fact be a serious consequence. Ergo, nothing gained, potential downside; don’t do it.

    • Anonymous

      The point of this post is not to request the release of the photos.

      The point of this post is to mock Sullivan’s attempts to camouflage his political hackery under a flimsy veil of honest inquiry.

    • Anonymous

      Can you name a single instance where action against terrorists wasn’t opposed on the grounds it would incite further terrorism? And how often is the opposition proved right? And why should it matter if they are?

      In this instance, at least, you are not the least likely person. Not by a long shot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jack-Arnold/1259562281 Jack Arnold

    “The reasoning is simple: digital photos are so easily retouched, or faked outright, that a photograph would prove nothing to the skeptics, but the effect of rallying the jihadists might in fact be a serious consequence.”

    RCT you seem to be suggesting that announcing the death of Bin Laden is less likely to rally jihadists than making the announcement and providing photographs would. Yet pictures of those killed with Bin Laden have been released. And pictures and video of Americans celebrating Bin Laden’s death have been released. And numerous columns and video commentary praising Obama have been released. Wll a lot of the above hasn’t just been released but crowed about to the point of saturation

    That won’t rally jihadists. But releasing digital pictures (which could be faked!!!) of a dead Bin Laden would rally jihadists.

    You use that word “rally”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • Firehand

    “one of those humiliations that public figures have to endure sometimes”… I have yet to figure out why showing his birth certificate would be considered humiliating.

  • Pingback: Ed Driscoll » Bring Me the SX-70 of Osama Bin Laden

Previous post:

Next post: