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One Year After Madrid

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One year after the horrific Madrid train bombings, a Spanish official has asked the media not to show images of the attacks, out of “respect for the victims and their families.”

MADRID, Spain—The newly-appointed high commissioner for the Madrid bomb victims has asked the media to refrain from publishing more images of the March 11 attacks, news reports said.

Gregorio Peces-Barba, who was appointed last Friday by the government, said the victims and their families “are suffering from solitude and deserve respect.”

Speaking to Catalunya Radio on Sunday, he said there was no need to rerun images of something “everybody has already seen.”

A year after the September 11 atrocities I realized how thoroughly American media had hidden and erased the images of that day, and wrote:

If it were me, standing on a ledge 100 floors up, suddenly forced to make the ultimate choice with no time to think … I would want my death to mean something. I would want the world to remember. I would want my countrymen to see me fall, and know what had been done to me, to us, on that day.

And if I had been a victim of the Madrid attacks, I would want those images to be shown. Not ignored. Hiding this abomination away and forgetting about it, out of misguided political correctness and naïve “sensitivity,” is the very opposite of respect for the victims. It makes them non-persons. It renders their suffering meaningless.

Here is the surveillance video (Windows Media format) that was shot in the Atocha train station on March 11, 2004. It’s not gory, but it is highly disturbing. I’ve included the extended footage that shows rescue workers running away at a false alarm of another explosion—and leaving the wounded victims lying on the station floor.

Never forget.



(If clicking the picture doesn’t start the video, click here.)

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 Frank says:

Mr Zappa, I am astounded at the courtesy and soft voiced nature of the comments of my friend, the Senator from Tennessee. I can only say that I find your statement to be boorish, incredibly and insensitively insulting to the people who were here previously, that you could manage to give the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States a bad name, if I felt you had the slightest understanding of it, which I do not. -- - Senator Slade Gorton