I don’t have very strong opinions on whether the Obama administration should release photographs of Osama bin Laden’s corpse. But insofar as the photographs are meant to prove that bin Laden is really dead, it’s hard to see how they prove anything at all.

If we didn’t kill bin Laden, presumably he’ll quickly release a video emphasizing the fact of his continued existence. Or he’ll at least tell his daughter to stop publicly saying that she watched as he was shot and killed by Americans. If the conspiracy is that the Obama administration is claiming to have killed bin Laden when they in fact have actually captured him and are holding him for torture/interrogation/fun dance parties, then a photograph proves nothing more than that someone in the Obama administration knows how to use Photoshop.

Release the photo or don’t release the photo. But it’s silly to think that a photograph will do anything at all to allay conspiracy theories.