Why photos of coffins are dangerous

Posted by on March 1, 2009

Catching up on some of my Civil War blog reading I stumbled up on this piece on President Obama’s plan to allow photographs of our fallen soldiers at Civil War Memory.

I find it incredibly insensitive to the families of the fallen to allow their remains to be used as a political pawn in the ongoing social debate.  President Bush’s policy wasn’t about hiding the cost of the war.  The various appropriation bills that landed in Congress to continue the fight in Iraq were as public as they could possibly be.  The unrelenting reports of the victims of attacks on our troops and the innocents in Iraq made front page above the fold in every national newspaper.

The now discredited Lancet report of Iraqi deaths is a strong indicator of what would happen if we allowed the press to photograph the remains of our fallen soldiers.  Each flight into Dover AFB, whether or not they have a single coffin on board, will be photographed and published under a headline along the lines of: “How many in this one?”  What’s that?  Think they are above it?  They were not above this.  Or this.  Lord knows Congressman Murtha had no issues either.  In commenting on a tragedy in Haditha, Iraq long before any investigation had been concluded he said:

Now, two days after I made my statement, on November 19th, we had an incident in Haditha in Anbar province, where a Marine was killed with an IED. Time magazine reported it, and it’s kind of a puzzling report, because they’re investigating it right now. Let me tell you what the consequences of this have been.

It’s much worse than reported in Time magazine. There was no fire fight. There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. And that’s what the report is going to tell.

Since that time all but one of those Marines have been cleared and SSGT Wuterich’s trial has been put on hold.  To date there has been no apology from Murtha even though he is staring a defamation lawsuit in the face brought about by SSGT Wuterich.

President Bush’s decision was about protecting the fallen and their families from the same kind of treatment Congressman Murtha handed out to the Haditha Marines.  The far left in this country doesn’t give a damn about the military, the men and women who give their lives in the military, or what it takes to win a war.  They would sellout the memory of their own children to see America defeated  and gain some cheap political points.

President Obama allowing these remains to be photographed is wrong.    I hope that no family of an American warrior finds themselves on the wrong end of one of these photographs.

Last modified on March 1, 2009

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