Lucy Steigerwald on How the U.S. Has it Both Ways on the War on Terror


It's been one year since that strange evening in May 2011 when President Barack Obama reported that Al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden, so long mysteriously absent from the world stage, had been found and killed by U.S. forces. One year later and the U.S. government still refuses to release photos or video to prove Bin Laden really died in the way described, but the latest Time has the action-packed pages that relate just how the raid went down (for real this time!). No photos because the risk is too great that pictures of Bin Laden's body would incite violence. Even though Al-Qaeda is, according to senior U.S. officials, "essentially gone" and with lesser affiliates capable of doing minor harm to U.S. interests. Except that, according to recently-released documents found with Bin Laden in his Pakistan hideaway, Al-Qaeda was trying to make a come-back and had considered such bold schemes as assassinating President Barack Obama. 

So, writes Associate Editor Lucy Steigerwald, which is it? Have we won, or is the risk still dire enough to justify more drone strikes in more countries, as well as the potential for the indefinite detainment of Americans?