05/20/2005 10:44 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The New York Post—Worse Than Newsweek?

The cover of today's New York Post is a picture of Saddam Hussein in his underwear, a piece of journalistic sleaze worse than Newsweek's Koran mistake.

The photo came from a military source who "hoped the release of the pitiful pictures will deal a body blow to the lingering Iraqi insurgency." The reverse seems equally plausible.

As despicable as Saddam Hussein is, our military—our nation—should be better than stooping to releasing pictures of a prisoner in his underwear so they can be emblazoned on the front page of a newspaper.

I can't speak to whether the release of this photo is a violation of the Geneva Accords, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Regardless, we don't need the law to tell us that the United States is best served when it appeals to people's most optimistic instincts and highest ideals—not when we engage in the kind of propaganda better suited to our enemies. Otherwise, why not just make a video of Saddam and release it to Al Jazzera? Works pretty well for the bad guys. This photo is not so different.