Graham: “Independent” Authority Should Have Confirmed Osama’s Death

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Having already called on the White House to release photos of Osama bin Laden’s body, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) now says that independent experts should have been brought into verify bin Laden’s identity before the body was buried at sea. 

“I think it would have been smart to have an independent group, forensic scientists, maybe from Scotland Yard or some other organization,” said Graham. The South Carolina Republican softened his earlier criticism of the White House being overly sensitive to Islamic traditions in expediting bin Laden’s burial—but said Obama shouldn’t have rushed the proceedings. “Religious sensitivity is smart… but [we could have held] onto body for period of time to allow for indispensable analysis to help us make the case,” he told reporters.

Graham’s statement echoes calls by other Republicans for the release of bin Laden photos. Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV.) told ABC News that releasing images was necessary “to make sure we get rid of any conspiracy theorists that think that we didn’t take care of bin Laden,” referring to the so-called “deathers” who’ve emerged on the fringes of the debate.

Graham, to be sure, also praised Obama effusively for authorizing the bin Laden raid, adding “I have no doubt we have the right guy.” But in criticizing the White House for failing to provide sufficient proof of bin Laden’s death, Graham and his GOP colleagues may—intentionally or not—be feeding the notion that the public can’t trust Obama, and enabling the very conspiracy theorists they claim they’re trying to quell.

WE'LL BE BLUNT:

We need to start raising significantly more in donations from our online community of readers, especially from those who read Mother Jones regularly but have never decided to pitch in because you figured others always will. We also need long-time and new donors, everyone, to keep showing up for us.

In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

Please learn more about how Mother Jones works and our 47-year history of doing nonprofit journalism that you don't find elsewhere—and help us do it with a donation if you can. We've already cut expenses and hitting our online goal is critical right now.

payment methods

WE'LL BE BLUNT

We need to start raising significantly more in donations from our online community of readers, especially from those who read Mother Jones regularly but have never decided to pitch in because you figured others always will. We also need long-time and new donors, everyone, to keep showing up for us.

In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

Please learn more about how Mother Jones works and our 47-year history of doing nonprofit journalism that you don't elsewhere—and help us do it with a donation if you can. We've already cut expenses and hitting our online goal is critical right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate