Friday, April 23, 2004
People. Not Numbers.
As I'm sure you know, the Bush administration has banned pictures of returning coffins, and has fired someone for taking such pictures. You know about this because they shot themselves in the foot again: their ham-handed action of firing the photographer has drawn tons of attention to the ban, and suddenly people who were not aware that such a ban existed have become aware of it. And I hope that most of them have the good sense to find it shameful.
The Bush administration claims that the ban was enacted out of respect for "privacy" - but that's makes so little sense that it can't poosibly fool anyone but their cult followers, who refuse to admit to any imperfection in their Tin God Simpleton Maximus.
The claim that it has something to do with "privacy" is obviously bogus. They aren't pictures of dead bodies: they're pictures of flag draped coffins, and you don't even know who's inside. How on EARTH is a picture of an anonymous flag-draped coffin a violation of someone's privacy? What will they tell us next? That pictures of Arlington Cemetary are a violation of the privacy of the interred?
The REAL problem they have with the pictures, of course, is that they are POWERFUL. They want us to think of the dead as only NUMBERS. Not PEOPLE.
But when you see those pictures, you remember that those 700 dead were mothers, fathers, sons and daughter: human beings who might have had great futures, but will never come back, and who leave behind devastated families.
And those realizations are what Bush ACTUALLY wants to ban.