Thursday, 10 July 2008

BAGHDAD — Following the deaths of three Marines in the city of Garma, the Department of Defense (DOD) published a standard killed in action press release.

The release, assigned reference number 545-08, provided the rank, name, age and home of record of the three dead soldiers. The announcement also stated the Marines died June 26 while supporting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.

Multi National Force Iraq (MNF-I) posted the DOD press release on their official  Web site 24 hours after the Marines were killed.

The DOD press release made no mention of the suicide attacker who walked into a building filled with members of the Awakening Council and U.S.-led coalition forces. The Awakening Council is a pro-American tribal organization that is frequently targeted by al Qaeda in Iraq.

So why wasn't that published, I wonder? Also, embedded photographer and blogger, Zoriah Miller took pictures of the three dead Marines. He claimed that he was told to delete the pictures. He refused - and posted them on the blog at

I left the following comment on his blog. 

Zoriah, you've got my respect and admiration for standing up to people who think they can control people like you (real journalists) to publish only what they want... I think it's really important to tell the world the truth... don't hide the ugly nor the beautiful... show them as it is.. People will appreciate it... and it's really unfortunate that there are so many haters out there... especially those who direct their anger to journalists who are actually just the messenger... To those who don't agree with Zoriah - was it because you don't want to see the ugliness of reality? or are you too afraid to actually be angry towards those who fuel the war?? Fight for what is right.  

ps. without people like Zoriah, those in power have the freedom to do whatever the hell they want - without the world even realizing... can you imagine living in that world????? You've got the responsibility to not see that happen. Yes, every single one of you out there.

This actually reminds me of Kevin Sites and the reaction he got from publishing the Fallujah videos. (Google Kevin Sites Fallujah to get more information)

I remembered it vividly. I was still in high school and those pictures from the video was published by a local newspaper in Malaysia made me realize, for the first time that that war was real. It's not just something happening on the other side of the world that does not affect me. It mattered to me, for the first time.

What these people did, inspired me to strive to be a skilled journalist and be a messenger to the world like Kevin and Zoriah.

Ambitious, I know.

1 comment:

Lily Casura said...

Nicely done, and very well said.