21 March 2011

Which is Worse - Photographs of Murder or Murder?

(L. to R.) Spc. Jeremy Morlock, Spc. Andrew Holmes,
Spc. Michael Wagnon, Spc. Adam Winfield.

What's wrong with this story from The New York Times? The topic is a set of photographs that putatively confirm that the fine fellows pictured above engaged in all sorts of bad behavior while wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army. Of course, these men have not been convicted of anything. But the story in The Times suggests that the evidence against them is damning. Let the trial proceed as it should.

The first problem with the story is that the news reports do not show the photographs in question. My understanding is that the Army and a U.S. Court have issued orders to suppress publication. I have not found them anywhere on line. Your tax dollars at work. What ever happened to the idea of a free press?

The second problem is that the U.S. Army is continuing an official practice we've repeatedly witnessed when Americans do heinous things. They are apologizing, quite fervently, for the images and the distress they cause instead of the actions that the images depict. Pretty poor aim there soldier.
P.S.: My thanks to Stanley Wolukau-Wanambra for this link to the report in Der Spiegel which published some of the images.

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Blogger Lillie Langtry said...

I agree with you - apologising for the images is really missing the point.

Anyway, I am currently sitting in front of a print edition of Der Spiegel looking at the photos in question. In classic Spiegel style, the photos are actually as understated as it's possible to make such images - not that large and buried in about 7 pages of text. The magazine has blurred the face of the victim in the two shots where a soldier is posing and lifting the body by the hair, although he is named. A few pages later, it prints another shot of two dead men tied together around some kind of small column. Again, their faces are blurred. It's also dug out one of the most famous Abu Ghraib pics again, the one of the hooded prisoner standing on a box, just to underline the comparison. These pictures are horrible and yet - you have the feeling you've seen them before.

21 March, 2011 11:39  
Blogger Lillie Langtry said...

Ah - http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/21/afghanistan-trophy-photos-us-soldier

22 March, 2011 02:28  
Blogger Jordi Busqué said...

You can see the photographshere.

22 March, 2011 03:35  
Blogger Stan B. said...

How many times in the rescent past have politicians apologized for sending out racist and/or sexist emails to the wrong people- not because they were innately wrong, but because the "wrong people" got them.

22 March, 2011 14:17  

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