Isn’t Describing Bin Laden’s Bloody Death Photos Enough?

Do we really need to see his “brains … kind of draped out from the socket”?

Last Updated: May 13, 2011 @ 7:39 AM

A day after members of the Congressional armed services and intelligence committees were informed that they would be permitted to see photos of Osama bin Laden's bloody corpse, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, began making the cable news rounds to talk about being the first member of Congress to see them.

Inhofe, who had to go to the C.I.A. headquarters to view the 12 photos of Bin Laden, appeared on Fox News on Wednesday afternoon, telling Shepard Smith the photos — as members of the White House have already said — are “gruesome.”

I couldn't tell whether the bullet went through the ear and out the eye cavity or came through the eye and out the ear, because a lot of the brains were kind of draped out from the — from the socket. But, clearly, what we saw there was it was him. There's no question that he was dead.


Now, what happened was he — if — if the bullet went into the eye socket, then it was an explosive. It detonated once it was in. So that caused the brain to come back out of the eye socket and that's what made it look so gruesome.


Inhofe told Fox News “the two that were taken during the cleanup period” — apparently taken while Bin Laden’s body was on the U.S.S. before his body was dumped in the North Arabian Sea — “ought to be seen by everyone.”

“Those two pictures were the ones that, I think if the public were to see them, are the most revealing, because it's easier to identify him without all that messy stuff on his face,” Inhofe said.

Smith was one of several prominent media members and news organizations — including the Associated Press, Politico and NPR — to publicly demand that the White House release the photos.

But between graphic description and the bloody photos of Bin Laden’s aides Reuters published last week, do we really need to see them? Hearing them described is gruesome enough.