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U.S. Contractor Fired for Military Coffin Photo

by Charlie Thunell PL&T / April 23, 2004 9:56 AM PDT
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. contractor and her husband have been fired after her photograph of 20 flag-draped coffins of American troops going home from Iraq was published in violation of military rules."

The truth seems to be the biggest threat to GW...

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Re:U.S. Contractor Fired for Military Coffin Photo
by C1ay / April 23, 2004 10:09 AM PDT

Those military rules exist in consideration of the families of the fallen. Would you prefer that we cast their feelings aside and strike down these rules?

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NT - That's the excuse used by the Administration, yes...
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / April 23, 2004 4:47 PM PDT

`?

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(NT) That's the reason for every Administration
by Evie / April 25, 2004 3:26 AM PDT

.

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(NT) That states your disrespect for the families quite clearly....
by C1ay / April 25, 2004 3:33 AM PDT
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That's part of the reason
by Dan McC / April 25, 2004 11:40 PM PDT

It's a good reason, too.

The other part is the political damage that can befall a military policy when there are such vivid reminders of the price we're paying in a conflict. This part of the policy cannot be denied.

Dan

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So you admit ...
by Evie / April 25, 2004 11:54 PM PDT

... that Bush-bashers true motive for wanting to display the flag-draped coffins is to inflict political damage. Pathetic.

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Also, Evie...
by J. Vega / April 26, 2004 12:25 AM PDT
In reply to: So you admit ...

Evie, it also messes up the use of the "body bags" buzzword and it's hoped for mental image.

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I didn't say that so I can't admit it.
by Dan McC / April 26, 2004 2:08 AM PDT
In reply to: So you admit ...

I would say that administrations try to minimize political repercussions by eliminating flag draped coffin images.

Dan

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Re: U.S. Contractor Fired for Military Coffin Photo
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / April 26, 2004 12:40 AM PDT

Hi, Clay.

>>Those military rules exist in consideration of the families of the fallen. <<
So I guess the families of those killed in the WCT attack weren't entitled to similar consideration? Either that, or Bush's campaign ad featuring at least one flag-draped coffin being carried out of "the pit" was not just in incredibly poor taste, but was also quite two-faced. From where I sit, it looks like his determining factor is whether a given picture is apt to help or hurt him politically.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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One difference ...
by Evie / April 26, 2004 12:51 AM PDT

... it was a staged photo, symbolic of the attack on America and in the context of how far we have come back from that point. Some found it tasteless, some didn't. Can't please everybody.

This has been policy for over a decade. NOT a Bush initiative. Reading Dan's post above, it is clear why such is needed because the motives of those who wish to parade such photos are clear Sad

Evie Happy

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Re: One difference ...
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / April 26, 2004 10:53 PM PDT
In reply to: One difference ...
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Dave, if you read here ...
by Evie / April 26, 2004 10:58 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: One difference ...

... our very own Josh joined in the laughter at the fake firemen who were used in the ad. So it wasn't a picture of an actual coffin but a staged symbolic event. I could care less what Dowd's opinion is. Anyone who sees those ads in context and thinks they are in any way shape or form relevant to those with some morbid need to view and parade the war dead needs an adjustment in their perspective IMO.

Evie Happy

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Re:Dave, if you read here ...
by Josh K / April 29, 2004 2:22 AM PDT

The firemen were fake. The coffins were real.

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Re: One difference ... OIC!
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / April 26, 2004 11:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: One difference ...

Hi, Evie.

The penny just dropped as to which photo you meant by "it." My understanding is that it was one of the later bodies (sans coffin, btw) to be discovered in "the pit," and that such processions were SOP when a body was found in the rubble. If so, it was anything but "staged." Or do you have a link to the contrary?

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re:Re: One difference ... OIC!
by Evie / April 27, 2004 3:45 AM PDT

I recall there being mention of the use of fake firemen in the ads when that whole kerfuffle about the Medicare ads came out. I only saw firemen for a split second in the ad carrying a coffin, so assumed it refered to that part. IAC, it seems more and more apparent that you haven't actually seen the ads and rely on others' versions to craft an opinion for you. The firemen/coffin (split second) IN THE CONTEXT OF THE AD, was brilliantly colorized while the WTC ruins appeared superimposed in the back. There are only two things that can be gleened from this unless you are a rabid Bush basher looking for nefarious motives at every turn. The first is as a vivid reminder of our loss on 9/11 -- with one anonymous body. Like I said, peoples taste levels can vary, but most didn't see this as an exploitation of the dead. It seems to me there was way too much ignorant complasence in this country pre-9/11, and unfortunately (displayed here by quite a few) there can never be too many reminders to try and jog the memories post-9/11. The second message was one of hope and pride, which was THE central message of the ad in terms of HOW FAR WE HAVE COME, and that was the heroism of the firefighters that symbolized the broader heroism of everyone who pulled together in the wake of this tragedy.

How any intellectually honest person can draw a parallel between this and the desire to parade the coffins of war dead in front of cameras (and I can't think of anything that would more encourage our enemies can you?) for political exploitation is beyond me.

Evie Happy

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Re: One difference ... OIC!
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / April 27, 2004 3:55 AM PDT

Hi, Evie.

>>it seems more and more apparent that you haven't actually seen the ads and rely on others' versions to craft an opinion for you.<<
That's not true, though it is true I haven't seen ALL of the ad -- since Texas is not a "battleground state," both sides are saving their money for elsewhere. But when the ad came out, they did run a substantial excerp from it on NBC Nightly News, and I certainly remember that image, and thinking immediately (even before the talking heads began) that it was in extremelypoor taste. It was very reminiscent of other news footage I'd seen back in 2001, and I apparently missed the discussion that the actual ad was staged. That makes it a little better -- but to me, only a little.

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Referencing such hurts your points rather than make them
by Roger NC / April 27, 2004 12:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: One difference ...

She talks about being in Bushworld, it's obvious in this article she's off in the bash Bush world.

She may be a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times but it wasn't for such drivel as this, even allowing for op-ed/satire/hyperbole.

Such nonsense hurts any points within it, it weakens them.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Re: Referencing such hurts your points rather than make them

Hi, Roger.

You're probably right -- I actually found it a bit shrill myself, not at the start, but by the end. What I really wanted to find was Nancy Giles' excellent CBS Sunday Morning commentary specifically about the pictures, but unfortunately it's not available online.

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Dowd's wrong, Dave!
by Dan McC / April 27, 2004 12:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: One difference ...

They aren't appearing in front of the commission like the Olson twins. They're appearing like Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.

Guess who'll be sitting on whose lap.

Dan

PS: She's gonna get a lot of heat from the Twin's fans!

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Re:U.S. Contractor Fired for Military Coffin Photo. this is also from the same article.
by dawillie / April 23, 2004 10:32 AM PDT
'But the Air Force said that, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, it released to a Web site (http://www.thememoryhole.org) on April 14 more than 300 photographs showing the remains of U.S. service members returning home'.

for your information I have been to the site in question and it is as stated.

As for this piece of editorialisation

The truth seems to be the biggest threat to GW...,

I am surprised that you of all people, being a member of the Adoring Bush Backer [ABB] group would say such a thing.....

david williams
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And I would think, dawillie...

And I would someone so concerned with the truth would be in favor of Kerry releasing ALL of his military records to the public.

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NT - The site says that 78 of the photos are of Columbia and 788 are of war dead.
by Diana Forum moderator / April 26, 2004 1:43 AM PDT
In reply to: whoops

.

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There were 7 on Columbia right?

And the only pictures included in the release were the US military members, correct? so that would be only 5 of the crew. So 78 photos were either of 5 people or at most of 7.

Does the ratio hold for the others I wonder? if so that means the 778 photos were of 50 to 70 people?

Even if so, it's still too many in idealistic terms, all deaths should be mourned, and respected for dying in service to others, military or NASA.

But such information should be considered along with the pictures, we should know if we're looking at 10 pictures of the same body or 10 brave individuals.

I've not seen the pictures, not sure if not caring to engage in such macabre activity means anything or not.

But just wondering.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Excuse me Charlie, But why would....
by Glenda / April 23, 2004 11:30 AM PDT

This be any kind of threat to President Bush? She was not, as far as I know a government employee but an employee of Halliburton! Her and her husband were both fired for this! I just think the first people to see the coffins of our Military, should be their families not the whole world. I remember when we were fighting in Viet Nam that a lot of families found out their loved ones had died by watching the nightly news;(
Just wondering here, what year did you immigrate to the USA?
Glenda

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I doubt, Glenda...
by J. Vega / April 23, 2004 12:34 PM PDT

Glenda, He can't be faulted for not remembering some things about Vietnam, it ended before he was a teenager.

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Re:I doubt, Glenda...
by Glenda / April 23, 2004 3:03 PM PDT
In reply to: I doubt, Glenda...

That young huh? Oh well!
Glenda:)

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Oh, now it is a question of age too?
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / April 23, 2004 6:48 PM PDT
In reply to: I doubt, Glenda...
"He can't be faulted for not remembering some things about Vietnam, it ended before he was a teenager." - J. Vega

Are you saying that those who aren't old enough to remember parts of the Vietnam war have nothing to say/feel about it?
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How's the weather?
by Charlie Thunell PL&T / April 23, 2004 6:44 PM PDT
"Excuse me Charlie, But why would this be any kind of threat to President Bush?" - Glenda

I thought you got that...

"Just wondering here, what year did you immigrate to the USA?" - Glenda

What does that have to do with ANYTHING in this case?
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Re: Excuse me Charlie, But why would....
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / April 27, 2004 4:06 AM PDT

Hi, Glenda.

>> I remember when we were fighting in Viet Nam that a lot of families found out their loved ones had died by watching the nightly news Sad <<
Excuse me, but how would a photograph of a group of unidentified, flag-draped coffins possibly tell the family that a loved one was inside? I certainly agree with sparing the families from undue attention -- there's far too much of that now, and not just for military widows ("excuse me for bothering you in your hour of grief, Mrs. Brown, but how did it feel to see your four year-old son run down by a drunk driver while riding his tricycle in front of your house?") OTOH, freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy, and this policy is clearly nothing but censorship by a military that recalls it was the slowly accumlating body count, complete with nightly images of the returning coffins, that helped drain support for that war. I see a huge paradox between stating that our soldiers are dying for freedom and democracy and then censoring these photos!

-- Dave K.
Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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