So, Osama’s dead. People have reacted to this in several ways, ranging from elation to hesitation, from fear of what happens next to disbelief. And people have judged these reactions in different ways. There are those who believe it is in poor taste to celebrate the death of any human being and those who believe that Bin Laden got what he deserved.
On one hand, I get it. The man did terrible things. He inspired people to do terrible things. There has not been a more horrifying specter that has haunted and taunted the masses in recent memory. We are hardwired to look at things in a yes or no, right or wrong, black or white way. So the immediate response was: Bin Laden dead? Good. And some of y’all took to the streets to celebrate or took to Twitter to joke. But what’s next? You’ve cut the head off of the Hydra, now what?
Some are calling for pictures and proof. I will back the White House here. They handled this assassination in the correct way (I mean, if there was a correct way to assassinate a person). Don’t drag it out, don’t make a spectacle. Quick. Simple. Bury him Megatron style. Make a speech about it. Be sure you don’t say the words assassination or execution in said speech. Remind the public of the things he’s done. Don’t show any images of him dead or alive.
What they have effectively done is eliminate the possible symbolism. Humans take pleasure in revenge. That’s why America has been hunting Osama Bin Laden for so long. We wanted revenge. Limiting the public’s exposure to America’s act of revenge is a tactic to also limit any reaction. No burial site means no place for his faithful followers to mourn, no place for possible followers to visit or pay homage. No photographic evidence means no visual representation of the execution. All we’re left with are piecemeal images of Osama Bin Laden the terrorist, the mass murder, the man who, when death stood at his doorstep used one of his wives as a human shield. No hint of brutality or illegality for his faithful to point to or rally around.
No body. No crime. Just an end. It’s up to you what to make of it.