Last night’s Frontline provided further testimony and new evidence for what is essentially old news—that the Bush administration coerced the CIA into providing intelligence that suited its purposes for making a case for invading Iraq; that the efforts directed toward Al Qaeda in Afghanistan were diminished as the buildup for war with Iraq increased; that Osama Bin Laden slipped through the army’s fingers at Tora Bora, due to inadequate forces; that the Iraq-related intelligence was shoddy; that George Tenet was the scapegoat when the intelligence proved faulty; that Dick Cheney is the most powerful, secretive, and dictatorial Vice President in history, and he orchestrated much of this, twisting arms, intimidating, and leaking information as he saw fit. Now, do you feel safer?

All of this wouldn’t be so damned irritating if it weren’t for the horrors upon horrors that pile up in Iraq, seemingly endlessly—beheadings, executions, kidnappings, mutilations of bodies, and, now, the unspeakable torture and death of two young men. Why did those two young men have to be in that particular place, with that particular hatred aimed at them? Why were they placed in harm’s way? What agenda did they serve? Whose world vision were they defending? Can any American say that he or she really knows the truth about why they were there?

It is important—no, necessary—to imagine what those two young men went through. It is necessary to imagine whatever it is that the news media won’t show the American people, whether it be maimed American soldiers or dead Iraqi children, and, if your imagination goes too far, if it distorts or makes grotesque, or, even if it falls short, that’s OK, because imagining is a way of making whole that which is fragmented and, even if the vision is incorrect, it is an effort at constructing meaning, or making sense out of what is essentially senseless.

If you fail to imagine then you accept as whole any incomplete picture or inkblot that is placed in front of you, and you are, essentially, controlled by whoever is holding the picture.

Advertisements