A thought-provoking piece by Michael Dobbs on ForeignPolicy.com about the power of photos, video and satellite imagery in genocide prevention:
What did we know — and when did we know it?
Posted By Michael Dobbs Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The photograph above is a unique historical image. It captures a massacre actually in progress near the United Nations “safe area” of Srebrenica around 17:15 on July 13, 1995. What makes this image even more remarkable — and worth studying by anyone interested in the subject of genocide prevention — is that it became a public document one day after the massacre, on July 14. It was part of a video reportage on events in Srebrenica aired by a Belgrade television station.
If a lone reporter was able to reach such conclusions on the basis of examining a few seconds of video footage, think what a powerful intelligence agency would have been able to do had it been explicitly tasked to gather evidence of war crimes. We now know that the CIA had additional imagery of the Kravica events that was captured in real time, but not analyzed for many weeks. Signals intelligence could have provided further information, but the United States government has been unwilling so far to release this evidence.