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InvisibleXochitl
synchronicitycircuit
Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 1,241
Loc: the brainforest
photos of american coffins
    #2591729 - 04/22/04 05:54 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/coffin_photos/dover/

Quote:

>>> Since March 2003, a newly-enforced military regulation has forbidden taking or distributing images of caskets or body tubes containing the remains of soldiers who died overseas. [read more]

Immediately after hearing about this, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the following:

All photographs showing caskets (or other devices) containing the remains of US military personnel at Dover AFB. This would include, but not be limited to, caskets arriving, caskets departing, and any funerary rites/rituals being performed. The timeframe for these photos is from 01 February 2003 to the present.

I specified Dover because they process the remains of most, if not all, US military personnel killed overseas. Not surpisingly, my request was completely rejected. Not taking 'no' for an answer, I appealed on several grounds, and?to my amazement?the ruling was reversed. The Air Force then sent me a CD containing 361 photographs of flag-draped coffins and the services welcoming the deceased soldiers.

Score one for freedom of information and the public's right to know.




--------------------
As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Xochitl]
    #2591767 - 04/22/04 06:06 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

I thought Ashcroft killed the FOIA.


--------------------


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Xochitl]
    #2591790 - 04/22/04 06:14 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Remember, the less we know, the better we all feel.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleEdame
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Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1,270
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Xochitl]
    #2591906 - 04/22/04 06:55 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Woman loses her job over coffins photo



By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporter

A military contractor has fired Tami Silicio, a Kuwait-based cargo worker whose photograph of flag-draped coffins of fallen U.S. soldiers was published in Sunday's edition of The Seattle Times.

Silicio was let go yesterday for violating U.S. government and company regulations, said William Silva, president of Maytag Aircraft, the contractor that employed Silicio at Kuwait International Airport.

"I feel like I was hit in the chest with a steel bar and got my wind knocked out. I have to admit I liked my job, and I liked what I did," Silicio said.

Her photograph, taken earlier this month, shows more than 20 flag-draped coffins in a cargo plane about to depart from Kuwait. Since 1991, the Pentagon has banned the media from taking pictures of caskets being returned to the United States.

That policy has been a lightning rod for debate, and Silicio's photograph was quickly posted on numerous Internet sites and became the subject of many Web conversations. Times Executive Editor Michael R. Fancher yesterday appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" news show with U.S. Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., who supported the Pentagon policy prohibiting such pictures.

As a result of the broader coverage, The Times received numerous e-mails and phone calls from across the country ? most of which supported the newspaper's decision.

Pentagon officials yesterday said the government's policy defers to the sensitivities of bereaved families. "We've made sure that all of the installations who are involved with the transfer of remains were aware that we do not allow any media coverage of any of the stops until (the casket) reaches its final destination," said Cynthia Colin, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Maytag also fired David Landry, a co-worker who recently wed Silicio.

Silicio said she never sought to put herself in the public spotlight. Instead, she said, she hoped the publication of the photo would help families of fallen soldiers understand the care and devotion that civilians and military crews dedicate to the task of returning the soldiers home.

"It wasn't my intent to lose my job or become famous or anything," Silicio said.

The Times received Silicio's photograph from a stateside friend, Amy Katz, who had previously worked with Silicio for a different contractor in Kosovo. Silicio then gave The Times permission to publish it, without compensation. It was paired with an article about her work in Kuwait.

Silicio, 50, is from Edmonds and previously worked as an events decorator in the Seattle area and as a truck driver in Kosovo. Before the war started, she went to work for Maytag, which contracts with the Air Mobility Command to provide air-terminal and ground-handling services in Kuwait.

In Kuwait, Silicio pulled 12-hour night shifts alongside military workers to help in the huge effort to resupply U.S. troops. These workers also helped transport the remains of soldiers back to the United States.

Her job put her in contact with soldiers who sometimes accompanied the coffins to the airport. Having lost one of her own sons to a brain tumor, Silicio said, she tried to offer support to those grieving over a lost comrade.

"It kind of helps me to know what these mothers are going through, and I try to watch over their children as they head home," she said in an earlier interview.

Since Sunday, Silicio has hunkered down in Kuwait as her employer and the military decided her fate.

Maytag's Silva said the decision to terminate Silicio's and Landry's employment was made by the company. But he said the U.S. military had identified "very specific concerns" about their actions. Silva declined to detail those concerns.

"They were good workers, and we were sorry to lose them," Silva said. "They did a good job out in Kuwait and it was an important job that they did."

Landry, in an e-mail to The Times, said he was proud of his wife, and that they would soon return home to the States.





--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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InvisibleXochitl
synchronicitycircuit
Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 1,241
Loc: the brainforest
Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Xochitl]
    #2595418 - 04/23/04 05:24 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.





Now that the paranoia of WMD has served its purpose of manufacturing consent, the Bush administration and the warhawks speak of bringing "democracy to the Middle East" (whatever that means - Pinochet part II anyone?) as if it were the core agenda all along. But yet, they limit the freedom of the press here at home. They say our 18 year old soliders are dying for freedom and liberation, but yet they walk right over the Bill of Rights here in America.

Limiting the freedom of the press. Wow - how Soviet Union of them. This should be one big red flag - no pun intended.


--------------------
As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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Invisibleafoaf
CEO DBK?
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Xochitl]
    #2595550 - 04/23/04 06:04 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

but c'mon, bush is 'moved' by those photos...

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/23/bush.caskets/index.html


--------------------
All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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Anonymous

Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Xochitl]
    #2595600 - 04/23/04 06:18 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

"Congress shall make no law..."

she got fired, not arrested.


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Offlinegrib
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Swami]
    #2595806 - 04/23/04 07:46 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
Remember, the less we know, the better we all feel.




sad but true...


--------------------
<~>Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake <~>


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InvisibleXochitl
synchronicitycircuit
Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 1,241
Loc: the brainforest
Re: photos of american coffins [Re: ]
    #2596164 - 04/23/04 10:21 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

she got fired, not arrested.




Obviously, Congress did not pass a law, but what is the difference between regulation and law if the outcome is practically the same, especially if the realm of such regulation is identical (i.e. the federal government/tax funded contractors)? In my opinion, being fired is practically on the same level with, say, arrest and being fined. The two end effects are the same: financial punishment and the abridgement of the freedom of the press in the larger picture.

And you know quite well that if a journalist were to sneak into Dover and take pictures of the returning coffins that he or she would be arrested and charged with something trivial in order to punish and send a message to the media. The first thing the military police would do is confiscate the film/memory.

Are you arguing that the Pentagon and the Bush administration is not abridging the freedom of the press by not allow pictures to be taken of the returning coffins? How exactly is this not like the actions of Soviet Union vis a vis media expression?


--------------------
As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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InvisibleLucidDream
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Posts: 1,488
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Fuckin-A well told [Re: Xochitl]
    #2596214 - 04/23/04 10:38 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Xochitl said:
They say our 18 year old soliders are dying for freedom and liberation, but yet they walk right over the Bill of Rights here in America.

Limiting the freedom of the press. Wow - how Soviet Union of them. This should be one big red flag - no pun intended.




Fuckin-A well told. And let's not forget, this whole Fallujah bullshit started when they shut down Sadr's paper. Bush likes to blow a lot of hot air, but in truth freedom of the press scares the shit out of that little coward cowboy.


--------------------
Sarcasm just one of my many talents.



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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Xochitl]
    #2596866 - 04/24/04 01:47 AM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Since 1991, the Pentagon has banned the media from taking pictures of caskets being returned to the United States.

Some of you have acted like Bush implemented this policy. This was done in WWI, WWII, and though you might not have known it, Vietnam. This isn't a new decree. They are only denied photographing the caskets until they reach their final destination, presumably then under the control of the soldiers family. If they're buried at Arlington, the press is allowed to photograph at the discretion of the family as well.

I don't think it unreasonable that the Pentagon cites respect for the families. Those who witness it say it's extremely touching, the slain soldier finally come home. The National Military Family Assosciation has said the majority of their members agreed with the decision. As have the majority of those in the military.

Tell me though, if the press were allowed to take and publish these photos, what do you think the intent would be? To pay respect to fallen soldier? To allow the American people to better understand the American casualties of war?

There's no doubt these are powerful images. Actually seeing the flag-draped coffin of a fallen soldier isn't an image one easily forgets. But what is to be gained by showing them? At what price?

I suspect most of those who believe the operation in Iraq was wrong, are the same people who believe the pictures should be allowed. They blaim Bush, and want him out of office. I find it difficult to believe at least some wouldn't use the images to garner support for their cause. I can just imagine some mosaic created with them forming a picture of Bush laughing, maybe a swastika, or some other symbol of their movement. The major news outlets wouldn't be as blunt, they would be more suggestive, allowing the readers to think it their own idea. "A SOLDIER RETURNS HOME", "FALLEN HERO'S", or "THE HIGHEST PRICE - THE REAL COST OF WAR" might caption the photo's with an accompanying article.

One of the articles I read claimed poll numbers for those saying "the war is going badly" had jumped 20% after the recent battles in Falujah and pictures of the four contractors were burned and mutilated. It's difficult to say which was more influential, but I think the pictures of their countryman, treated how they were , provoked the most emotion.

Not all would react the same of course. Those who already think we shouldn't have gone and need to pull out, will see it as icing on the cake. Every body is another reason. Though I'd venture that a large portion of those who now think we must prevail in Iraq, are still not 100% convinced. To them, as long as things don't get too bad, it's worth staying the course. Pictures of the boys coming home in coffin might make that price to high.

I'm sure many think this all the more reason to show them. Those of the left persuasion seem more inclined to use or allow emotions to guide there decision making processes. While emotion is neccesary, it should rationally persuade a forming opinion, not persuade a rationally formed opinion.

But I think most importantly, is how it would affect those still serving, especially in the line of fire. Of course, many of the same things above would apply to them as well. Though they would impact no one greater. It may have only been inches that separated them from those in the caskets. The emotional toll they carry may already seem unbearable. So how would this help them? If they saw the pictures being used in a manner against an effort they believe in, should they not mind?

If the dead soldier under the flag wouldn't have liked his photo used like that either, should it be?


--------------------
I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


Edited by HagbardCeline (04/24/04 02:13 AM)


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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Xochitl]
    #2598040 - 04/24/04 02:47 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

And you know quite well that if a journalist were to sneak into Dover and take pictures of the returning coffins that he or she would be arrested and charged with something trivial in order to punish and send a message to the media. The first thing the military police would do is confiscate the film/memory.




Illegally entering a military base and then purposely violating an order is no trivial matter. Furthermore, photography is generally not permitted on any military base without authorization.

I've seen many places of business (gym, factories, even retail stores to name some) that prohibit photography as well. If some journalist was there getting video or pictures for an expose, are the businesses also violating freedom of the press? Or does it have to be an entity of the government? Only federal or state too?


--------------------
I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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Offlinegermin8tionn8ion
enthusiast
Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 399
Last seen: 12 years, 10 months
Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Xochitl]
    #2598758 - 04/24/04 08:51 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Xochitl said:
Obviously, Congress did not pass a law, but what is the difference between regulation and law if the outcome is practically the same, especially if the realm of such regulation is identical (i.e. the federal government/tax funded contractors)?




It isn't a "Right" to have a job. The constitution doesn't demand that stripping you of a job entail due process of law. Also, losing a job from a private institution and being put in jail are quite, quite, QUITE different things.
Quote:


In my opinion, being fired is practically on the same level with, say, arrest and being fined. The two end effects are the same: financial punishment and the abridgement of the freedom of the press in the larger picture.




You are wrong. I could fire a person for not properly representing the company, but that wouldn't mean diddly-squat in future job applications of theirs. being convicted of a crime certaintly would. If this lady, or someone in her position, had run an article about how Jews are controlling the world and deserve a healthy dose of Zyklon-B, do you think her manager should be required to keep her around? Certainly not.
Quote:


And you know quite well that if a journalist were to sneak into Dover and take pictures of the returning coffins that he or she would be arrested and charged with something trivial in order to punish and send a message to the media. The first thing the military police would do is confiscate the film/memory.




Well, yes, sneaking onto a military base is a felony.
Quote:


Are you arguing that the Pentagon and the Bush administration is not abridging the freedom of the press by not allow pictures to be taken of the returning coffins?



Does freedom of the press include taking pictures of these men after they are killed and releasing them to be printed on the front page of newspapers?
Quote:


How exactly is this not like the actions of Soviet Union vis a vis media expression?



The Soviet Union would have punished you simply for the picture publishing. The USA has a system that worked quite effectively for this lady to attain said pictures. The SU would have put you in a Gulag for violating said law, the us has systems that allow the rights of the individual to triumph over scumbags like Asscroft/Co.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2598795 - 04/24/04 09:09 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

The SU would have put you in a Gulag for violating said law, the us has systems that allow the rights of the individual...

Ah, like down in Gitmo Bay where individual's legal rights reign supreme...


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinegermin8tionn8ion
enthusiast
Registered: 04/14/04
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Swami]
    #2600904 - 04/25/04 02:19 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
The SU would have put you in a Gulag for violating said law, the us has systems that allow the rights of the individual...

Ah, like down in Gitmo Bay where individual's legal rights reign supreme...




The US is interring US citizens forprinting material that they weren't supposed to? Do you have a link for this?


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: germin8tionn8ion]
    #2601269 - 04/25/04 03:48 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

"the us has systems that allow the rights of the individual..."


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinegermin8tionn8ion
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Registered: 04/14/04
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Swami]
    #2601278 - 04/25/04 03:52 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

See, again, I'm not one of those people that egoicly clings to a party affiliation, or to an assinine (and one unseen here) observation or conclusion that the USA is totally right. He asked what would happen in the USSR, and I told him. Do you think that the USSR had more freedoms than the USA?


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Offlinegermin8tionn8ion
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Re: photos of american coffins [Re: Swami]
    #2601283 - 04/25/04 03:53 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

See, again, I'm not one of those people that egoicly clings to a party affiliation, or to an assinine (and one unseen here) observation or conclusion that the USA is totally right. He asked what would happen in the USSR, and I told him. Do you think that the USSR had more freedoms than the USA?

Addendum: Cuba is not in the USA, neither is Afghanistan. The laws of the Constitution apply only to people inside of the USA, not on foreign military bases.

I hope you are sophisticated enough to understand that I'm not saying this in support of the interrment at gitmo, I'm just saying that putting terrorist-to-be in a holding pattern while everything gets sorted out certaintly isn't comparable to arresting members ofthe press for photographig "illegal" things.


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InvisibleXochitl
synchronicitycircuit
Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 1,241
Loc: the brainforest
Re: photos of american coffins [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2602003 - 04/25/04 08:36 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

The National Military Family Assosciation has said the majority of their members agreed with the decision. As have the majority of those in the military.




Sources? Was there a vote taken? And if so, what were the counter arguments of the minority? Would you regard the opinions of the minority as simply "Bush-bashing" as you have with mine?

Quote:

Tell me though, if the press were allowed to take and publish these photos, what do you think the intent would be? To pay respect to fallen soldier? To allow the American people to better understand the American casualties of war?




I think that free information is essential to any free society and it is generally foolish to try to judge whether or not such information is worthwhile or not for others. I can see where information might need to be classified for the sake of security, but this is certainly not the case with returning coffins. Information that does not jeopardize security should be open to citizens by default. This is especially true of tax-funded government entities and the information that they generate.

As for intent: Information. Public record. Public awareness of what exactly is happening in world with their tax dollars in their own name. What is wrong with this?

Quote:

I suspect most of those who believe the operation in Iraq was wrong, are the same people who believe the pictures should be allowed. They blaim Bush, and want him out of office.




That's a sweeping generalization. But let's say that it is true: what is so wrong with this? I mean, 700 soliders are dead - it is true, it is happening. Why cant we see the consequences of the war, especially if it is respectful as is the case with flag-drapped coffins?

Quote:

I can just imagine some mosaic created with them forming a picture of Bush laughing, maybe a swastika, or some other symbol of their movement. The major news outlets wouldn't be as blunt, they would be more suggestive, allowing the readers to think it their own idea. "A SOLDIER RETURNS HOME", "FALLEN HERO'S", or "THE HIGHEST PRICE - THE REAL COST OF WAR" might caption the photo's with an accompanying article.




...so? Who cares about some hypothetical mosaic? Are we not free to express ourselves? Or is poignant visual commentary not politically correct anymore?

Quote:

One of the articles I read claimed poll numbers for those saying "the war is going badly" had jumped 20% after the recent battles in Falujah and pictures of the four contractors were burned and mutilated. It's difficult to say which was more influential, but I think the pictures of their countryman, treated how they were , provoked the most emotion.




...so we should be left in the dark because public opinion might shift?

Quote:

Those of the left persuasion seem more inclined to use or allow emotions to guide there decision making processes.




Humans are emotional by nature (whether we like or not), and humans can be found on both political ends obviously. No populace has a monopoly on rational thought.

Quote:


But I think most importantly, is how it would affect those still serving, especially in the line of fire. Of course, many of the same things above would apply to them as well. Though they would impact no one greater. It may have only been inches that separated them from those in the caskets. The emotional toll they carry may already seem unbearable. So how would this help them? If they saw the pictures being used in a manner against an effort they believe in, should they not mind?




I would say that actually witnessing others - comrades, enemies, civilians - actually die or take injury right before them would affect them much greater. In the face of battle itself, I think the troops would not be so affected by a 7 second clip on the evening news.

Should we also censor opposing political commentary and news coverage of anti-war demonstrations as well because it might "affect the troops"?


--------------------
As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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InvisibleXochitl
synchronicitycircuit
Registered: 07/15/03
Posts: 1,241
Loc: the brainforest
Re: photos of american coffins [Re: germin8tionn8ion]
    #2602050 - 04/25/04 08:54 PM (13 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Does freedom of the press include taking pictures of these men after they are killed and releasing them to be printed on the front page of newspapers?




Yes, I think so. But the media outlet better be prepared for the consequences of massive public outlash for publishing these disrespectful images. But they have every right to do so, yes.

Quote:

The Soviet Union would have punished you simply for the picture publishing. The USA has a system that worked quite effectively for this lady to attain said pictures. The SU would have put you in a Gulag for violating said law, the us has systems that allow the rights of the individual to triumph over scumbags like Asscroft/Co.




Good - that's keep it that way and avoid slippery slopes that might lead us to authoritarian reaction to unpopular media expression.


--------------------
As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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