Terror, Torture, Soldier, Spy

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Critical Studies in Television Online

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When it comes to making sense of 9/11 and its aftermath, most Americans are still watching screens, looking for answers. It is no accident that the most iconic image related to the killing of Osama bin Laden is a picture of President Obama’s National Security Team taken by White House photographer, Pete Souza, viewing a live video feed of the raid being transmitted back by an unmanned drone as it happened at 4:06 p.m. ET (1:06 a.m. Abbottabad, Afghanistan time) on May 1, 2011. We watch everyone in that small conference room staring intently at some unseen screen, but no one more so than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose expression of shock and awe (which she later downplayed as suppressing an allergic cough) adds emotional power to an unexpectedly arresting image. They are our surrogates in this photograph. We are all voyeurs in the War on Terror.


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