U.S. Iraq War Dead: the Picture the Pentagon Didn’t Want You to See
The Seattle Times ran this photo by Tami Silicio as the lead story of its April 18th edition (see pdf version), The Somber Task of Honoring the Fallen.
Since Sunday, both Silicio and her husband David Landry have been fired by Maytag Aircraft (see Woman loses her job over coffins photo), their employer for violating “corporate policy” (read “for getting Don Rumsfeld pissed as hell at our company”). While Silicio certainly doesn’t share my view of the war or my politics, I think she got a raw deal. What is thorougly inexplicable about the incident is why was she fired when a week earlier the Air Force itself opened the floodgates by releasing 330 images of Iraqi war dead arriving at Dover Air Force Base? If the Air Force can take a photo and release it to the American people, why can’t Tami Silicio?? I think we all owe her a round of thanks for sticking her neck out in an effort to honor the fallen dead.
Tami Silicio (credit: Seattle Times)
What is also inexplicable about the Air Force release is why would a Pentagon that has clamped a lid of absolute secrecy on information and images of America’s war dead now release hundreds of hitherto forbidden images?
Let’s be clear, the Seattle Times is not one of America’s great newspapers. It isn’t especially courageous or progressive. But you do have to give them credit for having the journalistic sense to run with the photo and give it the play they did. They knew they’d take flack from the Pentagon brass (keep in mind that the Pacific Northwest is a BIG military hub).