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mental invalid

Pentagon Blocks Coverage of Returning Coffins

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A...anguage=printer

 

By Dana Milbank

Tuesday, October 21, 2003; Page A23

 

 

Since the end of the Vietnam War, presidents have worried that their military actions would lose support once the public glimpsed the remains of U.S. soldiers arriving at air bases in flag-draped caskets.

 

To this problem, the Bush administration has found a simple solution: It has ended the public dissemination of such images by banning news coverage and photography of dead soldiers' homecomings on all military bases.

 

In March, on the eve of the Iraq war, a directive arrived from the Pentagon at U.S. military bases. "There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein [Germany] airbase or Dover [Del.] base, to include interim stops," the Defense Department said, referring to the major ports for the returning remains.

 

A Pentagon spokeswoman said the military-wide policy actually dates from about November 2000 -- the last days of the Clinton administration -- but it apparently went unheeded and unenforced, as images of caskets returning from the Afghanistan war appeared on television broadcasts and in newspapers until early this year. Though Dover Air Force Base, which has the military's largest mortuary, has had restrictions for 12 years, others "may not have been familiar with the policy," the spokeswoman said. This year, "we've really tried to enforce it."

 

President Bush's opponents say he is trying to keep the spotlight off the fatalities in Iraq. "This administration manipulates information and takes great care to manage events, and sometimes that goes too far," said Joe Lockhart, who as White House press secretary joined President Bill Clinton at several ceremonies for returning remains. "For them to sit there and make a political decision because this hurts them politically -- I'm outraged."

 

Pentagon officials deny that. Speaking on condition of anonymity, they said the policy covering the entire military followed a victory over a civil liberties court challenge to the restrictions at Dover and relieves all bases of the difficult logistics of assembling family members and deciding which troops should get which types of ceremonies.

 

One official said only individual graveside services, open to cameras at the discretion of relatives, give "the full context" of a soldier's sacrifice. "To do it at several stops along the way doesn't tell the full story and isn't representative," the official said.

 

A White House spokesman said Bush has not attended any memorials or funerals for soldiers killed in action during his presidency as his predecessors had done, although he has met with families of fallen soldiers and has marked the loss of soldiers in Memorial Day and Sept. 11, 2001, remembrances.

 

The Pentagon has previously acknowledged the effect on public opinion of the grim tableau of caskets being carried from transport planes to hangars or hearses. In 1999, the then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton, said a decision to use military force is based in part on whether it will pass "the Dover test," as the public reacts to fatalities.

 

Ceremonies for arriving coffins, not routine during the Vietnam War, became increasingly common and elaborate later. After U.S. soldiers fell in Beirut, Grenada, Panama, the Balkans, Kenya, Afghanistan and elsewhere, the military often invited in cameras for elaborate ceremonies for the returning remains, at Andrews Air Force Base, Dover, Ramstein and elsewhere -- sometimes with the president attending.

 

President Jimmy Carter attended ceremonies for troops killed in Pakistan, Egypt and the failed hostage rescue mission in Iran. President Ronald Reagan participated in many memorable ceremonies, including a service at Camp Lejeune in 1983 for 241 Marines killed in Beirut. Among several events at military bases, he went to Andrews in 1985 to pin Purple Hearts to the caskets of marines killed in San Salvador, and, at Mayport Naval Station in Florida in 1987, he eulogized those killed aboard the USS Stark in the Persian Gulf.

 

During President George H.W. Bush's term, there were ceremonies at Dover and Andrews for Americans killed in Panama, Lebanon and aboard the USS Iowa.

 

But in early 1991, at the time of the Persian Gulf War, the Pentagon said there would be no more media coverage of coffins returning to Dover, the main arrival point; a year earlier, Bush was angered when television networks showed him giving a news briefing on a split screen with caskets arriving.

 

But the photos of coffins arriving at Andrews and elsewhere continued to appear through the Clinton administration. In 1996, Dover made an exception to allow filming of Clinton's visit to welcome the 33 caskets with remains from Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown's plane crash. In 1998, Clinton went to Andrews to see the coffins of Americans killed in the terrorist bombing in Nairobi. Dover also allowed public distribution of photos of the homecoming caskets after the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000.

 

The photos of coffins continued for the first two years of the current Bush administration, from Ramstein and other bases. Then, on the eve of the Iraq invasion, word came from the Pentagon that other bases were to adopt Dover's policy of making the arrival ceremonies off limits.

 

"Whenever we go into a conflict, there's a certain amount of guidance that comes down the pike," said Lt. Olivia Nelson, a spokeswoman for Dover. "It's a consistent policy across the board. Where it used to apply only to Dover, they've now made it very clear it applies to everyone."

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another bush policy:

 

make then ignore it, the problem will go away.

 

 

doesn't this stink of infringement on free speech?

 

 

way to honor our dead.

 

AAARGH

i fucking hate the president.

hate him!

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Guest One_in_Ten
Originally posted by !@#$%

i fucking hate the president.

hate him!

 

welcome to the FBI watch list. Take a seat and well be

with you shortly.

 

Hate is so un-American, go back to new jersey.

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get over yourself.

 

the president deserves hate because he kills thousands of innocent people with his directives.

 

hate is not concentrated in new jersey.

 

the FBI isn't looking at this board, and if they were, they couldn't find me through it, my info, or my IP address

 

blind acceptance of our government is un american.

 

 

go back to bed

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Guest

I almost wish I lived in the States just so I could find a nice country to move to.

 

 

 

If you dont love America and support the government then move you commie!

I would but I dont want to be a vicitim of American foreign policy!

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it just seems dishonorable to the dead...

 

 

i may not agree with the war, but those are our guys coming back in body bags, and dam it, why are we not giving them their just attention....

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Guest BROWNer

sorry, this isn't really related, but

how do you guys feel about this?

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it is dishonorable to the dead. and for what? because bush doesn't want his already tarnished political reputation any dirtier? what the fuck.

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half of the guys i know do not vote, this upsets me to no end. bush need to be removed from office and the only way to do it is to have him voted out! the guys i know are more concerned about the yankees than the future of our country.

 

 

my sister just moved overseas

 

 

dam it's looking more like a good idea every day

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Originally posted by mental invalid

it just seems dishonorable to the dead...

 

 

i may not agree with the war, but those are our guys coming back in body bags, and dam it, why are we not giving them their just attention....

 

 

this sums up all of what i wanted to say. The media covers a lot of shit and keeps airing the same thing for one purpose. ratings. Tv ratings to me do not equal respect for the dead.

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American casualties in Iraq are very light

 

As I've said before, even one death is a human tragedy, but anytime a anti-guerrilla war can be conducted for SIX MONTHS and only lose 106 soldiers killed, you are doing very, very well.

 

To compare, the U.S. NEW INFECTION RATE for HIV in 2001 is conservatively estimated at 44,000. That's close to the death toll for eleven years of war in Vietnam.

 

Fighting heavily armed fanatics isn't the dangerous part of Iraqi war service, it's the leave and liberty back in the U.S. that's really dangerous. A soldier might survive a year of fighting guerrillas and catch HIV from a girl he picked up in a bar in New York.

 

Another example--during WWII, we lost 330,000 Americans killed. In the years following the war, MILLIONS of WWII vets died from lung cancer from the free cigarettes they were given in their K-Rations. They developed a cigarette habit that resulted in cancer, heart disease, emphysema, etc.

 

I feel very sad about those 106 men who bravely fought and died in Iraq. But the news media TOTALLY distrorts the danger, and the cost, of liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party nazis. The news media hates the Republicans, and especially President Bush, so they distort the real meaning of the 106 casualties.

 

In taking the island of Okinawa from the Japanese in WWII, we lost 10,000 Marines killed in the first three days of the amphibious landing. And those casualties were lighter than anticipated. About that same period of time, in the European front, we lost more than that from air crews shot down over Germany over a couple of months.

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Guest BROWNer

Re: American casualties in Iraq are very light, so it ain't that bad

 

Originally posted by KaBar2

The news media hates the Republicans, and especially President Bush, so they distort the real meaning of the 106 casualties.

 

aww, the poor poor republicans.

?you're about as queer as a three dollar bill.

so..the 'real' meaning is that being a stand up

guy and lying to familys of military personnel,

americans, and the world while killing huge numbers

of innocents to secure and perpetuate

american and western countries suicidal consumption

habits is legitimate?

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its still wack though, after all the soldiers killed in the name of the usa....................you would think we would know better.

 

telll you like how it should be.......shit motherfuckering bitches in power woulda lifted sanctions shit woulda allready been rebuilt and we swooop in and take power.....

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Kabar, you racist motherfucker. we didnt go to Iraq to free the Iraqis from Saddam. Those people in washington dont give a fuck about Iraqis.

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Re: American casualties in Iraq are very light

 

Originally posted by KaBar2

I feel very sad about those 106 men who bravely fought and died in Iraq. But the news media TOTALLY distrorts the danger, and the cost, of liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party nazis.

 

whoa wait. i thought the war was about weapons of mass destruction.

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now the Baath party is comparable to nazis.

 

:rolleyes:

 

so kabar, if the deaths are 'militarily insignificant' than what would you say about the morale of troops if in 6 months a dozen of them have KILLED THEMSELVES?

 

it's a concern, no?

 

and while 106 deaths in 6 months may seem like barely scratching our armed forces, then what will those numbers look like after another 2 years, when nothing has changed, and we've moved nearer to thousands dead?

 

after all, the war will go on "as long as it takes..." which clearly means it will not end in the next year.

 

 

..it is interesting how lives are no longer important when compared to how many people die of cancer...i'll remember that next time kabar gets upset about one of his loved ones who dies for no reason...it's all somehow for the greater good..

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Re: Re: American casualties in Iraq are very light, so it ain't that bad

 

Originally posted by BROWNer

aww, the poor poor republicans.

?you're about as queer as a three dollar bill.

so..the 'real' meaning is that being a stand up

guy and lying to familys of military personnel,

americans, and the world while killing huge numbers

of innocents to secure and perpetuate

american and western countries suicidal consumption

habits is legitimate?

you would have no idea what it means to serve your fucking country. you all can sit her and rip apart soldiers for killing and bush making policys that kill people that you call innnocent, but youll never know what its like to have a sense of pride of your country. so until you have something thats not tottaly stupid to say please shut up. and the news hates us all you ever see is the death toll, you dont see the accomplishments that we are making you just sit here and believe what evers is told to you, screw everything else thats happening the news told me that someone died so that must be the only thing happening over there. notice when we were kicking ass on our way to bagdad(sp*) they were all over it, but now since were not sweeping the country taking over cities and towns they only report death. big fucking deal death is a part of fighting. so grow the fuck up.

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Originally posted by AlQuds

Kabar, you racist motherfucker. we didnt go to Iraq to free the Iraqis from Saddam. Those people in washington dont give a fuck about Iraqis.

yeah if we didnt care then we wouldnt be sending billions of dollars to rebuild there country. go read before you make a comment about something you know nothing about.

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"As I've said before, even one death is a human tragedy, but anytime a anti-guerrilla war can be conducted for SIX MONTHS and only lose 106 soldiers killed, you are doing very, very well. "

 

 

true, but over 900 have been injured also...

 

 

just a different number then 106....

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idiots. everywhere

 

Originally posted by rip

you would have no idea what it means to serve your fucking country. you all can sit her and rip apart soldiers for killing and bush making policys that kill people that you call innnocent, but youll never know what its like to have a sense of pride of your country. so until you have something thats not tottaly stupid to say please shut up. and the news hates us all you ever see is the death toll, you dont see the accomplishments that we are making you just sit here and believe what evers is told to you, screw everything else thats happening the news told me that someone died so that must be the only thing happening over there. notice when we were kicking ass on our way to bagdad(sp*) they were all over it, but now since were not sweeping the country taking over cities and towns they only report death. big fucking deal death is a part of fighting. so grow the fuck up.

 

we are grown up.

 

mature enough to see that innocent american soldiers are being sent to fight, and DIE for OIL.

when will people like yourself see that national pride does not equate to blind faith in one's government.

don't you know that our national identity is built on FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND CHOICE?? instead we are being turned into megalomaniacal imperialists in the name of democracy.

 

it's bullshit.

unfortunately, our country is full of ignorant people like yourself who think that Bush should be followed to the death, like fucking lemmings..

he has created an international crisis out of his need for revenge and cheaper oil.

 

when will you realize that we aren't hearing about our so-called accomplishments over there is because there are so few..we have become occupiers. oppressors of the iraqi people.

we didn't liberate anyone, we have enslaved them to a country in shambles.

 

 

and the most disgusting part: OUR SOLDIERS ARE NOT BEING HONORED FOR THEIR DUTIES

THEY ARE BEING BROUGHT HOME IN BODYBAGS AND THAT FUCKWAD YOU CALL A PRESIDENT WON'T ALLOW IT TO BE SHOWN ON TV!

 

you are the moron who doesn't know the first thing about national pride in our armed forces and what it means to die honorably and be commended for it.

 

learn how to spell guy.

it reduces one's argument to fluff when they can't even spell Baghdad.

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"notice when we were kicking ass on our way to bagdad(sp*) they were all over it, but now since were not sweeping the country taking over cities and towns they only report death. big fucking deal death is a part of fighting. so grow the fuck up."

 

 

 

see right there....thats the problem....

 

 

when that was the coverage the president was in love with the press, but once the glory of victory became the fabled "next day", the view was different......

 

besides the american media machine has already proved that they failed us....there was no dissent before the war, due to fear of alienating advertisers and the imbedded troops worked only to show the microcosmic view of war and not the macrocosmic view of the over all plan...which we now see, is not so hot...

 

the president cant have his cake and bomb it too...

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Re: idiots. everywhere

 

Originally posted by !@#$%

we are grown up.

 

mature enough to see that innocent american soldiers are being sent to fight, and DIE for OIL.

when will people like yourself see that national pride does not equate to blind faith in one's government.

don't you know that our national identity is built on FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND CHOICE?? instead we are being turned into megalomaniacal imperialists in the name of democracy.

 

it's bullshit.

unfortunately, our country is full of ignorant people like yourself who think that Bush should be followed to the death, like fucking lemmings..

he has created an international crisis out of his need for revenge and cheaper oil.

 

when will you realize that we aren't hearing about our so-called accomplishments over there is because there are so few..we have become occupiers. oppressors of the iraqi people.

we didn't liberate anyone, we have enslaved them to a country in shambles.

 

 

and the most disgusting part: OUR SOLDIERS ARE NOT BEING HONORED FOR THEIR DUTIES

THEY ARE BEING BROUGHT HOME IN BODYBAGS AND THAT FUCKWAD YOU CALL A PRESIDENT WON'T ALLOW IT TO BE SHOWN ON TV!

 

you are the moron who doesn't know the first thing about national pride in our armed forces and what it means to die honorably and be commended for it.

 

learn how to spell guy.

it reduces one's argument to fluff when they can't even spell Baghdad.

your wrong i do know about pride in our armend services, im in the air force, have a cousin in long range marine recon, and another cousin in the 82nd aurborne. so dont talk to me about military pride. and the world is full of people like you that would blindley follow bill clinton to the death. you have no room to talk about things when all you do is watch the news and whatever the liberal news companys say thats what you accept as all thats going on. so you dont know the first thing thats going on over there and what our soldiers go through to secure safety for us and our country.

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Originally posted by mental invalid

"notice when we were kicking ass on our way to bagdad(sp*) they were all over it, but now since were not sweeping the country taking over cities and towns they only report death. big fucking deal death is a part of fighting. so grow the fuck up."

 

 

 

see right there....thats the problem....

 

 

when that was the coverage the president was in love with the press, but once the glory of victory became the fabled "next day", the view was different......

 

besides the american media machine has already proved that they failed us....there was no dissent before the war, due to fear of alienating advertisers and the imbedded troops worked only to show the microcosmic view of war and not the macrocosmic view of the over all plan...which we now see, is not so hot...

 

the president cant have his cake and bomb it too...

yeah exacly all there showing is death when we are doing much much more over there. right now alot of military bases are stimulating the econemey by contracting residents to build new barracks on the bases. thats earning the people money and providing jobs for the country. so until you decide to get real current up todate facts please be quite.

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