Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Trophy images

Major James Weirick, USMC
Charlie Savage of The New York Times has this article about a U.S. government decision to treat as classified photos of Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters. These misnamed "trophy images" figure in a larger set of issues relating to the treatment of Major James Weirick, a Marine Corps judge advocate who has sought protection as a whistleblower.

The controversy is one in a growing string of issues arising from the availability of contemporary technology in the battlespace, including headcams, smartphones, digital cameras, social media, and fast internet access. Balancing that availability and expectations of personal autonomy among military personnel against operational demands will continue to challenge commanders and judge advocates. Mere embarrassment to the government has not been an acceptable basis for withholding information under the Freedom of Information Act.

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