DECONSTRUCTION of the TIME magazine “Access to the Elites Journalism” Cover Story “The Last Days of Osama bin Laden” by Grand Narrative Writer/Propagandist/Scribbler/ Scrivener/Copyist/Stenographer Peter Bergen.
By THOM PRENTICE
Time Magazine has NEVER been a paragon of Authentic Journalistic Virtue but it is far worse now than it was even during the Right Wing Ownership/Editorship of Henry Luce.
This story – an excerpt from the “Access Journalism” of transcriber/scrivener/scribbler/ copyist/stenographer and “Access Journalist” Peter Bergen – is the Poster Child of how trivial, inauthentic, gossipy, celebrity, sex-obsessed, out-of-context, miss-the-point, Flat-Out Lying Grand Master Narratives (Valorized Lies) are created and perpetuated. This story and a twin are in the 7 May 2012, C. E. edition of TIME. This particular story is an excerpt from Bergen’s book to be published 1 May 2012 (coincidental, ain’t it?) entitled “Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden – from 9/11 to Abbottabad”.
The FIRST obvious problem is the mistaken title of Bergen’s book. The United States had been “searching” for bin Laden since the middle of the Clinton Administration.
Moreover, were Bergen/TIME even trying to be accurate, the “Ten-Year-Search” should have begun on that August day in 2001 when President George W. Bush was advised by a CIA brief and CIA Briefing Officer ONE MONTH BEFORE 9/11 that “Bin Laden Determined to Attack U.S.” Bush ignored it – as did Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the Bush Administration National Security Team.
Indeed, Bush told the CIA officer, “well, you’ve covered your ass.” [I STILL don’t know what THAT means. I DO know this is the ONLY EVIDENCE of “a conspiracy” – either it was a criminal conspiracy of negligence, stupidity and treason in which Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld just let 9/11 just happen, or it is evidence – “perhaps” – that they all knew 9/11 was coming beforehand and…They Just Let It Happen – which is also a criminal conspiracy AND treason.
But I digress.
On TIME’s table of contents page (p. 1), under the banner headline of “The Last Days of Osama” are two teaser headlines. One is to the fatally flawed Bergen piece and the other is to a Graham Allison piece called “The Biggest Bet: Inside President Obama’s decision to send in the SEALs to capture or kill America’s Number One Enemy.” (Why is everything always a “bet” – in politics and in casino Capitalism?) The teaser to the Allison piece continues the “official narrative” of the National Security/Military/Industrial/Capitalist Corporatist/Complex/Obama Administration that the SEAL mission was to “capture or kill”. Fair enough. I have heard that plenty before and why not just accept it?
Here’s why: On page 31 of the Bergen story, we are told – perhaps for the first time – what the operation’s name was: “Operation Neptune’s Spear”. Now, Neptune, god of the seas, is generally always portrayed with a spear (actually a “trident”). But what does one “do” with a spear? Does a spear “capture?” Or does a spear “kill”? Right there, in the very name of the Operation, we learn that the operation was NEVER about CAPTURE; rather it was ONLY ABOUT KILL. That creates a moral problem, among other things, like “not bearing false witness” (not lying) let alone the “do not kill” thing. The NAME of the Operation calls into question the very credibility of the ENTIRE ABBOTTABAD OPERATION let alone the ENTIRE ABBOTTABAD GRAND NARRATIVE.
Another problem – a “contradiction” — which one finds at the “margins” of a closely-read text according to French Deconstruction Theorist Jacques Derrida – begins in the very first and second paragraphs of Bergen’s piece – although the reader doesn’t realize that until deep into the narrative.
Bergen’s Suspenseful and explosive Hollywoodland screenplay writing informs the reader that “Then bin Laden told his wife Amal, ‘Don’t turn on the light.’” Bergen continues at the end of the SECOND paragraph – in fluent Hollywood Suspense – that “Indeed the instructions to Amal “would be the last words bin Laden would ever utter.” OK, fine. Got it. Yet on page 32, we are informed by Bergen that “Dressed in a tan shalwar kameez, a loose-trousers-and-tunic-outfit, the leader of al-Qaeda waited in the dark in silence for about fifteen minutes, seemingly paralyzed as the American stormed his last refuge.”
Does this mean that bin Laden and his wife sat around for FIFTEEN WHOLE MINUTES without at least whispering SOMETHING to each other? How credible is THAT? They didn’t whisper any final “I love yous”? Also, why the “fashion distraction” of bin Laden’s “outfit”? “OUTFIT?” Was he preparing to walk a fashion runway? And why “seemingly paralyzed” – was bin Laden “seemingly paralyzed” or was he just sitting there, hanging out? What up with the word “seemingly”? Why use of the word “stormed”? It took 15 minutes to “storm”? Would “invade” be a better word? Or “perhaps” Blitzkrieg? Bin Laden was Sitzkrieg but the US Navy SEALs were Blitzkrieg?
And why the modifier “last” in front of the word “refuge”? Had bin Laden taken that “secret passageway” (more later/film at 11) and say, been blocked by the downed chopper (but Bergen uses the Access Insider Cool Kid Slang word “bird”) where he hid, that MIGHT be a “last refuge”. But waiting 15 minutes in a bedroom he occupied for six years is NOT a “last” refuge. Remember bin Laden had been “on the lam” so to speak. Last seen at Tora Bora when the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld regime let him get away. Then bin Laden was everywhere and nowhere. On kidney dialysis. (No kidney meds or dialysis machine found by the Navy SEALs. But they DID find beard coloring and some kind of “natural Viagra” – cue snobby contempt for vanity and obliquely introduce the riveting suggestion of sex!)
This overt and inaccurate use of modifiers and hyperfocus on totally irrelevant details (bin Laden’s “outfit”) is a typical diversionary technique used by propagandists to distract from the REAL story – in this case that bin Laden and his wife sat around for FIFTEEN WHOLE MINUTES without whispering anything to each other and that his earlier instruction to wife Amal to not turn on the light were the last words bin Laden ever spoke? Is this Hollywood Suspense Thriller writing or what? Is this a typical distractionary diversion used by corporatist/Soviet-style propagandists to Wizard-of-Oz the reader? You know, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…” as Dorothy’s dog pulls the curtain back? Or both? Was Bergen writing notes to the Hollywood costume crew?
This is breathtaking. But perhaps not in the manner intended by Bergen and his access-only “National Security State” sources.
The “Capture or Kill” lie is, well, “perhaps” unintentionally “exploded” in the fourth paragraph following the “Fifteen Minutes of Silence” thing, p. 33. And I quote it directly. The reader is invited to contemplate the connotative and denotative means of the words “capture or kill” (emphasis mine):
“Hearing the sounds of strange men rushing into the room, Amal screamed something in Arabic and threw herself in front of her husband. The first SEAL who charged into the room shoved her aside, concerned that she might be wearing a suicide-bomb vest. Amal was then shot in the calf by another of the SEALs and she collapsed unconscious on the simple double mattress she shared with bin Laden. Bin Laden was offering no resistance when he was dispatched with a “double tap” of shots to the chest and left eye. It was a grisly scene: his brains spattered on the ceiling above him and poured out of his eye socket. The floor near the bed was smeared with bin Laden’s blood.”
Well, damn that bin Laden for creating such a “grisly scene”. How dare he! Wasn’t 9/11 enough? NOW bin Laden had the temerity to allow “his brains (to be) spattered on the ceiling” as well as to “pour out of his eye socket.” The noive of that man!
And why was “the floor near the bed…smeared with Laden’s blood?” The noive of that bin Laden! FOIST, to permit his brains and blood to splatter and pour out everywhere and THEN to smear it? What an INSULT to those brave American SEALs! After all that work and a downed chopper, to have to behold that scene must have been excruciating! And smeared blood! Yuck! I have seen blood on a floor – at least in the movies – and it is never smeared; rather it pools. If it was smeared, someone MUST have smeared it. The word “smear” has a different meaning than the word “pools”.
The word “smear” also has a “perhaps” author-self-deconstructing meaning as well: Was Bergen’s subconscience quietly noting that he was, in fact, “smearing” bin Laden, when the fact is that as with Nixon, Stalin, Bush, Hitler and Qaddafy, they all did a right fine job of “smearing themselves” themselves! (Or “perhaps” that unconscious shot-in-the-calf wife Amal smeared the blood with her other leg to “contaminate” the evidence? “Perhaps.”)
And what up with use of the word “screamed” for Amal’s utterance? Don’t women ever shout or yell? Also, what up with Bergen’s repeated use of the word “strange”? Plus HERE is a nice place to insert some salacious, prurient interest sexual innuendo and simultaneous snarky snobbery to the Grand Narrative: the two were sitting on a “simple double mattress”. Ooohhhh. Let’s think about bin Laden’s sex life and NOT think about the “Capture or Kill” lie. And, tut, tut, didn’t they AT LEAST have a Hollywood King mattress?
There is “perhaps” a pattern of using judgemental and pejorative words rather than the “Just the facts, Ma’am” style of legendry Sgt. Joe Friday of “Dragnet” TV series. Nothing wrong with using descriptive words, but Bergen largely favors pejorative and judgemental words. The reader is invited to read the piece in TIME magazine and play a game: “Where in the words” is the game – where can one find use of pejorative and judgemental terms when simple description and accuracy would have sufficed?
And What Up With This: “concerned that she might be wearing a suicide-bomb vest”…kinda like Floridian George Zimmerman was “concerned” that the black kid walking around “the hood” in a hoodie was a “threat” to Zimmerman’s life when the truth is that Zimmerman was a threat to young Trayvon Martin’s life? I think both the SEALs and Zimmerman should have been more worried about the probability that monkeys might fly out of their butts.
And what up with use of the word “dispatched”? Isn’t the word “killed” clearer – and more concise? (Who edited this dreck?) And What ARE up with use of the words “double tapped”. Bergen really has an unseemly fetish for showing the reader what an “insider cool kid” he is by using the military/security/corporatist/industrial complex in-crowd’s slang. What is wrong with using the words “shot twice”? Wouldn’t use of the words “shot twice” tell the story? And WHY, if Amal was shot in the calf because the SEALs were “concerned” she might be wearing a suicide vest” and bin Laden himself was NOT RESISTING (!) was bin Laden, ahem “double-tapped” once in the chest and once in the left eye? Double tapped? Double tapped?! How about “shot twice and killed”.
If Operation Neptune’s Spear was REALLY “capture or kill”, then WHY did they not also shoot bin Laden in the calf? Or BOTH calves? (I just tend to ask awkward, inconvenient questions and always have.)
And there is plenty of “Blame Bin Laden” his own self in the story: The al-Qaeda leader might have grown tired or complacent; had no real escape plan; there was no secret passageway out of his house. (Was it a “house” or a “compound” or a “retirement home” or “squalid suburban compound” or “bunker” or “mansion” or what?) The story continues, again the emphasis is mine:
“Perhaps he expected a warning that never came. Or perhaps he knew that a firefight inside the enclosed spaces of his house would kill some of his wives and children. For all his bluster that he would go down fighting…when the moment finally came, there was no spectacular martyrdom.”
What up with all these “perhapses”? How do they contribute ANYTHING meaningful to the story except to fictionalize it and distract the reader? Except the purpose is “perhaps” to distract the reader from the fact that what Bergen writes was “no spectacular martyrdom” seems to be a fatally flawed internal contradiction. “…his brains splattered on the ceiling above him and poured out of his eye socket” sounds pretty “spectacular” and “martyrdom” in both the connotative and denotative definitions of the two words.
What up with the use of the words “double tapped” here instead of the word “kill” for bin Laden’s grisly demise? What up about “bluster”? The only “bluster” I can remember is the bluster of George W. Bush who gave up on finding bin Laden after Bush permitted the al-Qaeda leader to escape from the clutches of US military forces at Tora Bora and Bush also once commented that he didn’t think about bin Laden very much. (“Perhaps” that was true; Bush did have a fetish for Saddam Hussein that wouldn’t quit.) Bush also famously blustered “Bring It On” as if his personal manhood were at stake rather than the lives of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. “Shock and Awe”.
Bergen repeatedly contradicts himself “PERHAPS” because he is just a lowly transcriber/scrivener/scribbler/copyist/stenographer who has “Access with Class to the Brass” — which he “perhaps” wants to preserve so he doesn’t think or interrogate what the Brass tells him; he just faithfully transcribes what they say, even when they contradict themselves. No thinking going on here! And again, who edited this dreck?
That doggone bin Laden! Outfoxing the Americans AGAIN by “OFFERING NO RESISTANCE” and THEN having the GALL of “spattering his brains on the ceiling and out of his eye socket”, and THEN not providing a “spectacular martyrdom.” Dadgummit!
Before bin Laden obstinately refused to provide a “spectacular martyrdom” – also on p. 33 of Bergen’s “spectacular” GRAND NARRATIVE in TIME magazine, it was “quietly reported” in the preceding paragraph that
“On a shelf in bin Laden’s bedroom were an AK-47 and Makarov machine pistol that were his constant companions.”
DANGER WILL ROBINSON! Danger American SEALs! Bin Laden was ARMED! And DANGEROUS! And “strange”. Of course, we don’t know whether the shelf was close to and accessible to the bed or on the far wall or fetchingly displayed as “found art” arranged on the shelf on the other wall, because, for some strange reason, the reader is not advised.
The reader is also not advised in the second paragraph as to who turned off the electricity in the neighborhood, thus “providing the SEALs with a large advantage on what was a moonless night”. Bergen writes, unabashedly, that “Someone – it is still not clear exactly who – had taken the sensible precaution of turning off the electricity…”. Does that mean he had all that Access to the Brass with Class and they kept one secret from him? Did Bergen “ask” but they didn’t “tell”? Or does he “Know but Won’t Tell”? Or is the identity of the wire snipper actually muddled? Was it someone from the Pakistani ISI? Was it the local drunk who hit the light pole and toppled the transformer? Inquiring minds want to know! Plus it is nice that Bergen “approves” of the “sensible” precaution.
The Big Problem with use of the weasel words “it is still not clear” is an oft-used dodge/ditch/distract/divert phrase in CONSTANT 24/7 use by lazy talking heads on TV which seems to mean that the talking head didn’t bother to ask the source, the source didn’t tell when asked, or multiple sources contributed multiple, mutually contradictory factoids and it is truly “not clear” or what? Or is it just highly-compensated but lazy reporting?
So, this is Bergen’s story: bin Laden offered no resistance; said his last words to his wife (“don’t turn on the light”) and said no more; waited FIFTEEN LONG MINUTES without even whispering; made NO MOVE to grab either his “AK-47 or Makarov machine pistol that were his constant companions”; and OFFERED NO RESISTANCE when the SEALs burst into the room with guns pointed.
Capture or Kill? Operation Neptune’s Spear? (Is “Neptune” a synonym for “Allah”?) Well at least we know (if Bergen is even the least bit credible) that what was “speared” was Amal’s calf, bin Laden’s chest and bin Laden’s left eye socket. NO CAPTURE. And, apparently neither INTENT to capture nor EFFORT to capture. No “put your hands in the air, it’s the TSA!” No “stop it’s the police!” No pepper spray. No tear gas canister. No Miranda warning. No NOTHING!
The SEALs, of course, were “just following orders” and reports from the time indicated that they were enthusiastically doing so. But the problem is the origin and intent of the policy and the orders. The policymakers – in this case The Obama Presidential “War Cabinet” elite and President Obama himself – are far more problematic than the SEALs. It is one thing to say “Capture or Kill”. It is another to lie about it. My own initial positive response to the operation was based on the fact that the orders were to “Capture or Kill” and since he was killed, he must have resisted and too bad. BUT BIN LADEN DID NOT RESIST! Ergo it was ALL KILL and NO CAPTURE. I wonder what Kennedy would have done during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Oh, wait. Kennedy went out of his way to avoid Nukular war against a REAL, AUTHENTIC, DANGEROUS ENEMY, the Soviet Union. Both nations had godzillions of Nukular weapons pointed at each other and could have wiped out the entire Northern Hemisphere of the Planet if not the Planet itself – that was a REAL “terrorist” threat. Karl Marx was even wrong about history repeating itself, “first as tragedy and then as farce”. In this case it was “avoided tragedy” followed by farce. A REAL threat versus a false, but hyped up threat. (One of bin Laden’s complaints was that US troops were in Islam’s “Holy Land” – Saudi Arabia. Why, then did Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld quietly withdraw from Saudi Arabia a few years later? Couldn’t the troops been withdrawn earlier and thus at least deprived bin Laden of that gripe?)
This operation “Kill bin Laden” is a moral blot on the Obama presidency, like the (many) moral blots on the George W. Bush presidency – particularly lying about the (non-existent) terrorist threat; lying about (non-existent) “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to justify the horrific, paid-for-by-credit-from-China invasion and occupation of Iraq; and the criminal negligence — at the very least — to do anything to avert 9/11 after the CIA had BRIEFED Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld one month before that “Bin Laden Determined to Attack U.S.”. The blot on Obama is a two-fer: not only lying about the operation (“Capture or Kill”) but clearly planning the operation to be a “Kill-Only” operation from the very beginning.
And then in 2009 – during the Obama administration — bin Laden had the temerity, stupidity and arrogance to not even possess a real escape plan nor have a secret passageway out of the bunker; to not talk to his wife for fifteen long minutes; to NOT grab his “constant companion” guns; to NOT RESIST; and THEN had the gall to let his brains spatter across the ceiling, out of his eye socket, his blood “smeared” on the floor — leaving a grisly scene that the SEALs had to clean up and FURTHER bin Laden had the gall to provide “no spectacular martyrdom”. (The film version should report in the credits: “Spectacular Martyrdom provided by the US Navy SEALs”).
And THAT is not even the beginning of an effort to try to start to initiate to commence a complete catalogue of the grotesque contradictions, flaws and failings of Bergen’s “stenography” from “official sources” let alone TIME magazine as a periodical of any Authentic Journalist repute whatsoever. “Let it ne’re be forgot, that there once was a spot, known as Abbadabott.”
This deconstruction began with the note that US President George W. Bush either criminally ignored or intentionally criminally ignored a CIA briefing that “Bin Laden Determined to Attack US” causing death and injury to innocent civilians, police and firefighters and intense, continuous, untold grieving by the families of those who were brutally killed on 9/11 – 9/11 being inspired by some sort of religious zealotry and fanaticism that is “not found” in Judaism or Christianity at all.
So let us start to begin to end this deconstruction with the observation that “Bin Laden Determined to NOT Follow US Script” by not resisting; not grabbing either of his “constant companion” guns; by not having an escape plan, by not having a secret passageway out of the house; by voluntarily spattering blood and brains all over the room (yuck!); and by PROVIDING “no spectacular martyrdom”. How clever, cunning and sinister could bin Laden’s strategery be?
What this reader misses – and Homo sapiens sapiens also has missed – is the spectacular trial which would have almost certainly unfolded had the non-resisting, unarmed, twiddle-his-thumbs-for-fifteen-minutes bin Laden been CAPTURED rather than KILLED. A trial at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, The Netherlands. Oh, wait. George W. Bush never signed the International Criminal Court treaty. Nevermind.
To say that Operation Neptune’s Spear is yet another blot on The United States – a nation of many blots – is to also say that this operation and the narratives about the operation constitute a perverted, pornographic, moral cesspool and open sewer of what Hitler called “a Big Lie”. Hitler didn’t have a conscience. Hitler had his Goebbels, though. And Operation Neptune’s Spear now has its own Goebbels and its own big liars. And that darn bin Laden, WHY wouldn’t he co-operate? We could have captured him but the US Navy SEALs had to kill him in order to save him.
As one reads this obscene Time Magazine piece, please take a look at all the judgemental words used – and the “blame the target” narrative. I mean, bin Laden should have ducked! A couple more:
“Bin Laden was always scheming about how to grab more media attention?” Whaaat?! He was always scheming about how to grab more media attention? Is that not the American/ Western/Technocratic/Hollywood/Celebrity/Self-Aggrandizing Cartel Capitalist Civilization’s Stock In Trade? Does this mean that bin Laden actually found “The American Dream” in Abbottabad? Was bin Laden a “celebrity terrorist”?
It USED to be that “news” was a “deviation from the norm” although I would define it now as a “pattern that diverges from the predicted or usual” (like, say, Climate Change/Global Warming which the TV weatherpeople always seem to ignore for some reason). So the NEWS reported here SHOULD BE if bin Laden had NOT schemed for more media attention” since scheming for more media attention IS the norm – the pattern – the usual. In addition, puh-lease Bergen and TIME – wasn’t 9/11 itself some kind of an obscure CLUE that bin Laden was doing it “The American Way” and scheming for…more media attention? An obscure clue, “perhaps”?
Now there is NO QUESTION that bin Laden was a bad actor. Bergen writes in foreshadowing Hollywood suspense that “Bin Laden’s violent struggle against the Unite States and its allies was about to come to an end.” But left unmentioned is the “violent struggle against colonized Arab and Persian peoples of The Middle East by The United States and ITS allies?” This violent struggle was all about cheap oil and big profits. Plenty of evidence exists that the Invasion of Iraq was all about profitable oil. And that the bombing of Libya was also all about profitable oil. And pipelines here and there which we never hear about in the US Corporatist News, Media, and Entertainment Complex. And what of the violent struggle since the so-called Kris-Chun Crusades against brown, Islamic peoples when in truth, radical Judaea/Christiano zealots were and still are as depraved as radical Islamic zealots?
Bin Laden was a radical zealot and psychopath, but then so was Nixon with his “secret plan” to end the Vietnamistan War which turned out to be extending the war for four long years and managing to kill more U.S. soldiers (and Vietnamese) in his term than were killed in the Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson administrations combined. Even more than were killed during the LBJ administration! But Nixon, who did far more harm, was pardoned. Bin Laden was killed.
The same with George W. Bush and the horrific civilian casualties of the War in AfghaniVietnamistan and IraqiVietnamistan — more than 100,000 verses about 3,000 from 9/11. All carbon-based life forms called Homo sapiens sapiens are precious and to kill any one Homo sapiens sapiens is to murder – according to every ancient code of conduct, preceding and including The Ten Commandments. So bin Laden was a murderer. No question. But George W. Bush has escaped prosecution for War Crimes let alone a Treason Trial for failing to lift a finger to avert 9/11. So Nixon and Bush are NOT even captured — but bin Laden was killed. Or “dispatched”. On a so-called “Capture or Kill” mission. Please do the math. Hey, when the Occupy Wall Street crowd was outside Goldman-Sachs yelling “Arrest George Bush” – they were not kidding.
The Supreme Irony is that bin Laden did not resist. And Jesus did not resist. Bin Laden was not armed and Jesus was not armed. Bin Laden waited for 15 minutes but Jesus waited less than 24 hours. Jesus’ death was slow but bin Laden’s was fast. Both were “enemies of the state”. And now President Obama — by lying about the operation – and both TIME magazine and scribbler Peter Bergen have managed to make a “perhaps” unintentional connection between the two when the one was VERY VIOLENT and the other one was NOT. “Spectacular martyrs.”
Also, the question that dare not ask its name: How much did all of this bin Laden surveillance and Operation Neptune’s Spear (Trident) cost? Was it paid for by taxpayers or by credit from China? How much federal cash/credit LEFT the treasury and went to Big Bankster Corporatist Wall Street Military/Industrial/Surveillance/Terrorist Complex Cartel Capitalist Contractors? Just asking some more awkward and inconvenient questions.
Actually, about the only truly interesting tidbit in the Bergen piece was quotation of what might “perhaps” be the only joke attributed to bin Laden on p. 28. “To other friends he joked, ’I don’t understand why people take only one wife. If you take four wives, you live like a groom.” Another way to sneakily add sex and “weird” polygamy to raise the temperature of the tale. Oh, wait! That sounds like Mitt Romney’s father in Mexico! (How did polygamy manage to get from Islam to The Book of Mormon?)
This reader started reading the Allison piece in TIME “How It Went Down” – the “tick-tock” of suspense – (that Hollywood word again) – that went on in the “Sit Room” at The White House and in a smaller, adjacent “Little Sit Room” where that famous picture was taken. (Just LOVE that “insider cool kid” slang.) Allison’s piece, also from “Insider Access Sources,” was self-deconstructing itself so fast that this reader could not even keep up with the GRAND NARRATIVE and the magazine was thrown down on the floor in complete disgust.
Actually the phrase “smeared on the floor” would be more accurate.
8:04 pm, Monday, 30 April 2012, C. E.
P.S. It is time FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE of photos of the shot-and-killed Osama bin Laden. As Jacquelyn Kennedy explained as to why she would not change her bloody clothes on Air Force One en route from Dallas to Washington after the assassination of her husband on 22 November 1963, “Let them see the horror.”
(Sorry, but these appear to “perhaps” be paywall-blocked links.)