History is taught in pictures, from cave drawings to paintings, from portraits to photographs, from hieroglyphics to video. Every picture tells many stories, that story is determined by the person viewing the picture.
Currently, there is a heated debate going on around the world on whether the Obama administration should release the pictures related to the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The point that should be made is that history is taught in pictures and the quote from George Santayana “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. We need to teach the history of tomorrow in the same way we need to learn history of yesterday, and that is with pictures.
My position is one of education of history and transparency in government. President Obama campaigned on making his administration “the most open and transparent in history”, yet he decided to create history versus allowing the multiple stories from the picture tell the story.
The pictures of him winning the election told multiple stories, just go ask a group of your friends, what that picture tells them. It tells each of us our own story, our own view of history.
A transparent government allows for free men and women. It is behind closed doors, late at night, or when the cameras are off that liberty and freedom is lost. A transparent government would release the photo, not from fear of repercussion and not to prove that the story provided is factual. The photo would be released for education today and tomorrow, and to tell its story.
It will tell a story to our children that terrorism will not survive in today’s world.
It will tell a story to our military that there is hope soon they will be home, while rallying the support to end the wars and bring our troops home.
It will tell a story to our veterans that the fight they entered is one step closer to ending.
It will tell a story to family members who lost their loved ones that the mastermind behind their grief can no longer inflict pain and suffering onto another human.
And it will even tell a story to some of a hero who stood up against a nation and created modern terrorism.
It is my opinion the pictures should be released to tell the stories that have yet to be told. As time goes by the story will continue to change from the did he or did he not have a gun, was he or was he not shooting to the little details that can only be taught by the pictures.
It is time for President Obama to keep his campaign promise of transparency, realize history is taught by pictures not by a story that has already in one week changed too many times.
Scott R. Davis
Friday May 6, 2011