March 15, 2006

Haunting Photograph: Abu Ghraib Icon or Political Opportunist? is reporting that the New York Times got the wrong man in its front page feature on the alleged man-behind-the- hood in the now iconic photo from Abu Ghraib prison (see the orginal article here: Click the title of this link for the Salon account.

It seems fitting that the identity of this man is hard to pinpoint. I don't know why I think that. I guess it's as though that this man--whoever he is--is a sort of bogeyman, an apparition that embodies the horror of the Iraq war. Just as the tomb of the unknown soldier in any country touched by war inspires mournful respect and reflection, the photo of the unknown torture victim inspires frustration and anger. As Donald Rumsfeld said: "Those pictures never should have gotten out." It's safe to say that Susan Sontag was right: "Photographs haunt."

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