Officials: Pentagon OKs Media Photos Of War Dead

Defense and congressional officials say news organizations will be allowed to photograph the homecomings of America's war dead under a new Pentagon policy.

The officials say Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decided to allow photos of flag-draped caskets at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, if the families of casualties agree.

Gates planned to announce his decision later Thursday. The current ban was put in place by President George H.W. Bush.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Anonymous on Feb 26, 2009 at 08:15 PM
  • by Buzz Location: Mill Creek on Feb 26, 2009 at 06:33 PM
    These grieving families have way too many things to have to make decisions about other than this. This is all about exploitation, and it's not hard to see who benifits from these photos should they be displayed, and the will be if allowed. Buzz-
  • by Soldier's Wife Location: eastern nc on Feb 26, 2009 at 06:05 PM
    I think the families should be the ones to decide. But I have to wonder....there are pictures of the graves of soldiers used in commercials. What's the difference? Alpha, I hope I never have to decide as well.
  • by ~ALPHA female~ Location: O84P on Feb 26, 2009 at 03:13 PM
    Everyone knows if someone takes a picture of someone Else's loved one... someone they have no mental or physical connection to... it's all for exploration. I hope all these families say no pictures... and I hope I never have to decide..
  • by ECU Republican Location: Greenville on Feb 26, 2009 at 01:01 PM
    I think it should be left up to the family but I do see where these photos can and will be used to further someone or some group's agenda.
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Feb 26, 2009 at 12:31 PM
    If I were to be waiting for a loved one to return home from the war in a casket, the last thing I would want is some media nazi hanging around shooting film or pictures. I would be so outraged, I would most likely end up in jail. This is simply a democratic ploy to give more fuel for the anti-war nuts. That's all there is to it.
  • by Barlow Location: Winterville on Feb 26, 2009 at 11:36 AM
    I just listened to Gates on C-Span and agree it is up to the families and no one else to decide.
  • by Ray Location: Greenville on Feb 26, 2009 at 11:20 AM
    In October, I flew to Dallas on business. While watching the luggage get put on the plane, I noticed a special kind of baggage cart. There was a man in an Army uniform accompanying the luggage cart. I watched as they loaded a flag-draped casket onto my plane. Even more heartbreaking, was seeing the family of the service member waiting for the casket to arrive. I had never witnessed anything like that in my life. I'm torn on this topic-I feel that these men and women have given their lives in defense of our country and deserve to be treated with respect. Who's to say how these photographs will be used in the future? Will pictures like this be used to help a political cause-either the pro-war or the anti-war movements could use these pictures as part of their propoganda. Is that really fair to these soldiers and their families?

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