I just read the blog of fellow Atlantic correspondent Lane Wallace, in which she raised important issues about photographs and quibbled with my digs at semioticians in a blog I wrote about photos of detainee abuse. She notes that photographs will be interpreted differently by different people.
As it happens, I agree.
But that does not mean that we should allow our government to withhold the release of the photos. We can't interpret photos if we can't see them.
Another key point: most, if not all, of the photos that the ACLU is asking to be released are not photos of Abu Ghraib at all. They are photos from other US-controlled prisons. Therefore, these photos may have quite a bit to say about whether there was a worldwide policy of detainee abuse.
Alex Gibney is a documentary filmmaker who made Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. He has won an Emmy, a Peabody, the duPont Columbia Award, and a Grammy.