Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Friday, May 07, 2004
An emerging theme, both in the Rumsfeld testimony, and across the mediascape, is that the torture scandal has become a scandal not because of the torture, but because of the photos. Events seem to support the thesis--the Taguba report was available in January and caused little reaction. It was the release of the pictures that caused this blowback. (Rummy keeps insisting that had he seen the photos, he'd have taken action then.)
The Taguba report was far more shocking. As disturbing as the photographs are, they can't compete with this, from the report: "Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick." Yet folks on the right are suggesting that CBS should never have released the pictures, and Rummy is treating it like a PR problem in his testimony.
It creates a koan-like riddle: if there is torture but no one photographs it, is it really torture?