January 28, 2009

Gitmo: Putting A Face To A Name

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of newly- sworn-in U.S. President Barack Obama, in the lobby of the headquarters of the U.S. Naval Base January 20, 2009 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  Bush's eight-year presidency, which has overseen the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere, concluded midday today, and President Barack Obama has said he intends to close the offshore prison and move the trials to U.S. courts. (Photo by Brennan Linsley-Pool/Getty Images)

I realize I’m out of sync with the news cycle, last week being “Gitmo week” and this week being “Stimulus Legislation week.”

Still, I continue to think about this image, and what Colin Powell said early on about Iraq and the “Pottery Barn” rule. I always thought it was pretty much true, that you break it, you own it. Still, now that Obama has been “slotted in” as the C.I.C., there’s really no equivocating. “44” owns it now. It would be the case regardless, but the inheritance is reinforced by the visual chain formed “up the line” by Bush’s and Obama’s Secretary of Defense Gates overlapped by the photo of Bush, which is connected to Obama through the officer’s left hand.

Of course, my solution is simple: Demo the wall.

(image: Brennan Linsley/AP. U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, January, 20, 2009)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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