View Full Version : Interest in photographing return of war dead to U.S. wanes - SHOCKING I KNOW!

04-14-2010, 05:17 PM
(CNN) -- One year after the ban on photographing war dead returning to the U.S. was lifted, it is rare to see those images in the mainstream media.

Last April, the first images of a fallen service member's return were allowed by the Pentagon after more than 20 years. The ban was put in place by then-President George H.W. Bush but done away with by the Pentagon under the Obama administration.

In the first days after the ban was lifted, the media gave widespread coverage of the neatly choreographed procedure of removing a service member, killed just hours before in Iraq or Afghanistan, from a cargo aircraft to a waiting vehicle.

Over the past year, 472 of these transfers have occurred at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where every casualty is handled by the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Center to prepare the body's return to families.

Of those 472, about 260 -- or 55 percent -- have been open to media coverage, according to statistics from the Mortuary Affairs office. And over the past year, the media attendance has dropped off to a trickle.

"Those numbers reflect that the interest in covering the story diminishes as the story becomes repetitive," said Ralph Begleiter, a former network correspondent and now professor of communications at the University of Delaware.

The release of government images of the fallen and the access to the media were the results of a battle waged quietly by Begleiter and the National Security Archives, a research organization at George Washington University that collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Paula Davis, whose son, U.S. Army Pfc. Justin R. Davis, was killed in Afghanistan in June 2006, was not able to see images of her son's return. She strongly supported lifting the ban.

"I believe America should mourn along with the families as it bears witness to the human cost of war," Davis said. "I'm glad the families now have a choice."

Under the year-old rules, family members of the deceased have to agree to allow media to be present.

CONTINUED (http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/09/dover.combat.deaths/index.html)

Truth is - the MSM's interest in the topic was contingent upon who was president. They can't run those stories now - they might make Barry look bad!!11! :rolleyes: