Isn't that amazing? I never knew it before, but I suppose there's nothing wrong with learning something new every day.
As you can easily imagine, if such pictures became part of the public record then the public might get the wrong idea about the events which these pictures purport to document. And that should never be allowed to happen.
Therefore US soldiers were justified in deleting images from the cameras of AP and Afghani photographers who attempted to document the carnage last week in Afghanistan, after Marine Special Operations Forces allegedly opened fire on civilians moving along a major highway in the wake of a suicide bombing near an American base.
All this new insight into the world of photography and military atrocities has arrived via an article in the International Herald Tribune which quotes a letter from Col. Victor Petrenko, chief of staff to the top U.S. commander in eastern Afghanistan:
"When untrained people take photographs or video, there is a very real risk that the images or videography will capture visual details that are not as they originally were [...] If such visual media are subsequently used as part of the public record to document an event like this, then public conclusions about such a serious event can be falsely made."Ah, so that's the reason. Even though I didn't know all the technical photographic details, I already figured it was probably something like this. I knew it couldn't have have anything to do with censorship. After all, why would the US military try to keep the folks at home from seeing what they've been doing for the people of Afghanistan?
So it never crossed my mind that the incident might constitute infringement on freedom of the press, since our whole military mission has been to bring freedom to the Middle East.
And it's good to see that Col. Petrenko agrees with me:
He maintained that the U.S. military had no intention of curbing freedom of the press in Afghanistan.So there you have it. I was always pretty sure there was no story here. That's why I wrote about it Tuesday.
"We are completely committed to a free and independent press, and we hope that we can help encourage this tradition in places where new and free governments are taking root," Petrenko said.
And I wouldn't have written about it again, but I just wanted to make sure everybody realized that everything is on the up-and-up.
So you can just move along now. And please, no photos!