Feature

Where are the photos of caskets?

Only one news organization bothers to send a photographer anymore to take photos of the flag-draped coffins at Dover Air Base, said Byron York in <em>The Washington Examiner.</em>

Byron York
The Washington Examiner

Remember how eager the media was to take photos of the returning coffins of America’s war dead? asked Byron York. Scores of critics insisted that the Pentagon’s ban on such photos was part of a Bush administration plot “to hide the terrible costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Shortly after his election, President Obama lifted the ban on the photos (as long as families give permission), and for a few weeks, photographers from dozens of news organizations rushed to take photos of the flag-draped coffins at Dover Air Base in Delaware. And then? “The impassioned advocates of showing the true human cost of war grew tired of the story.” Only one news organization, the Associated Press, bothers to send a photographer anymore.

So far this month, 38 American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, and the total for the year is 220—more than died in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 combined. Why the lack of interest in documenting U.S. war deaths? Could it be that the president is now a Democrat named Obama, instead of a Republican named Bush?

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