The Polaroid of the Lost (2002)
Do you remember the pictures of prisoner abuse? Well, do you? Or do you suffer from collective national amnesia? Because Dick Cheney visited Larry King recently to remind everyone that such atrocities never happened:
The report Amnesty International released last week said prisoners at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba had been mistreated and called for the prison to be shut down. Cheney derided the London-based group in an interview set to be broadcast Monday night on CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
“Frankly, I was offended by it,” Cheney said in the videotaped interview. “For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don’t take them seriously.”
Cheney said detainees at Guantanamo “have been well treated, treated humanely and decently.”
“Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment,” Cheney said. “But if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated.”
So, the newly "quaint" Geneva Convention notwithstanding, Amnesty International's report and ("nearly") all claims of torture are "lies," therefore
you imagined this --
and this --
and, certainly, this
but, strange, the pictures are right before your eyes. Like today's image, you're holding the visual proof. Can't you see the thumb in the left corner? The "lost" continue to materialize -- like ghosts that refuse to pass over -- and they creep into our lines of sight -- through windows, televisions, blogs, memories. Squint a little. See the pictures now? Remember what happened?
And here's something else perhaps you and the mainstream media have forgotten -- the Downing Street Memo:
The formal Resolution of Inquiry request, written by Boston Constitutional attorney John C. Bonifaz, cites the Downing Street Memo and issues surrounding the planning and execution of the Iraq war. A resolution of inquiry would force relevant House committees to vote on the record as to whether to support an investigation.
The Downing Street Memo, official minutes of a 2002 meeting minutes between British Prime Minister Tony Blair, members of British intelligence MI-6 and various members of the Bush administration, notes that MI-6 director Richard Dearlove said, “Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
Bonifaz says the minutes were the impetus for his request.
“The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people,” Bonifaz wrote in a memo to the ranking House Judiciary Committee Democrat John Conyers (D-MI) outlining the case.
Oh, you've forgotten about this, too? Probably just more "lies," right? Besides
White House press secretary Scott McClellan waived off the letter, saying he had “no need to respond,” according to the New York Times.
and, although Blair and other British officials have not disputed the memo's veracity, no one in the mainstream media seems willing to ask hard questions. After all, they have the word of Dick Cheney and other Bush Administration officials -- just as they did about WMDs...
But, once again, like today's image and the photos from Abu Ghriab, the Downing Street Memo is in plain sight -- right in your hands. You can read it here. And once you read it, ask yourself -- would you like to know more?
If so, then, please, write your representative and sign the letter of Congressman John Conyers, Jr. If you are a blogger, please join the Big Brass Alliance. And if you'd just like more information, please visit AfterDowningStreet.org.
But, whatever you decide to do -- look again. You're holding the picture. Now, do what you can to see that it is developed properly. That is the only way all of us will be able to see it clearly.