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Errol Morris

Errol Morris on Abu Ghraib

Errol Morris

"A major problem [about the Abu Ghraib story] is that few people have been willing to look past the photographs into the reality of Abu Ghraib. Sabrina Harman was not involved in al-Jamadi’s death. I know this from hundreds of documents and sources. Someone in a blog wrote: “Who cares about these people?” Quite simply, I care. In learning about Sabrina Harman and the death of al-Jamadi, we can learn more about Abu Ghraib. I believe that the failure to prosecute any C.I.A. personnel for the death of al-Jamadi may lead to the highest echelons of the government. Investigating small things can often teach us about the big things that stand behind them."
-- Errol Morris, New York Times, May, 19, 2008

Errol Morris has recently released a documentary of Abu Ghraib, based on the thousands of snap shots taken by those involved. Yesterday he published an essay in the New York Times, called The Most Curious Thing, on one murder that happened at Abu Ghraib, and the photographic record that was kept of it. It's a long, hard read, but worth it for anyone interested in how the truth works. It would make good background material for a seminar or discussion with Donald Rumsfeld, when he visits the Hoover Institution, in his capacity as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow.

The book version of the documentary, Standard operating procedure, is on order in the Law Library. The film is currently in theaters and the video will be released later in the year. We also have several books, other videos, and government documents dealing with the subject of Abu Ghraib Prison .

Errol Morris is still at it on ZOOM

Errol Morris is still at it.
Today, December 11th, in the New York Times online, Errol Morris continues his blog ZOOM, beginning the "crazy" process of answering the over-1000 entries from readers of his blog on the nature of images and truth. It's all great stuff, even if a bit nuts, by the cynical standards of our times. You'll enjoy it, if you like reading and thinking. It's perhaps the exact opposite of what one would normally expect from our blog culture of Instant Truth. Just goes to show: One can think critically anywhere.

Errol Morris and the nature of evidence

If you are passionate about images, photos, and the nature of truth, take a look at Errol Morris's blog on the New York Times web site. He has spent the past month trying to figure out which of two "identical" photos was taken first. They were taken by Roger Fenton during the Crimean War. They were the subject of an essay by Susan Sontag in her book Regarding the Pain of Others. Sontag had a definite view as to which photo was taken first, based on an aesthetic and psychological analysis of their content. Errol Morris set himself and his readers the task: figure out which photo was taken first without any recourse to explanations apart from the photos themselves. If you love Errol Morris and his sort of image madness, it's a wonderful read. If you don't love Errol Morris, it will either make you fall in love with him or will drive you mad. Anyway, this is an "academic" pursuit in the best sense of the word. And this is a perfect use of blogging. It's the best sort of display of how profound the trivial can be. Also take a look at Errol Morris's documentaries in Media/Microtext. They are all quite wonderful.

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