Author Topic: Photo of US President WARNING SENSITIVE SUBJECT!!  (Read 3477 times)

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Army Mom

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Photo of US President WARNING SENSITIVE SUBJECT!!
« on: August 11, 2011, 07:22:28 AM »
Keeping politics out of this, was this rude?

Recently the bodies of 30 US military members were returned to Dover AFB.  Per military policy, the families make the decision on whether or not media is allowed to attend and take photos.  In this case, the decision had to be unanimous since identification is not complete.  The decision was not unanimous so the media was barred from attending.

The US President and various other officials attended and brought an official White House photographer.  Photographer took a picture and it is posted on the White House website as a "Photo of the Day".

Rude or not?  Did the US President ignore the wishes of the families and was therefore rude? Or does this not apply to him since he is after all the President?

Add'l B/G:  The official photographers who normally accompany the military officials were not allowed to attend.    The normal media offered to only take photos that did not show the families or the caskets of the fallen.  This offer was also refused by the military.


Sharnita

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Re: Photo of US President WARNING SENSITIVE SUBJECT!!
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 07:27:47 AM »
It strikes me as rude.  The fact that it was posted as photo of the day specifically.  There are all sorts of documents and photos that are archived or put away at the time but are eventually released 30, 50 years later that if he felt the need to take the photo for long term historical purposes there were other options.

It also seems particularly cruel to give families the impression that their wishes will be honored and then to fidn a way around them.  It would be better not to ask them at all if in the end the answer will be diregarded.

Winterlight

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Re: Photo of US President WARNING SENSITIVE SUBJECT!!
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 09:54:35 AM »
Not rude. There were no pictures of the families, it was an unannounced trip which did not get reported on until it was over and the only shots I've seen were him getting off the plane and one backlit one. Also, I found a source that says the decision to keep the press out was part of DoD protocol.

Quote
Carney was also asked why reporters and photographers were unable to view the dignified transfer ceremony at Dover. Normally, the military gives families the option of allowing reporters into the event, and many families choose to allow it.

In this case, however, the families were not given that option, Carney said. The reason was that the service members, who were killed on Saturday along with eight Afghan allied troops when their Chinook helicopter crashed during a mission, had not yet been positively identified. A Dover official said the crash was so horrific that the bodies would require DNA, dental and fingerprint examinations to make positive identifications.

(The Pentagon knows the names of those who were killed and recently announced it will make the list public. )

Josh Earnest, one of Carney’s deputies, stressed that the decision was made by the military based on Defense Department protocol. Because the remains had not been positively identified, some were potentially commingled in the transfer containers and, therefore, an individual family could not request media presence while a particular container was being transferred.

“There are a variety of reasons why the press was not allowed to cover the dignified transfer of remains,” Carney said. “Normally families have to give permission, but because of the state of the remains, the policy was that the press would not be allowed.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/press-corps-kept-in-dark-about-obamas-dover-trip/2011/08/10/gIQATlKy6I_blog.html
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cbcb

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Re: Photo of US President WARNING SENSITIVE SUBJECT!!
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 10:00:11 AM »
Not rude. There were no pictures of the families, it was an unannounced trip which did not get reported on until it was over and the only shots I've seen were him getting off the plane and one backlit one. Also, I found a source that says the decision to keep the press out was part of DoD protocol.

Quote
Carney was also asked why reporters and photographers were unable to view the dignified transfer ceremony at Dover. Normally, the military gives families the option of allowing reporters into the event, and many families choose to allow it.

In this case, however, the families were not given that option, Carney said. The reason was that the service members, who were killed on Saturday along with eight Afghan allied troops when their Chinook helicopter crashed during a mission, had not yet been positively identified. A Dover official said the crash was so horrific that the bodies would require DNA, dental and fingerprint examinations to make positive identifications.

(The Pentagon knows the names of those who were killed and recently announced it will make the list public. )

Josh Earnest, one of Carney’s deputies, stressed that the decision was made by the military based on Defense Department protocol. Because the remains had not been positively identified, some were potentially commingled in the transfer containers and, therefore, an individual family could not request media presence while a particular container was being transferred.

“There are a variety of reasons why the press was not allowed to cover the dignified transfer of remains,” Carney said. “Normally families have to give permission, but because of the state of the remains, the policy was that the press would not be allowed.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/press-corps-kept-in-dark-about-obamas-dover-trip/2011/08/10/gIQATlKy6I_blog.html

I agree with this - it seems that both families and containers of the remains were not photographed.

Yvaine

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Re: Photo of US President WARNING SENSITIVE SUBJECT!!
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 10:04:38 AM »
I can't seem to find the photo to look at it, but if PPs are correct, it's more in the vein of a picture of him and his group arriving at the scene, not a picture of the deceased or the families. Not rude, and not rude to make it post of the day--it was what he was doing that day, after all, and probably the most significant event of the day.

ETA: Thanks for the link, Winterlight. Looks like they were careful to not photograph anything they shouldn't have.

It's an interesting bit of technical protocol, actually. It doesn't sound like the families were asked and couldn't agree, but instead that due to the circumstances it would not have been correct to allow any particular one of the families to request media.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 10:09:35 AM by Yvaine »

SamiHami

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Re: Photo of US President WARNING SENSITIVE SUBJECT!!
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 10:10:57 AM »
Exceptionally rude.

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hollasa

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Re: Photo of US President WARNING SENSITIVE SUBJECT!!
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 10:30:25 AM »
Rude or not?  Did the US President ignore the wishes of the families and was therefore rude? Or does this not apply to him since he is after all the President?

You know, I'm not an American, but I would venture a guess that your President has staff members to deal with whether or not the official photographer comes along, what can and should be public, and who posts what pictures on what website.

Army Mom

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Re: Photo of US President WARNING SENSITIVE SUBJECT!!
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 10:53:41 AM »
Winterlight,  thank you for posting that quote from the White House spokesman.  Below is the quote from the Pentagon spokesman:

"Doug Wilson, head of public affairs at the Pentagon, said the department did not know the White House photographer was present and had no idea a photo of the event was being released until it became public. He said the photographers who routinely travel with the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were not allowed to go to the event, and no official Pentagon photos were taken or released."