Saturday, September 05, 2009

Embed Photographers - Who is to Blame?

Contrary to what I've read - embed photographers are NOT an "invention" of the current administration or of the Secretary of Defense (who was, if my memory serves me correctly, appointed by the previous administration).

In 2003 - at the beginning of the Iraq War- the Pentagon and the previous adminstration allowed over 700 journalists to be embedded with the troops during the invasion. They were vetted by a group called the Rendon Group - who has been paid well for their dossiers and services. As Stars and Stripes reported:

Rendon examines individual reporters’ recent work and determines whether the coverage was “positive,” “negative” or “neutral” compared to mission objectives, according to Rendon officials.

The fact that the Rendon group has been linked to questionable activities including CIA links etc... has made many including the Star & Stripes and the Pentagon, question whether this "vetting" was entirely neutral, and their contract has been either suspended or canceled.

NONE of this has anything to do with the disgraceful publication of the photograph of the young Marine in Afghanistan. Why on earth there is ANYONE else being blamed for this disgusting release other than the photographer and the Associated Press, is absolutely beyond me. The stretch of logic, tying the recent decision by the Secretary of Defense (may I reiterate that he was initially appointed by the Republican prior administration) on Dover AFB - to the abhorrent publication of this photograph --- is epic, unfathomable and so convoluted, it is amazing.


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