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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Trophy Wife

by digby

That's what these guys thought too:

According to the AP, the photos, from the print edition of the magazine, show Corporal Jeremy Morlock from Wasilla, Alaska, grinning as he lifts the head of a corpse by the hair. The images are just a handful from a collection of 4,000 images and videos.
There are reasons why releasing the photos might be the right thing to do (the principle of government transparency being the most obvious.) But doing it so that we can demonstrate that we have the biggest swinging dicks on the planet is not one of them. In fact, US soldiers from her own small home town are serving jail terms for doing just that.

Pictures of corpses me sick so I don't want to look at it. And I would imagine they would be incendiary in some parts of the world. In fact, my preference would have been that if they were determined to assassinate bin Laden (as opposed to bringing him to trial) that they do it secretly and eschew the big victory lap altogether. I realize it's cathartic for a lot of people, and there are probably good reasons I haven't considered to think that announcing his death might change the dynamic in some substantial way. But in the end I have to think that what matters for American national security is that he's no longer able to conduct his evil business, not that everyone knows the mighty USA killed him. (I also recognize that it's ridiculous to think that could ever happen --- what good is "winning" if no one sees you doing it, right?)

There's a lot to question about this operation from the Pakistan involvement to the ridiculous story told by John Brennan yesterday, but as I've written before, I see no reason to doubt that they really killed him. There's just too much risk in making that claim without knowing absolutely that it's true. So I don't really care much about whether these pictures are released. I'm a little bit concerned about human civilization, however.

Palin represents the violent porn fetishists of our species and there are a lot of them. If you watched her breathless, over-stimulated reaction to killing the caribou or as she and her daughter giggled while they clubbed a halibut on her reality show, you saw the by the look on her face right there that she is one of those people. (Real Alaskan hunters are generally respectful and calm.) She probably would have enjoyed watching the Romans torture Jesus and would have easily been one of those people excitedly screaming "hang him!" at public executions. Humans did that for millenia. I think many of us had believed that in this day that sort of thing was only considered acceptable among people like ... the Taliban. Now I'm not so sure.

Update: Note: I'm not saying that I believe in secret assassinations. I'm not a big fan of assassinations, period. But running around taking credit for assassinations strikes me as a gratuitous thing for big imperial powers to be doing for any number of practical reasons as well as principled ones. In a perfect world he would have gone to trial. We don't live in a perfect world. Obviously.

Update II:
I'm closing comments for a while to go worship at the alter of my Lord Obama who I'm unable to see is worse than bin Laden and whom I am obligated to bash in every post regardless of the topic. I'll be back later. Meanwhile, I'm assuming I'm going to get nominated for another one of Andrew Sullivan's "intemperate liberal" awards for saying Palin would have enjoyed watching the Romans torture Jesus. But hey, plenty of people did. (Tons of them enjoyed watching that violent porno movie "The Passion" just a couple of years ago.) The Romans were "sending a message" too --- that's why they did the whole crucifixion thing in the first place.