White House to Withhold Osama bin Laden Photos

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Pakistani media personnel and local residents gather outside the hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following his death by US Special Forces in a ground operation in Abbottabad on May 3, 2011.
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The White House has announced that it will not release photos of Osama bin Laden’s death. Quoting the transcript of President Obama’s upcoming interview with 60 Minutes, set to air this Sunday, White House Spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters that, “It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to further violence or as a propaganda tool.” Some very graphic photos from the raid have already been published by The Guardian. Is the release of graphic photos a good idea? 

To discuss the administration’s decision to withhold photos of Osama bin Laden’s body, we speak with Fred Ritchin, professor of Photography and Imaging at at New York University, and author of “After Photography.”

Fred Ritchin was the photo editor at The New York Times Magazine from 1978 – 1982.