(Good article about this by Simon Assaf)
Supposing the findings are as unambiguously damning as expected, this is a serious crisis of legitimation for the occupation which, it has to be said, should only have the support of psychotics and outlandish, hirsuit survivalists by now. However, it reminds me of a comment Alex Cockburn made about the corrections column in the New York Times - its function was to give the impression that everything else printed in the paper had been entirely accurate. Of course, it is unlikely that the US ruling class will be successful in making this the cathartic experience that they hope it will be. Official inquiries are always intended as expiation or, more accurately, to 'put a lid on it', but people know a symptom when they see one. Or at least I hope they do.
Since Zizek is doing his Lacan master-class (that's class as in master-signifier) in Birkbeck these days, perhaps he can be persuaded to riff on that (here comes a blizzard of Badiouese):
The texture of Knowledge is, by definition, always total—that is, for Knowledge of Being, there is no excess; excess and lack of a situation are visible only from the standpoint of the Event, not from the standpoint of the knowing servants of the State. From within this standpoint, of course, one sees ‘problems,’ but they are automatically reduced to ‘local,’ marginal difficulties, to contingent errors—what Truth does is to reveal that (what Knowledge misperceives as) marginal malfunctionings and points of failure are a structural necessity. Crucial for the Event is thus the elevation of an empirical obstacle into a transcendental limitation. With regard to the ancien régime, what the Truth-Event reveals is how injustices are not marginal malfunctionings but pertain to the very structure of the system which is in its essence, as such, ‘corrupt.’ Such an entity—which, misperceived by the system as a local ‘abnormality,’ effectively condenses the global ‘abnormality’ of the system as such, in its entirety—is what, in the Freudo-Marxist tradition, is called the symptom…” The Ticklish Subject(Pg. 131)
Your "knowing servants of the State" are, of course, working hard to re-script the situation. This morning on the BBC, Lance Corporal Roel Ryan Briones's mother was shown, weeping into the camera and explaining how ill at this shit her her son was - which of course is probably true, since he later told the LA Times what horrible things were done. But you see the picture already: these boys went astray, did something wrong, 99.9% of our boys aren't like that, they have mothers who cry and everything. What's more, the Beeb reports, Americans are upset at the massacre - upset, mark you! Surely this is slander by understatement? They should be going through convulsive political awakening, seething with anger and steeling themselves for the possibility of having to have the entire executive branch of government decapitated, not going through the (e)motions of a Ricki Lake special. How long before all the guilty marines are featured on cushiony chairs against soft pastel backgrounds, having to answer worried questions from studio members, before finally explaining that they've all learned a valuable lesson and intend to get themselves an education? [Whoop, applause] Well, look, anyway, I thought this was worth mentioning:
Lance Cpl. Andrew Wright, 20, and Lance Cpl. Roel Ryan Briones, 21, were ordered to photograph the scene with personal cameras they happened to be carrying the day of the attack, the families said. Briones' mother, Susie, said her son told her that he saw the bodies of 23 dead Iraqis that day.
Do you understand? They wanted pictures, in the same way as the Military Intelligence officers who directed the Disney-medieval torture scenes at Abu Ghraib wanted pictures. Not to post on NowThatsFuckedUp.com, not to tell all to the President, but to have something to show others who might think of getting in their way. It's called terrorism.