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09-04-09, 09:34 PM #1
Dying marine's photo published against will of family
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has harshly criticized the decision by the Associated Press to distribute a photograph of a Marine who was fatally wounded in Afghanistan -- even after the young man's father called the wire service and asked that the photo not be released.
Gates, in a letter sent Thursday, called the decision "appalling," and went so far at to ask the AP to reconsider distributing the photo of Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of Maine.
Referring to Bernard's parents, Gates wrote to Thomas Curley, the wire service's president and CEO: "Your lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple American newspapers is appalling.
"The issue here is not law, policy or constitutional right -- but judgment and common decency."
Politico.com reported that Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Gates perviously had told Curley, "I am asking you to reconsider your decision to publish this graphic photograph of Lance Corporal Bernard. I am begging you to defer to the wishes of the family. This will cause them great pain."
But the Associated Press defended its decision, saying it reached it after "a period of reflection."
In an Aug. 14 attack by the Taliban in the Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, Bernard, 21, of New Portland, Maine, was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. AP photographer Julie Jacobson, who was embedded with Bernard's unit, captured an image of fellow Marines trying to rescue him as he suffered severe leg injuries.
Jacobson, who was crouching under fire, took the picture from a distance with a long lens and did not interfere with Marines trying to assist Bernard.
Bernard was taken to a field hospital, where he died on the operating table, AP reported.
The AP waited until after Bernard's burial in Madison, Maine, on Aug. 24 to distribute its story and the pictures. An AP reporter met with his parents, allowing them to see the images.
Bernard's father, after seeing the image of his mortally wounded son, told the photographer that he opposed its publication, saying it was disrespectful to his son's memory. John Bernard reiterated his viewpoint in a telephone call to the AP on Wednesday.
But the AP decided that the news value of the photograph trumped the request not to run it.
"AP journalists document world events every day. Afghanistan is no exception," Santiago Lyon, the wire service's director of photography, said. "We feel it is our journalistic duty to show the reality of the war there, however unpleasant and brutal that sometimes is."
"We understand Mr. Bernard's anguish. We believe this image is part of the history of this war. The story and photos are in themselves a respectful treatment and recognition of sacrifice," said AP senior managing editor John Daniszewski.
Click here to view the photo.
Lyon said the image shows Bernard's "sacrifice for his country."
"Our story and photos report on him and his last hours respectfully and in accordance with military regulations surrounding journalists embedded with U.S. forces," Lyon said.
Jacobson, in a journal she kept, recalled Bernard's ordeal as she lay in the dirt while Marines tried to save their comrade with bullets overhead.
"The other guys kept telling him 'Bernard, you're doing fine, you're doing fine. You're gonna make it. Stay with me Bernard!'" As one Marine cradled Bernard's head, fellow Marines rushed forward with a stretcher.
Later, when she learned he had died, Jacobson thought about the pictures she had taken.
"To ignore a moment like that simply ... would have been wrong. I was recording his impending death, just as I had recorded his life moments before walking the point in the bazaar," she said. "Death is a part of life and most certainly a part of war. Isn't that why we're here? To document for now and for history the events of this war?"
Later, she showed members of his squadron all the images taken that day and the Marines flipped through them on her computer one by one.
"They did stop when they came to that moment," she said. "But none of them complained or grew angry about it. They understood that it was what it was. They understand, despite that he was their friend, it was the reality of things."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
THIS FUCKING PISSES ME OFF!!!!
09-04-09, 09:44 PM #2
I don't have the words for this level disrespect to the Marines or the FAMILY.
Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat
"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway
09-05-09, 09:41 AM #3
I love how they try to justify it with the "It's part of reality, get over it," attitude Even going so far as to utilize the other Marines NOT protesting upon seeing it as a defense. Guess what? I bet their reactions would have been a LOT different once they found out that the guy's parents were against it.
Fucking media."If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970
The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.
09-05-09, 11:53 AM #4
A little common sense can go along way, if the moron making the decision to print it, put himself/herself in the famlilies shoes. I bet that would change things..............Swamp Mafia
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it, never really care for anything else.
Follow me on twitter.........http://twitter.com/SecondChance122
Disclaimer: The opinions given in my signatures DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are MY PERSONAL OPINIONS and I accept sole responsibility as such.
09-05-09, 12:33 PM #5
how about put him in the Marine's shoes...
I think I'd like that even better
It's the same concept for us tho - how many times do we have to pull out a blue tarp just so those fracking vultures don't take pics of a victim? why in the world would we think they had any more respect for Armed Forces than they do the average citizen-=Twan007
Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in alignment with his employer. Matter of fact, the poster will deny any knowledge of any post... this message will self-destruct in 5 seconds...
09-05-09, 02:01 PM #6
What a bunch of heartless animals.
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