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Pentagon to allow photos of U.S. war dead

Coffins of U.S. war dead at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware

U.S. soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan or Iraq have returned from the battlefield via Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. As their flag-draped caskets came off the plane, no news photographers were allowed to witness the scene, no reporters were allowed to interview families, no public record was made about the personal toll exacted by Washington's policies on individual soldiers and their families.

The policy was initiated by the first President Bush during the first Gulf War, and it was continued by the second President Bush, who always said the ban on cameras was designed to protect the privacy of military families. Critics responded that the policy was a public relations ploy to avoid personalizing a far-off war.

Now, the Obama administration has decided to open the gates of Dover. In a policy to be unveiled today, Pentagon officials told reporters, Defense Secretary Robert Gates -- the only holdover from the Bush administration -- will announce that news photos of flag-draped coffins will be allowed, as long as families agree.

-- Johanna Neuman

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Photo: EPA

Comments () | Archives (4)

The comments to this entry are closed.

In 2008:
509 people were murdered in Obama's hometown of Chicago. Only 314 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq. It's safer to be a US soldier in the entire country of Iraq, than it is living in Obamaland.

To be fair, how about the media showing us all the Chicago bodybags?

I will make sure that I always take care of any remarks on any subjesc matter. Most times i have nothing of much important to sayor change any opinion on contect. I siply want to see what other people ar thinking.

The Lib-media must get-off on this, watching our dead soldier come home and exploiting them for political gain!
At least Pres. Bush respected our fallen heroes!!!!!!!

Shame on you Obama!!!!!!!!!!You are a disgrace to our Military and to the families of these men and woman who laid down their lives to protect America and YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! These are not trophies, these are people that are to be honored with their families in a private matter.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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