August 7, 2005

Bullshit artists....

From the WaPo (thanks to Six Meat Buffet)

In response to a lawsuit, the Pentagon has released a few dozen new and uncensored images of flag-draped coffins of U.S. troops and agreed to process "as expeditiously as possible" future Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for photo and video images of returning war casualties.

The decision was called a victory for open government by the National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research group here that helped the litigation. "We forced the Pentagon to admit that release of these images was not a mistake but was in fact required by law," said Thomas Blanton, director of the archive, which posted the images on its Web site yesterday. As a result, he said the parties to the suit agreed July 28 to dismiss the case.

University of Delaware professor Ralph Begleiter sued in October 2004, and in April the Pentagon released 721 images of coffins taken by military photographers in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The latest release includes five new images as well as 27 others that had been censored with black rectangles, obscuring the faces of chaplains and service members in honor ceremonies...

Here is a simple fact. There are LOTS of Military funerals reported in the press. Tons of them. Flag-draped coffins galore. How do I know? Because I see them frequently in the Army Times Frontline Photos. I just went there and got this picture in less than a minute, from the 8-3-05 page.

Funeral for fallen Marine

Leandra Opskar, the widow of Marine Sgt. Brian Opskar, from Moorhead, Minn., hugs a Marine during her husband’s burial service on Tuesday at the Cormorant Lutheran Cemetery near Lake Park, Minn. Sgt. Opskar was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on July 23.
Dave Wallis, The Forum /Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.

See what it says there? Associated Press. That means any newspaper could use this photo. (Or that "nongovernmental research group" too, if they paid for it). It's not secret. The whole issue is TOTAL BULLSHIT. Any military funeral can be attended by the press if the family agrees. Most of them do. The story usually appears in the local paper, but the national press pays no attention.

Of course not. Sophisticates from the NYT or the WaPo, or "Delaware professors" aren't going to trudge out to the heartlands, where there are mosquitos and churches and flags and Boy Scouts. How tacky. No, they stay in air-conditioned comfort in the big cities and whine about how the government doesn't release enough photos. And they are not about to do anything that honors or respects our heroes. Their job is helping elect Democrats, not reporting news about the little people they despise.

Posted by John Weidner at August 7, 2005 9:42 PM
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