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That crouch is interesting - most people strolling under the whirling blades of a helicopter adopt that pose. The blades are well above your head, but survival instinct is strong.
This photo was taken by US Army Spc Jennifer D. Atkinson. The picture is one of many produced by military journalists covering the war on terror. They are freely available for use - released by the government and essentially public domain.
Which is why you'll often find them on anti-war web sites. The link is the web page of Thomas Barton. Barton produces what he claims is "a near-daily news bulletin for service members" - and encourages wide distribution. Here's some background from the web site of the group "Not in Our Name" (NION):
Since May 2003, Thomas Barton has been distributing this comprehensive daily compilation of news about our government's immoral war without end. When Thomas began distributing these bulletins via email, notinourname.net was the only place you could go to get up-to-date issues, and all of the back issues as well. Now Thomas has his own page dedicated to "GI Special" -- making our archive redundant and never as current as militaryproject.org.NION was founded in March 2002 (a year before the invasion of Iraq) by members of the Revolutionary Communist Party. NION's stated purpose is to resist the U.S. government's course in the wake of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. The RCP believes "that the only way for the oppressed masses to ever liberate themselves is through waging a people's war, and building a new socialist society on the ashes of capitalism." Most US "peace protests" are organized by NION and "fellow travelers'" groups like International Answer.
Speaking of Fellow Travelers, Barton is also the producer of Traveling Soldier:
But we want to do more than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance to those on top - whether it’s in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or inside the armed forces.In addition to that endorsement, you'll find Barton's compilations routinely available at various other "anti-war" sites. They also trickle down into personal web pages of folks who may or may not be aware of who their intellectual leaders are.
For this, we might be criticized for not being “objective” or “balanced”. We aren’t. We proudly take the side of our class - working people and the oppressed the world over - against those who use their wealth and power to make our lives hell. But producing this newsletter for people in the armed forces is about more than telling the truth. Our goal is for Traveling Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class people inside the armed services together. We want this newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize resistance within the armed forces - and that can’t happen without you.
But speaking of personal web pages - it turns out the photographer who captured that photo has one:
OMG.I'll save you the bother; here's how the image appeared on Barton's "military project" page:
My photos are being used on websites against the war. I'm floored and upset.
The photos are released, but still.
My photo is about a third of the way down the page.
I'm not sure exactly how the photo is supposed to support the claim in that headline, but I suppose that's not the sort of question the consumers of Barton's material are expected (or permitted) to raise.
But after her initial surprise, Spc Atkinson responded:
Sir,This, my friends, is exactly what milblogs are about. Troops speaking for themselves - no reporter, congressman, or "'anti-war' traveler" in between. You want to speak for the troops? You better make damn sure you're not lying when you do so. "Not in our name" indeed.
I am the Army journalist who took the photo used on your website, the one under the caption "Really bad place to be: Bring them home now."
I have read your disclaimer at the bottom of your splash page, and although I fully support your right to free speech, I am saddened by the use of my work.
I realize the photo has been released to the public through the Army, but I am asking that you either remove the photo or my photo credit and post "US Army photo" under the picture. If you prefer, you could post what the original release cutline said and the correct context of the photo. I do not support your website, or your stated intentions.
I'm sure, since you support the troops but not the war, you'll be kind enough to show your support of this particular soldier.
Thank you for your time.
Spc. Jennifer D. Atkinson
I highly encourage all here to visit Spc Atkinson's blog and leave a few words of encouragement - or thanks. Her post doesn't note whether she's sent that letter yet or not. She's been busy though - returning home from Iraq. (In fact she was one of the soldiers who happened to be greeted by President Clinton when he went to Bangor after meeting Jacques Chirac.)
As for Barton...
"a member of the International Socialist Organization, Thomas Barton is a third-generation union activist: His grandfather belonged to the Industrial Workers of the World in Indiana, an uncle helped form a United Auto Workers local in Wisconsin, and another, called "Red," was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Barton himself has been involved in everything from publishing an anti-Vietnam War newspaper to arguing in D.C. this past week that Chinese sweatshop workers and prison inmates are not the enemies of organized labor, but rather its allies. As he puts it: "It's not the workers who are our enemies—it's the same class of rich people that run both the U.S. and China." He is also a frequent contributer to Socialist Worker Online)...he has a legal right to publish that photo. The question is now a moral one, and the answer isn't likely to surprise anyone.
Boy, could that picture of him anymore define the stuffy ultra-liberal garbage the pollutes our nation? I love the poor people, just keep them away from me.
I know he has the right to free speech just like everyone else, but I won't shed a tear if he were fall victim to any number of unfortunate domestic accidents. Like getting struck by lighting while on the throne reading a copy of Hot Cabana Boys.Posted by Jack Burton at January 13, 2006 05:18 PM
Now Jack, there's no reason for ad hominem attacks on ol' ferret face up there!Posted by Old Soldier at January 13, 2006 05:56 PM
i'd pay good money to see Mr Barton & Soldiergrrrl go a couple rounds over this....
(i've got $20 on SG by KO in the 1st round! %-)
Man, talk about your stereotypical pinched face Commissar! He looks like he's ready to order the extermination of the counter-revolutionaries.Posted by sgtted at January 15, 2006 04:41 PM
Gosh, you gotta love our female troops. The disloyal opposition are just disgraceful. Ma'am, you tear him up!Posted by JoeS at January 16, 2006 03:38 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)