The web is covered in stink today because of a reporter for the Associated Press, Julie Jacobson, who photographed the death of a Marine whose legs had just been blown off. The kid was Joshua Bernard, a Lance Corporal of 21 years. When the photo appeared, Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense [sic] furiously tried to get the AP to quash the photo. It didn’t, to its everlasting credit. To quote one of many accounts on the web:
"Gates followed up with a scathing letter to Curley [of AP] yesterday afternoon. The letter says Gates cannot imagine the pain Bernard's family is feeling right now, and that Curley's ‘lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put out this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple newspapers is appalling. The issue here is not law, policy or constitutional right—but judgment and common decency.’"
I thought a long time before writing about this matter, and was not pleasant to be around. The photo resonated with me, as we say. You see, long ago, in another pointless war, promoted by another conscienceless Secretary, I too was a Marine Lance Corporal of twenty-one years. I too got shot, though not nearly as badly as this kid, and spent a year at Bethesda Naval Hospital. At this point I am legally blind following my (I think) thirteenth trip to eye surgery as a result of an identical foreign policy.
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