Some people are hysterical over two-year-old photos of U.S. Troops posing with dead enemies who would have killed them or Afghanis had these enemies not killed themselves. I wonder how many people have actually taken the time to think about this before reacting.
Indeed, some are trying to downplay this because they fear the photos may hurt President Obama. Others downplay it because, well, things like this happen in war.
As for me, professionally, I have to condemn this incident. Personally, I have mixed feelings about it, but I won’t go into why I do. Instead, I simply have a few questions for the hysterical:
- Has the LA Times, the Afghan media, or anyone else shown Afghanis the photograph of the U.S. troops raising the rainbow flag above a post while supposedly in Afghanistan? If not, why not? Doesn’t this photo also damage the U.S. mission, and shouldn’t people be concerned that it’s a sign of the breakdown of leadership and discipline in the Armed Forces? Shouldn’t people worry about how much damage the U.S. is doing in Afghanistan?
- Why is it okay for so-called journalists to publish photographs of dead and/or dying Afghanis? Why is it okay for so-called journalists to publish photographs of dead and/or dying U.S. Troops? (HT: Blackfive.)
- Lara Logan of CBS News apparently wanted her privacy respected following her sexual assault in Egypt. Yet prior to that she made some questionable statements regarding showing the dead bodies of American Troops. [And after her sexual assault, she continues making some questionable statements regarding American Troops (“It doesn’t really mean anything in Afghanistan if you bring charges or demote somebody’s rank. No one’s going to be hanging from a tree for this, and that’s the kind of justice that they’re used to in Afghanistan,” she said.)] So why is it that so-called journalists can demand a right to show the dead bodies of American Troops even as I’m told that I “must” be outraged at photographs showing American Troops (and Afghanis) posing with the bodies of dead terrorists?
- Is phillyBurbs.com wrong for showing the skull of a dead American? Is it okay for the American media to show the body parts of someone simply because no one is posing with it? Or is there some other reason why it is okay for phillyBurbs.com to disrespect the body parts of a dead person? Why is there no outrage at phillyBurbs.com for running this photograph, even as the media continue generating hysteria over American Troops?
- Why did the Soldier who gave these photos to the LA Times do so two years after they supposedly were taken? If he was concerned about a breakdown of leadership and discipline, wouldn’t he have reported them earlier? Did he attempt to rectify this through his chain-of-command? Were these photos leaked for political reasons? If so, will the DoD investigate this and find out who the Soldier is so they can discipline him the way they are disciplining and discharging Marines and other Troops who engage in political speech? Does the fact that the media now are reporting that President Karzai is saying that these photos should hasten the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan strike anyone as odd?
- The LA Times decided it had to release these two-year-old photos. Will the LA Times release other undisclosed media in its possession? Say, for instance, videotape of then-Senator Barack Obama at a dinner with Rashid Khalidi from a few years ago? (And yes, I realize that David French beat me to the punch on this question.) If not, why not?