[Marxism] Coffin photo controversy
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 23 07:11:30 MDT 2004
Photos of Soldiers' Coffins Revive Controversy
By Blaine Harden and Dana Milbank
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, April 23, 2004; Page A10
The Pentagon lost its tight control over the images of coffins returning
from Iraq as about 350 such images were released under the Freedom of
Information Act and a Seattle newspaper published a similar photo taken
by a military contractor.
After Dover Air Force Base, the main port for returning remains,
released hundreds of government photos of the ceremonies, the Defense
Department ordered yesterday that no more photographs be released. In
addition, two employees for defense contractor Maytag Aircraft were
fired after the Pentagon complained about a photo of flag-draped caskets
taken by one of them that appeared in the Seattle Times.
In March 2003, on the eve of war in Iraq, the Pentagon ordered an end to
all media coverage of ceremonies for the returning remains of soldiers
killed overseas. Although Dover already had such a policy, the Pentagon
action enforced a military-wide ban on images of flag-draped caskets
that dated to late 2000 but had not been followed.
With few exceptions, the ban had remained in force until recent days.
But last week, about 350 photos from Dover were released under a Freedom
of Information Act request by Russ Kick, a First Amendment advocate who
runs a Web site called the Memory Hole (www.thememoryhole.org). Dover
recommended that Kick's request be denied, but officials at Air Mobility
Command headquarters at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois authorized the
release on appeal. After Kick posted the photos, they appeared on other
Web sites, including the Drudge Report.
The sudden spread yesterday of the Dover photos of flag-draped caskets
returning from Iraq came a day after Tami Silicio and her husband and
co-worker, David Landry, were fired for the photo she took at Kuwait
International Airport of caskets in an aircraft. The photo was published
Sunday on the front page of the Seattle Times.
"We have terminated two employees in Kuwait who violated Department of
Defense and company policy by working together to photograph and publish
the flag-draped caskets of our servicemen and women being returned to
the United States," said William Silva, president of Maytag Aircraft,
the Colorado Springs-based military contractor that employed Silicio and
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