Trauma contains within it an essential ambiguity. The terrorist act invokes this absence. The various networks within our society - media, government, ngo's - capitalize on the absence to foreclose the meaning of the event. They ursurp the voices of the dead and fill in their own discourse in what amounts to realpolitik. Yet, the question remains, how do we see the event for what it is, finding testimony to trauma?
"The dead never stop telling stories. Those whom we have betrayed, no matter how pure our intent, how scrupulous our reasons, they tell their tales to us night after night, which is why some of you will lose all capacit to sleep" (270). Janette Turner Hospital understands that the story lies with the dead, the intefral insight of Primo Levi comes through here. But somewhere between the loss of testimony and the foreclosure by outside means is an ethical way forward, investigating the event and responding to it. Giorgio Agamben explains that it is in understanding the absence and directing our attention to the middle ground. "Survovors bore witness to something it was impossible to bear witness to," according to Agamben (13). With this understanding, is Due Preparations for the Plague seeking a new ethical territory to respond to the essential absence that terrorism provokes? Are "due preparations" not simply ways of preventing terrorism, but ways of dealing with the aftermath?