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Editor's Column: Collateral Damage

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020

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Extract

In an interview following his 7 may 2004 testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Donald Rumsfeld, the United States secretary of defense, admitted knowing about abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison since they were first exposed in January. He also knew of the existence of photographs documenting the abuses, but he had not studied the images until shortly before they were shown to the public during the first week of May. In asserting that “[i]t is the photographs that give one the vivid realization of what actually took place” and that “[w]ords don't do it,” Rumsfeld expressed, and even surpassed, one of the prime clichés of our time, that a picture is worth a thousand words. Before the power of visual images, the subject has an uncontrollable emotional response: “you cannot help but be outraged.”

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Editorial
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Copyright
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2004

References

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