NOONAN: SHOW THE PROOF
However, and with our president there is always a however, he has spent almost every moment since his Sunday night speech displaying both a tin ear and a chronic tendency to misunderstand his own country. His refusal to release more evidence that Osama is dead is allowing a great story to dissolve into a mystery. He is letting a triumph turn into a conspiracy theory.
Here is the fact of the age: People believe nothing. They think everything is spin and lies. The minute a government says A is true, half the people on Earth know A is a lie. And when people believe nothing, as we know, they will believe anything. We faked the moon landing, there was a second gunman in Dallas, the World Trade Center was blown up in a U.S.-Zionist conspiracy, Hitler grew old in Argentina.
There will always be people who believe conspiracy theories, and with the Internet there will be more. They are impervious to evidence. But people who care about the truth need to be armed with evidence to refute them.
Mr. Obama misunderstands all this. He tells Steve Croft Sunday on Sixty Minutes that showing photos of the dead Osama would be to “spike the football.” “We don’t trot this stuff out as trophies.” Trophies? Who does he think we are?
It’s not about pride, it’s about proof. “We got him, shot him and immediately threw him in the sea” is not enough. The U.S. government should release all the evidence it has that does not compromise security. Pictures of Osama are said to be gruesome. Then get the least gruesome one and put it out. Release the DNA evidence, incriminating information found in the house, and pictures of the raid. If there was a passport under the mattress, make it public. And let the SEALs tell their story. Allow them, if they are willing and eager, to go on “Nightline,” “Frontline” and “60 Minutes.” If they cannot be identified or don’t wish to be, put a blue dot over their faces, filter their voices, and don’t use their names.
All of this should be put in one big package and released to the world. In this way you give the nation and the world data, and a lot to talk about. That talk will crowd out and diminish conspiracy theories and deather denialism.
Americans don’t want to spike the ball. They just want to show they crossed the goal line.