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Afghan war photos: social media response

April 18, 2012 |  3:19 pm

In the wide-ranging discussion about The Times front-page story on U.S. soldiers posing with the body parts of Afghan bombers, readers zeroed in on the decision to publish the photos -- and whether publication would help ensure that alleged security shortcomings were not repeated, or whether publication could endanger troops.

As Times Editor Davan Maharaj said in a live online discussion Wednesday: "The two photos published were chosen because they clearly and unambiguously depict conduct that the Army described as inappropriate."

On the question of endangering troops, Maharaj said:

"Our reporter, David Zucchino, and I had numerous discussions with Pentagon, Army and White House officials over the course of several weeks before publishing this story. When we made the decision to publish, the Pentagon asked us to wait 24 additional hours to protect troops depicted in the photographs. We agreed to push back our publication date until the Pentagon told us they had taken the necessary precautions."

 On the decision itself, Maharaj added:

“We've worked very hard to try to be responsible in the way we handled this. We felt that the public had a right to see these photos. " 

Here’s what some readers had to say on Twitter and Facebook: