Last month, Republican Representative Michele Bachmann, who two months earlier had said she took President Obama "at his word" that he was a U.S. citizen, urged the President to release his birth certificate once and for all in appearance on Fox News. "This is the easiest problem to solve," she told Sean Hannity. "All the president has to do is show it." This variation of the "birther" argument--we believe Obama was born in America but, given the doubt out there, let's clear this matter up once and for all--was echoed by other Republicans before Obama eventually released the document.
And now a similar line of reasoning is resurfacing as some Republicans call on Obama to release the photograph of Osama bin Laden's corpse to quiet the so-called "deather" conspiracy theorists out there. They believe bin Laden is dead, but they're worried that other people might not, so why doesn't Obama just clear the matter up? Senator Lindsay Graham (pictured above, on right), explained, "I know bin Laden is dead, but the best way to protect our decisions overseas is to prove that fact to the rest of the world." Senator Susan Collins (above, on left) noted that while "it clearly was Osama who was caught and killed in this raid," she's worried that a "mythology" will "arise that somehow Osama bin Laden escaped, or isn't really dead or someone else was killed." Representative Peter King, who has since backed off his request that the photo be released, initially told CNN, "There's no doubt they got [bin Laden]. And let's not have conspiracy theories develop." On Thursday, GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul said, in reference to the bin Laden death photo, "If something comes up and people are ambivalent, always lean toward openness."