No coverage allowed for war dead return

There will be no media coverage when the bodies of 31 soldiers, killed in the helicopter crash in Afghanistan over the weekend, are returned to Dover Air Force Base.

For the Pentagon, which made the announcement this afternoon, it’s a return to the policy of the Bush administration, which forbid photographs of the coffins of dead soldiers.

“Because the remains are unidentified at this point, next-of-kin are not in a position to grant approval for media access to the dignified transfer,” Capt. Jane Campbell said. “Therefore, in accordance with DoD policy, no media coverage of the arrival and dignified transfer is permitted. ”

The Pentagon Press Associated is protesting the decision.

  • Jim Shapiro

    A patently absurd argument, stated in the finest obfuscating legalese.

    The buck for this one stops with President Obama.

    Mr. Mendacity of Hope.

  • gena

    I think it is appropriate not show the coffins and respect the falling soliders and their families at this time. We see and know enough not to invade their privacy.

  • JackU

    A patently absurd argument, stated in the finest obfuscating legalese.

    was said about:

    “Because the remains are unidentified at this point, next-of-kin are not in a position to grant approval for media access to the dignified transfer”

    No obfuscation, no legalese. Personally I see the response as absurd, not the original statement.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Gina – WHOSE privacy?!? By the pentagon’s own claims, the remains are not identified. Even if they were, the images would not infringe on privacy unless the caskets were open or the bodies of the individuals within were otherwise named in print.

    JackU – The pentagon’s statement obviously worked on you. Proud?

    I am puzzled as to why the both of you prioritize some abstract concept of “privacy” twisted to serve the government’s propaganda interests, over the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press to communicate the realities of this war.

  • Kassie

    There is no legitimate reason for not letting the press take photos of the coffins of the dead soldiers. It is purely a policy meant to keep American’s minds off of what is happening on the other side of the world.

    Plus, it seems, based on what I heard on NPR this morning there is a lot of questions about what actually happened, like why these elite soldiers were sent for this mission anyhow. Not everything adds up and I’m sure Obama just wants the story to be done.