Never Happened

Oh, well, if the truth is going to get our soldiers into trouble, by all means, let’s airbrush it out of existence. Why stop with photographs? Let’s shred all remaining records from the last eight years. We clearly need a national security-oriented amendment to the Constitution as well so that the government can use prior restraint to suppress any reporting that the Pentagon thinks could cause trouble for whatever war we’re in at the moment. Sure, people in countries we’re occupying might know a few things about how we’ve carried out the occupation, but who are they going to tell? Al-Qaida? We all know that terrorists don’t believe anything they read unless it appears in the U.S. mass media.

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5 Responses to Never Happened

  1. hestal says:

    On another blog I saw one photo of Emmet Till after he was mutilitated by the mob and then several photos showing him not long before his murder. Readers of the blog added photos of lynchings in the 20th century south.

    I remember very well seeing photos of Nazi extermination camps shortly after the Allies captured them.

    So no matter the impact on current events, photos of these horrors are an effective way to teach future children that such things are never to be repeated.

    I think Obama should release the photos. I am not disappointed in him because I expected nothing from him.

  2. AndrewSshi says:

    I have a feeling that I am going to regret this comment, but here goes…

    Back in 1945, the allied powers firebombed the city of Dresden for no good strategic or tactical reason. The end result was the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians (unless one once to argue that since the NSDAP was democratically elected all German citizens were morally culpable for the crimes of the Third Reich). One might even call it a war crime.

    Even today, sixty years later, white supremacists use the story of Dresden to give themselves motivation. So if we were to suddenly come up with a new batch of photos of the aftermath of Dresden, there would be a non-zero number of people killed because our own right-wing terrorists would use that information to stoke themselves into a fury of hatred based on supposed crimes against the white race. For such a reason, if a new batch of photos of the results of Dresden came available, a government would be wise and judicious not to publicize them.

    One can work to make sure that no one is ever tortured in American custody again, and one can even prosecute certain of the torturers without handing propaganda materials to AQ.

  3. hestal says:

    The white supremacists I have known are always looking for an excuse, and they will even create one if they think they need to.

    But there are no photos of Dresden that I have seen. Certainly they are not shown as often as those from the extermination camps. But if there were Dresden photos then they should be shown. As it stands now the white supremacists are free to make “Dresden” anything they please because it is not well known by the public.

    But the more important point, I think, is that the people who should oppose violence fron any source need to be reminded what such violence entails. Photos are the best evidence. Otherwise the CIA would not have destroyed the videos they made as they interrogated their captives using harsh techniques.

  4. Timothy Burke says:

    Andrew, the slippery slope in that analogy isn’t a distant prospect: you’re already zooming down it at great speed. There is a non-zero chance that any piece of information will somehow catalyze someone into action they might not have taken, and some of that action will cause harm. By this light, the original Abu Ghraib photos should never have been released; indeed, no information about the war of any kind should have been released, even positive information, as positive information might inspire an opponent of the war to do something harmful out of frustration as the propaganda. By this reasoning, the original photographic evidence of the Holocaust should have been surpressed in order to avoid inspiring any future genocidal or racist action. And so on.

  5. Senor_Feesherplein says:

    Yes the button is easily pressed in my rucksack part of the woods.

    Can we admit that it is time to consider the US government as a flatulent corporation. Your vote is not a choice but a confirmation to give full power to your indistinguishable government.

    The process of 4 years leads from mediocre to hideous and back again but never to progressive or creative.

    We are semi passive consumers that every once in a while vote on a slightly different product line. A government should not be consumed but controlled by its people and we have a government that resembles a dreary american idle sitcom to which we get to text our vote to via a flaccid congress.

    No accountability and no law.

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