Reuters News Service Buys Bin Laden Photos from Pakistani Official

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COMMENTARY: Why wait for President Barak Obama to release photos from the evening Osama bin Laden was killed when you can buy them? That’s just what Reuters, an international news service, did.

However, the images do not show bin Laden.

A May 5 Reuters news report claims the media company purchased photos from a Pakistani security official who wishes to remain anonymous. The official said he entered bin Laden’s compound around 2:30 a.m. on May 2, just hours after the bin Laden killing and snapped the pictures.

The images show three dead men — without weapons — in a pool of blood, bin Laden’s raided compound and the remains of the United States helicopter abandoned during the mission.

Reuters feels the images are authentic. The news organization states the photos were shot in sequence, are of a similar resolution and metadata imbedded into the images match the lighting conditions that occurred during the time stamp ingrained in the photos.

Although, a savvy Adobe PhotoShop wizard could have altered any of those parameters.

Do you feel it’s ethical for news services to purchase imagery that President Obama deems potentially dangerous if made public? The president has said publicly the images could spark retaliatory protests and additional terrorist attacks.

In the age of instant news updates via social media networks and text alerts, the images will be in the hands of the average citizen soon. Will you look?