Tuesday, April 20, 2004


My congratulations to The Seattle Times for daring to show what the Bush administration doesn't want anyone to see.

Photo by Tami Silicio - Flag-draped coffins are secured inside a cargo plane on April 7 at Kuwait International Airport. Military and civilian crews take great care with the remains of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq. Soldiers form an honor guard and say a prayer as, almost nightly, coffins are loaded for the trip home.

The response to the photo has been overwhelmingly positive, as the editor reports. People are tired of not hearing the news because Bush doesn't want us to see the dead.

The picture arrived amid rising debate over the Bush administration's strict ban on media outlets taking photos of soldiers' coffins offloaded at U.S. military bases.

"The administration cannot tell us what we can and cannot publish," David Boardman, managing editor at The Seattle Times, told Editor & Publisher Monday afternoon.

Of course, the dead aren't the only story about Iraq that Bush doesn't want people to hear. As if 704 dead American soldiers wasn't bad enough (as of this writing), there are also over 5000 wounded in Bush's war so far counting ONLY the Americans. We don't have solid numbers on how many Iraqis have died or had their lives changed forever. But at least the wounded are getting some spotlight, even though it took two cartoonists to finally show it. This week's Doonesbury and this week's Get Fuzzy are both covering the trauma of those wounded in Iraq.