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August 08, 2011

Media Banned From Dover Air Force Base For Return Services Of Those Killed In Afghanistan This Weekend

The bitter fruit of a dumb decision by the Obama Administration.

The condition of the bodies prevents positive separate identification, a Pentagon spokeswoman said, and DOD rules require family permission to view the transfer of remains.

“Because the remains are unidentified at this point, next-of-kin are not in a position to grant approval for the media access to the dignified transfer,” DOD spokeswoman Capt. Jane Campbell wrote in a press release. “Therefore, in accordance with DoD policy, no media coverage of the arrival and dignified transfer is permitted. Families will however, be given the opportunity to be present for the arrival.”

This is something people would speculate about but it's not something that we need to know. It's not something the families of the fallen should have to have known and discussed publicly.

If there was a blanked ban on these ceremonies as there was under the Bush administration, this would be something for the military and the families to deal with privately. But Obama had to play to his base in the press and show how transparent he was compared to Bush.

And if you want to see why you don't want the vultures in the press around at these things, this is part of what CNN's Pentagon Reporter Barbara Starr said about it.

And remains are returned to Dover for that very precise DNA formal identification for legal and forensic reasons. But when someone is -- we're allowed to cover it when they at least have a fair, reasonable certainty of who it is, and they can match up a name and a set of remains.

Tough business to talk about here, but that's the way it goes. If they have a reasonable certainty of a set of remains, and a name that goes with those remains, then they will ask the family if they wish to have coverage to have their service member remembered and honored by the news media.

In this case, by all accounts, from what the Pentagon is telling us just in the last few minutes, the remains are in such poor shape, they cannot even go that far. We are asking, though, very strongly if there's any accommodation that can be made, if there's any picture that can be recorded, any image that can be shown in any way, shape, or form so Americans can see these people coming home for their final journey -- Wolf.

"...have coverage to have their service member remembered and honored by the news media." What in the world is she talking about? Now Starr maybe a nice persona and good at her job but that's just obnoxious. Reporters don't go to Dover to remember or honor the fallen, they go there to do a job but only sometimes. There have been hundreds of these ceremonies but beyond the early ones that Obama and administration officials went to, how many have made national news? Somewhere around zero as best as I can recall. If you really think the media is honoring and remembering the fallen then you damn well get your ass out to each and everyone of these because while some causalities maybe more news worthy than others, they all deserve to be remembered and honored equally.

This double standard is not the fault of the media, they are just doing their jobs. It's the fault of the Obama administration who set up this system where some return services are more notable than others and that's just wrong.

Related: The Special Operation community is a relatively small one in the military and they tend to take care of their own. A loss of this magnitude is going to place a heavy burden on charities that help take care of those left behind.

You may want to consider helping out if you can.

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posted by DrewM. at 07:47 PM

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