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Defying Pentagon Ban, La. Guard Unit Allows Footage of Returning Coffins

A Louisiana National Guard Honor Guard carries one of six caskets out of a transport plane Wednesday at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Belle Chasse.

What’s wrong with this picture? The fact that you are seeing it. Remember, the Bush admin has banned photography (moving and still) of flag-draped coffins, ostensibly for the “privacy” of the families. A Louisiana National Guard unit has had enough — they want people to know of the sacrifices that are being made for Bush’s folly. (E&P;):

A Louisiana National Guard unit defied a Pentagon request to prevent television news crews from filming six flag-draped soldiers’ coffins arriving in the state following the men’s deaths in Iraq last week, according to a report by CBS News.

The Louisiana National Guard allowed a CBS crew to film the arrival of six soldiers’ coffins at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse, La., near New Orleans. Lt. Col. Pete Schneider, a spokesman for the Louisiana National Guard, told CBS: “What we thought was, we’re going to do what the family asked us to do.”

Footage broadcast by CBS showed an honor guard carrying the soldiers’ flag-draped coffins out of an aircraft to six waiting hearses, watched by grieving families. The six guardsmen died last Thursday after their armored vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Baghdad.

This kind of thing is going to continue to happen; there is no emotional valve to release the tension building up in military families against this war. They have so few legal ways to openly express their frustration, anger and grief at the administration — open defiance, desertion and increasingly public anti-war statements are going to increase.

Also, here is an excellent article from Louisiana’s Daily Advertiser with more detail on the soldiers, their families and their unit.

Thanks to House Blend reader Paul for the pointer.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding