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As a member of the U.S. House Armed Services committee, Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn was invited to view the photos of Osama bin Laden shot to death in the U.S. raid in Pakistan last week. According to the Denver Post, Lamborn was excited about the opportunity. He said he "absolutely" wanted to see the photos. Now he has seen them and the experience seems to have been sobering. "It's a bloody mess," Lamborn told Slate's Dave Weigel. "His face is intact but his head is partly gone."
The world has the story of the mission that delivered death to Osama bin Laden. It has the details of his burial at sea. It has clunky animated video reenactments of the raid at his Abbottabad compound. It has the realtime twitterized witness account and the New York Times narrative of events. It has the cable news punditry and it has President Obama's speech after the fact. It does not have the photos of Bin Laden's corpse because it does not need the photos and because releasing the photos is not at all the kind of thing the Obama administration would do. If we didn't know that before the death of Bin Laden, we know better now.