Bloody Sunday Revisited

Counterpunch has just posted this article:

This refers to an incident from over 40 years ago that may be broadly referred to as part of “the Troubles” among the British and the Irish.  Apparently there has been a completion of a (long-delayed, in my opinion) “official investigation.”  Long story short, whatever bad stuff happened, it was caused by the usual few “rotten apples” at the bottom of the barrel.  You can imagine the rest; in fact, you will have to imagine the rest, since the investigative vigor of the official investigation is inversely proportional to the official rank of the officials being investigated.  If I make myself, like Richard Nixon, perfectly clear.

Well, I for one am glad that “the Troubles” seem to be mostly over and settled, and I do not wish to reopen what appears to have been a can of worms; and it seems that most other folks feel much the same way.  So why am I bringing this up?

To raise a question that is interesting to historians, writers, and readers:  what is the importance that we attach to documents and documentation.  Why do people sometimes destroy documents that would compromise them, and sometimes they retain them, and even insist that they be archived — though only behind impenetrable walls of secrecy?

Why do living relatives insist on their dead being “officially” exonerated or pardoned, given that they are dead and gone forty years?  (I’m not saying they shouldn’t; I think they should.  Just asking why: why is this important . . . “for the record”?)

For me at least, this raises questions and curiosities about the whole of history and of human consciousness — in what modes are things conceived, done, remembered, forgotten, etc.?

And perhaps the “etc.” is the most interesting part.  Your thoughts are most welcome.



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