No More Silence in Dover

In a vaguely related story, photos of caskets of U.S. troops killed in Iraq have been released. It took a court action to get the Pentagon to release the photos, and after 350 such photos appeared online (though I haven’t been able to load the site), the Pentagon has had an “information crackdown.”

In a related story, a cargo worker was fired after her photos of U.S coffins appeared in the Seattle Times.

Apparently there’s been a long standing policy of not giving the press access to Dover Air Force base where the bodies of slain soldiers return. Part of it is out of respect for the dead, but the many protesters claim it’s a way to keep the casualty reports out of the news and out of the public mind. Caskets on the 6 o’clock news is not the best way to gain support for a war. At the same time, those caskets remind us of the cost of such an action. Right now the U.S. is at war, but we pay no personal cost, save for billions in debt and those in military service. The rest of us are detached and uninvolved in a war that’s claimed 700 U.S. lives (not to mention the thousands of Iraqis killed).

While I can see the difficulties on both sides of this debate, it’s another issue of press censorship by the government. And it’s incredibly eerie to see this story right next to North Korea’s media blackout.

3 thoughts on “No More Silence in Dover”

  1. The frustrating thing about it for me is that, on one hand, you have people who believe in the cause in Iraq so much that they are willing to sacrifice their lives for it. There was no draft for this war…it was men and women who stepped up to the job as their own choice, knowing full well that they could come home in a casket.

    Then, what groups use these pictures? Usually the anti-war ones. I don’t think that someone who believed in the war would want their dead body exploited for such a cause. And, many family members of those deceased in the war have openly stated that they do notwant this type of thing publicized.

  2. Families of the deceased have also come down on both sides of the issue. The article I linked to quoted a mother of a solider killed last year: “We need to stop hiding the deaths of our young,” said Jane Bright of California, whose son was killed in action last year. “We need to be open about their deaths.”

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