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September 04, 2009

AP: Despite Pleas from Father, Defense Secretary Gates, Runs Photo of 21-Year Old Marine In Last Moments of His Life UPDATED

To "convey the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is objecting “in the strongest terms” to an Associated Press decision to transmit a photograph showing a mortally wounded 21-year-old Marine in his final moments of life, calling the decision “appalling” and a breach of “common decency.”

The AP reported that the Marine’s father had asked – in an interview and in a follow-up phone call — that the image, taken by an embedded photographer, not be published.

Gates also called AP President and CEO Thomas Curley to ask him to reconsider. He rightly called it not an issue of "law, policy or constitutional right – but judgment and common decency.”

Well those bastards are fresh out.

Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard was mortally wounded by an RPG in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan on August 14. He was transported by helicopter to Camp Leatherneck and later died from his wounds. The photograph was taken by embedded photographer Julie Jacobsen.

The photograph was not published until after his burial in Maine on August 24.

The AP spoke with the parents, in an interview and a meeting, showing them the pictures. His grieving father (and former Marine) John Bernard asked them not to run them, saying it was disrespectful of his son's memory. He asked them again a few days later in a phone call.

I have a question for you proud protectors of journalistic integrity. What the hell did show them the photos for? Just to see if they'd bless it? You'd sit down with two devastated parents and show them your work, knowing how much pain it would bring at that damned moment because of your "integrity"?

There was a time a reporter could write about, and honor the fallen in battle without publishing a picture of them dying. But that was back when journalistic duty occasionally (and wisely) deferred to common decency.

Not anymore, even “after a period of reflection,”

Hey, Where Are Those Mohammad Cartoons I Heard So Much About? [ace]: As is often said -- too bad the parents didn't have access to a decapitating saw and some C4. Then their concerns would trump "journalistic integrity."

So classy it's sassy! [DiT]: Huffpo running the photo as a banner now. I ain't linkin it. (thanks to commenter huerfano for looking at this garbage so we don't have to).

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posted by Dave In Texas at 01:33 PM

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