Thursday, March 17, 2005

On The Mark -- Numbing Our Senses

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the systematic and planned release of reports about war prisoner abuses -- ranging from torture to murder -- committed by the United States? It seems like a well-thought-out strategy to release this bad information. One report effectively numbs the next report, so that when the military announces, as it did yesterday, that 26 prisoner deaths in Iraq may have been homicides, it barely causes a blink.

It seems the government wants all these reports to have the same effect as reading or hearing about gang murders and drive-by shootings in the inner cities: "shit happens in bad places." It's all the same so why bother reading yet another story about another gang killing?

The Bush administration has demonstrated over and over again that they are expert at staying on message. They know Americans are lazy and have extremely short attention spans so that if they've heard it once that's enough for them, they don't need to pay attention to further notices, nor will they absorb them anyway.

This is very clever -- this dumbing down, numbing down strategy.

Why is there not a commission to investigate this prisoner abuse problem in its entirety, along the lines of the 9/11 Commission? Certainly, it's warranted.


shadowbox said...

The sad thing about it all is that many people *are* aware of what's been happening and *still* don't give a damn.

Aurelius said...

Shadowbox's comment is reminiscent of a book I read a few years ago called "Hitler's Willing Executioners", which was about how the men with the guns didn't need a lot of brainwashing because they believed the people they were killing were untermenschen (lesser humans). And the public at large held this view as well.
When people stop caring about the deaths of other people, we're all degraded.

The Misanthrope said...

I believe the minority party cannot initiate investigations. Hence, the Republicans can run roughshod in Congress weakening ethic laws, or planning nuclear options to stop filibustering, or even turn a blind eye to torture.

On The Mark said...

Shadowbox and Aurelius -- I think you're both on to something. There's more to it than just a numbing process. Perhaps, generally speaking, we Americans categorize all Muslims as one (much like we do with the inner cities) and that a dead Muslim is a good Muslim?

Teresa said...

That's an interesting idea that's it's a strategy. To me it just seems so after the fact. Haven't we known this was going on for almost a year now? The reports don't make much of an impact after 6 months of denial. It's just like with the WMD story--there are still people out there who think the U.S. found WMD or that they are yet to be found.