Grumpy Editor notes after the Defense Department asked the Los Angeles Times NOT to run the images, the newspaper goes ahead and publishes two photos showing American troops, members of the 82nd Airborne Division, posing with the remains of suicide bombers in Afghanistan in February, 2010.
Then in a follow-up story last Wednesday, the L.A. Times --- without blushing --- explains: “The Pentagon, the White House and top commanders and diplomats in Afghanistan have condemned the action by the soldiers and have launched investigations.”
Condemning action by the soldiers?
Some folks say publishing the pictures is another anti-military step by major media to trash U.S. troops --- even to incite violence against U.S. military personnel.
One can imagine how the L.A. Times, with some current staffers, would have handled advance hush-hush preparations, including activities of the same 82nd Airborne Division --- with absolutely no leaks by media to warn the enemy --- for D-Day in World War II.
The L.A. Times says it “acquired 18 gruesome images” showing Army soldiers with dead suicide bombers and decided to run two shots.
L.A. Times reporter David Zucchino declares he “verified the authenticity of the photos through interviews with the soldier who provided the photos, with Pentagon officials and with commanders from the unit.”
That was followed by L.A. Times editor Davan Maharaj stating: “After careful consideration, we decided that publishing a small but representative selection of the photos would fulfill our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan, including the allegation that the images reflect a breakdown in unit discipline that was endangering U.S. troops.”
Some subscribers may raise eyebrows with the phrase “our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially.”