April 23, 2009
“Cabinet Room” Revisited
I thought it was worth taking another look at the Leibovitz “Cabinet Room” portrait, which was not only shot right after the start of the Afghan invasion but was also captured — in terms of present context — four months after the Bybee torture memo was written. (Sorry I don’t have a larger size. Leibovitz and VF have been very protective of the image, even though it’s now been run twice by VF.)
Because the Bush Administration’s war crimes have survived so many periods of brief and intense attention while cycling through the public and media sphere, it’s hard to imagine a final reckoning this time. I do find solace in the fact, however, that history (as exemplified by the harder light being shined right now) will indeed have its multiple drafts.
For backstory on the photo (from Powell’s question to Leibovitz about what the group should try to communicate to Rummy’s little boo-boo), I urge you to read page 64-65 of Vanity Fair editor David Friend’s wonderful book: Watching The World Change: The Stories Behind The Images Of 9/11.
Obviously (and Powell is as good an example as any of the others), I think we’ve got more than “resolve” communicated here.
(Image by Annie Leibovitz, second-time-around, from: Farewell to All That: An Oral History of the Bush White House - 2/09 VF.