Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
December 11, 2014

Hey, What's That Thing Behind Cheney?

This photo of the former Vice President accompanies this ABC News story: “Dick Cheney: CIA Torture Report is ‘Full of Crap’”.

Cheney does not look good. Or happy. Political and moral toxicity is just wafting up from the Torture Report. There may be some exhaustion and poor health, for sure, and being a lightening rod takes its toll. But it’s hard not to see in Cheney’s countenance the long term physiological effects of arrogance, and denial. If you think it’s unfair to read that much malevolence onto Cheney’s defiant stare-down, just remember that nature has a way of crumpling itself up when it’s malnourished.

And don’t look now (he’s watching), but there in the background, in the contraption against the wall, is that the figure of a person strung upside down by their feet? Certainly not, even though what’s really scary is how much this photograph of Cheney, the face of American torture, invites seeing it that way.

— Philip D. Perdue

(photo: ABC News. caption: Former Vice President Dick Cheney Says CIA Torture Report Is ‘Full of Crap’)

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