Defense Secretary Robert Gates has harshly criticized the decision by the Associated Press to distribute a photograph of a Marine who was fatally wounded in Afghanistan — even after the young man’s father called the wire service and asked that the photo not be released.
What kind of scum refuse the request of a dying man’s father — to NOT see him die on film? What kind of degenerates value “news” over simple humanity?
Gates, in a letter sent Thursday, called the decision “appalling,” and went so far at to ask the AP to reconsider distributing the photo of Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of Maine.
Referring to Bernard’s parents, Gates wrote to Thomas Curley, the wire service’s president and CEO: “Your lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple American newspapers is appalling.
“The issue here is not law, policy or constitutional right — but judgment and common decency.”
In an Aug. 14 attack by the Taliban in the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, Bernard, 21, of New Portland, Maine, was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. AP photographer Julie Jacobson, who was embedded with Bernard’s unit, captured an image of fellow Marines trying to rescue him as he suffered severe leg injuries.
Jacobson, who was crouching under fire, took the picture from a distance with a long lens and did not interfere with Marines trying to assist Bernard.
And, apparently she didn’t attempt to assist the Marines, either, from her position where she lay cowering under fire.
Bernard was taken to a field hospital, where he died on the operating table, AP reported.
Later, when she learned he had died, Jacobson thought about the pictures she had taken.
“To ignore a moment like that simply … would have been wrong.”
And Welcome to our “Self-serving Justification” Part of our Show; where we attemt to thimble-rig ass-covering excuses out of thin air. Honestly it makes me wonder if they have these classes at Journalism School is Covering Your Ass.
“I was recording his impending death, just as I had recorded his life moments before walking the point in the bazaar,” she said. “Death is a part of life and most certainly a part of war. Isn’t that why we’re here? To document for now and for history the events of this war?”
Silly me — I though it was to free the oppressed people of Afghanistan from under the murderous thumb of the Religion of Death and Dismemberment; but I could be wrong on that.
Later, she showed members of his squadron all the images taken that day and the Marines flipped through them on her computer one by one.
“They did stop when they came to that moment,” she said. “But none of them complained or grew angry about it. They understood that it was what it was. They understand, despite that he was their friend, it was the reality of things.”
Maybe they were silently grieving their fallen friend? Maybe they assumed you had the common decency not to print them?
The Associated Press released a self-serving whiny statement HERE:
NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press is distributing a photo of a Marine fatally wounded in battle, choosing after a period of reflection to make public an image that conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.
Oh, well, if it’s a Period of Reflection then, that makes it all better. To Hell with his greiving family; we’ve Reflected on it, and all is well with the world.
Curiously, the Media Whores at MSNBC rushed to the AP’s defense as well. (Apparently the *IS* “honor among criminals” after all.) Listen to this marvelously snide, snarky, and self-serving justification from MSNBC:
Journalists embedded with U.S. forces in Afghanistan must sign a statement accepting a series of rules which, among other things, are designed to protect operational security and lives of the soldiers and Marines who are hosting them.
Critics also maintain some of the rules are aimed at sanitizing the war, minimizing the sacrifice and cruelty that were graphically depicted by images from the Civil War to Vietnam where such restrictions were not in place.
The rule regarding coverage of “wounded, injured, and ill personnel” states that the “governing concerns” are “patient welfare, patient privacy and next of kin/family considerations.”
“Photography from a respectful distance or from angles at which a casualty cannot be identified is permissible; however, no recording of ramp ceremonies or remains transfers is permitted.”
Images of U.S. soldiers fallen in combat have been rare in Iraq and Afghanistan, partly because it is unusual for journalists to witness them and partly because military guidelines have barred the showing of photographs until after families have been notified.
“Sanitizing the War?” Are you kidding me? The Media won’t even cover the wr unless it looks bad for America. Remember the last Mainstream Media news coverage you saw of Iraq or Afghanistan?
Very likely it was before the “Surge” in Ieaq — when things were looking grimmer there. Perhaps AP was looking to “profit from the war” by sensationalizing it? By violating the privacy of the family?
Or were they just looking to turn public opinion against the war by showing casualties — like the media did in Vietnam. perhaps?