Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The Point of "Click" 
Jessica Lynch says it was wrong of the Army to film her rescue. I very respectfully disagree.

Some images of war have become icons. Others have changed the direction of public discourse. And going back to the immortal Gettysburg battlefield photos of Matthew Brady, war images have awakened a jingo-prone populace to the staggering human costs of war.

Now, I thought giving her an American flag to hug on her way into the helicopter and then sticking a camera in her face was laying it on a bit thick. And it's undeniable that the Administration blew some valuable credibility points by allowing some romantic misconceptions about her capture and rescue to go uncorrected. But there is no way to know in advance where and when the shutters will click on the great photographs of our age.

The military has a compelling interest to safeguard operational secrets and prevent the release of information that could be used to harm American troops. But short of that, I believe the Army, and the press which holds our army and our government accountable to the people, should work in partnership to record, photograph, and document everything in sight.

Every democracy relies on the decision making of an informed populace. When you discourage photography, you discourage the press from operating in the watchdog role the founding fathers envisioned when they drafted the First Amendment. And you drive a wedge between the army in the field and the people it serves.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter

Prev | List | Random | Next
Powered by RingSurf!

Prev | List | Random | Next
Powered by RingSurf!