Sunday, July 27, 2008

Anbar Massacre Journalist Censored

In a recent post, I linked to a photographer's blog. The embedded photographer had taken pictures of the results of a suicide bombing in Anbar province, Iraq. He had posted graphic pictures of the wounded and dead, including dead but not identifiable US Marines.

Since posting those images, which were within the embed rules as far as timing and content. The photographer has, on the flimsy pretext that he showed the results of the "effectiveness" the bombing, has had his embed terminated. In addition, he has been banned from all Marine installations in the world. In this shocking article from the New York Times, the Times reveals that four out of five photographers who have published photos of the war dead have been disembedded.

Why is this so shocking?

Photographer Miller puts it like this, “The fact that the images I took of the suicide bombing — which are
just photographs of something that happens every day all across the
country — the fact that these photos have been so incredibly shocking
to people, says that whatever they are doing to limit this type of
photo getting out, it is working."

Is it shocking that a military might want to control horrifying images of violence and death? Of course not. It's no shock that it's happening. We would easily expect this kind of censorship from the old Soviets, Communist China or the Axis of Evil's Iran or North Korea. No, the shocking part is that this is the US military, protectors of our most sacredly held freedoms.

And of those freedoms, the VERY FIRST freedom is freedom of the press. Our very first freedom is for the government not to suppress news of what is actually happening. Yet this is exactly what the military is doing: suppressing real news, punishing those who dare to report it anyway. This is not supposed to happen in America! Damn-it! This is America!

No, wait, maybe it's not anymore.


Serenity Now! said...

I disagree dej. I think that the Marines INVITE photographers and journalists there under certain terms... and they get to dictate the terms.

The photographer is free to go there himself, unprotected by the marines. He does not require their protection to take photographs.

If you are going to go somewhere as someone's guest... you sometimes have to follow their rules. I have no issue with this.

He can still take the same photos. Nothing is stopping him. He has simple been denied the escort.

Unless there's a Freedom To Be Escorted And Protected In A War Zone clause I'm unaware of.

Nicole said...

I don't think we are in the same America anymore. So many rights are being restricted. It is no longer the land of the free, justice and freedom for all. Very sad.