I’ve heard it said that we as a people should demand pictures as proof of bin Laden's death to have a properly transparent government.
I assert that adequate proof has, in fact, already been offered.
We are not relying simply on blind trust of the US Government.
Routinely in companies I’ve worked in my career, every one of which has had email going back to the 1970’s, a manager who has power that I do not have will give voice approval for me to do something that I don’t have the power to do on my own. No paper is ever traded. They don’t even send email. They just say “OK” verbally and I’m left wondering what to do. So I go to my console and send email saying “So-and-so approved this.” In the moment, this may seem like just taking my word for it, but it’s not. I add the person who approved it to the recipient list.
That then shows me on record saying something that could perhaps get me fired if I said it inappropriately. When they do not respond saying “Hey, I never said any such thing,” everyone on the recipient list counts it as if I offered proof.
Obama has made a similar statement. And he has added the whole world to the recipient list that they may call him out on it if he's wrong.
Silence gives consent.
Swearing on a Bible, at least to the religious, is nothing less. It says to God, “Hey, if I’m lying, do your worst.” And that’s why people believe people who swear on the Bible.
And, frankly, the retaliation of a deity is something some people debate, but the retaliation of the public if you do such a thing improperly seems quite a lot more reliable.
Obama did nothing less than swear before the entire world that “Bin Laden is dead.”
It is not our trust in him that makes this a proof. The proof is that Bin Laden does not go to the podium and say “Uh, sorry, Barack, old buddy. But I’m alive and well and no one shot me in the head."
That is the proof. The silence.
Pictures, in fact, would not be proof. I could make the pictures myself in Photoshop. Many people could. It probably wouldn’t be 3 minutes before the US media in the form of Limbaugh and Beck and Drudge and Hannity—alleged patriots—would sell out our national security by going on the air and claiming their own President had faked the pictures. Desperate politicians like Huckabee and Trump would be chanting “Give us the long form,” and demanding the video. It would be a circus. And the terrorists would have all the propaganda they needed. “See, even their own people say he is a liar.” Ignored at that point would be the fact of the real proof—that Bin Laden was still not speaking out. It would just spiral out of control.
Proof has been offered. The proof is that Obama has put himself on the line. If it were a lie, it’s a dead certainty (pardon the pun) that Obama would be caught in it. Since he is not, we can safely accept this as truth.
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