Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Cost of War

As part of their campaign to keep Americans behind their invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration had continued a post-Vietnam policy of preventing press from covering the ceremonies at Dover AFB when the bodies of fallen soldiers returned to U.S. soil. Without the casket draped in an American flag—holding somebody’s son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, etc.—the numbers of war dead became empty statistics. One might be able to imagine 600 people, but it’s different to see a box containing one in front of you.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, Russ Kick of the MemoryHole.org forced the release of photographs of the ceremonies held at Dover AFB. The Air Force initially refused, but he appealled. On his website, he posted over 350 photos. Of course, this didn't please the Pentagon any! The Dept. of Defense claims that the policy is to protect the privacy of soldiers' families. However, at least some want the scenes to be seen by America. "We need to stop hiding the deaths of our young; we need to be open about their deaths," said Jane Bright, whose 24-year-old son, Evan Ashcraft, was killed in combat.

We're used to getting the run-around on the financial cost of war and rebuilding Iraq. But the Bush administration at least owes it to us Americans to let us see the true cost in terms of young lives lost.

Posted by blipsman at April 22, 2004 11:42 PM