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Don't let Meredith Fuchs fool you into thinking otherwise, she's motivated by some kind of freaky kick she gets from from looking at flag-draped coffins:
A lawsuit filed Monday seeks to force the Pentagon to release photographs and videotape of coffins of service members killed overseas and brought back to the United States.
The suit, filed in federal district court in Washington, is based on the Freedom of Information Act, not the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press, said Meredith Fuchs, general counsel of the National Security Archives and one of the lawyers involved in the suit filed by a journalism instructor.
"These are the kind of documents that directly serve the core purpose of FOIA. . . . Everyone says a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the pictures have an impact and help people understand what war is really about in a way that nothing else does," Fuchs said.
The "National Security Archive" is not a government agency - in fact even a cursory look at their website will reveal it to be an anti-government agency - at least as far as the American government goes (Or at least Republican ones). And the whole thing's a frivolous suit, of course, because as anyone not consumed with lust for the dead well knows, numerous photos were released earlier this year, as evidenced by the examples on display at the "National Security" Archives home page and their bragsheet on the suit.
And the Pentagon has valid concerns - the families of the deceased. Apparently though, for some folks lust conquers all.
The Pentagon says it's a long-standing policy to withhold such images and limit access to the Dover, Del., Air Force base that serves as the East Coast military mortuary. It says the reason is to protect grieving families' privacy.
Earlier this year, a furor erupted when the Air Force provided an Arizona Web site operator with 361 photos in response to his FOIA request. Those photos of ceremonies and flag-draped coffins were subsequently published in newspapers and shown on television. Officials called that a mistake and have made no further releases.
A furor indeed, but the photos didn't "turn anyone against the war" then and aren't likely to now. On the contrary, the response was more the opposite - a reminder that Americans are risking all for true national security (the grown-up sort that can't be delivered from university campuses) and deserve nothing less than all- out support from home. But the same thinking that leads some (generally folks who are poorly educated, intensely gullible and easily led) to believe that national security involves attacking your country's leaders and that war protestors are war heroes also leads to this sort of miscalculation.
Ralph Begleiter, a journalism instructor at the University of Delaware and former CNN correspondent, said he was motivated to seek the images after discussions in a class he taught last spring on global media and international politics. "I think the public has a right -- and maybe even a responsibility -- to be aware of them," Begleiter said.
"Because the impact of war images on the public can affect any decision by United States officials to engage our military in combat, the public's reaction to photographs such as those taken at the Dover AFB mortuary has been called 'the Dover Test,' " the court filing states.
Not sure exactly what public Begleiter thinks is ignorant of the war on terror and it's cost; but no doubt the same ignorance level wouuld be required to believe his efforts are meant to "honor the dead".
Begleiter and Fuchs, ghouls for the 21st century.
Maybe the professor needs to see about having 'Bringing Chance Home' published in the MSM instead of some of the anti-war drivel. If it were not for blogs I would never have seen that excellent story.Posted by Mike Boelter at October 6, 2004 12:01 AM
Why dont they just go to their 'friends' websites and watch the beheading of the poor non-combatants being tied up and slaughtered. Theyd have an orgasm.
Yeah, war is hell. I hate to see anyone die. But sometimes you have to reply in kind and in an OVERWHELMING way to end it. Or at least stop it until most everyone forgets. Then it starts up again.History not remembered, is destined to be repeated...
Ironically, to defend its decision to withhold images of anonymous, flag-draped coffins, the tangible evidence of the human cost of its all-purpose military adventure in Iraq, the Administration will have to rely on National Archives v. Favish (pdf), decided by the Supreme Court earlier this year. In that case Allan Favish, on behalf of Accuracy in Media, wanted more pics of Vince Foster after his suicide, 'cause he thought that Ken Starr was in on a massive cover-up for his best buds, Bill Clinton and the Clintonistas. Fortunately, Clinton pal Tony Kennedy, writing for a unanimous Court (even Clarence agreed on this one), held that the Foster family's privacy would be unduly invaded if the gruesome pictures AIM sought were published, especially given that many, many other photos of the scene had been released and multiple investigations had all concluded that the Foster took his own life on the banks of the Potomac overlooking Washington.Posted by the sloganeer at October 10, 2004 04:51 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(3) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)