Bush, Top Aides in Iraq Mug Shots

The New York Public Library currently plays host to a private exhibition which features US President George W. Bush.

Bush, Top Aides in Iraq Mug Shots

And incumbent or former senior administration officials in mug shots over their role in the Iraq war, reported the Guardian on Saturday, December 8. The black-and-white pictures show Bush and his close aides as suspects carrying placards bearing dates that match days when each official spoke about Iraq in ways the artists consider criminal, with sound clips of them speaking, a camera flash going off and a prison door closing.

The exhibit, part of a larger show called "Multiple Interpretations: Contemporary Prints in Portfolio at the New York Public Library," which will be up through January 27, starts with a doctored photograph for a Bush carrying a placard dated January 28, 2003, almost two months before the Iraq invasion.

Bush is heard at an accompanying sound clip saying: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Just before the 2003 US-led invasion, former UK prime minister Tony Blair compiled the so-called Iraq Dossier to justify involvement in the war.

It was revealed later that the information in the "dodgy" dossier had been plagiarized from various unattributed sources and based on flawed intelligence that Iraq bought uranium from Niger.

The doctored photographs, which are showcased under the theme "Line Up", were created by two artists, Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese.

Artist's Response

Included in the mug shot gallery are Vice-President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor Colin Powell, Bush's former adviser and strategist Karl Rove, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Cheney is shown with a placard dated January 2001, when he insisted that that there is not a "single shred of evidence" that he used government contracts to favor Halliburton, which was chaired by Cheney before entering the White House.

The Time magazine revealed in 2005 that Cheney coordinated a no-bid multibillion-dollar oil contract in Iraq to Halliburton before the 2003 invasion.

It has been reported that the corporation embarrassed the Bush administration after overcharging US forces in Iraq for fuel by up to $61 million.

Powell is featured in another doctored photograph with a sound clip recalling the former Secretary of State insisting in his infamous speech at the UN Security Council in February 2003 that on Iraq that "every statement I make today (about Iraq's nuclear weapons) is based on solid sources."

After leaving office, Powell regretted last year his UN statement making the case for the US-led Iraq invasion, saying it was a "blot" on his record.

Right-wingers have criticized the library for displaying political satire in an institution that receives public funds.

But the library has defended its long tradition of collection political satire and caricature.

"It's the mission of the library to document what's happening in the culture, and this is an artist's response to what's happening to the world around them," library spokesman Herb Shaer has said.

The Bush administration's so-called "war on terror" and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have whetted artists' appetite.

Responding to hungry anti-war audience, Hollywood produced this year a dozen of star-studded movies critical of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

A series of recent American documentaries also criticized the Bush administration's foreign policy after 9/11.

They include award-winning Fahrenheit 9/11 in which director Michael Moore accuses the administration of using the tragic event to push forward its war agenda

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Aralık 2007, 17:10