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“Stop Them Pictures,” Say Marine Commanders in Afghanistan

Written by Gary North on May 31, 2012

“Stop them pictures,” said the legendary “Boss” Tweed of New York City. He ran New York City politics in the 1870s. The pictures he referred to were political cartoons of him drawn by newspaper cartoonist Thomas Nast. Wikipedia reports:

Tweed was convicted for stealing an amount estimated by an aldermen’s committee in 1877 at between $25 million and $45 million from New York City taxpayers through political corruption, although later estimates ranged as high as $200 million. Based on the inflation or devaluation rate of the dollar since 1870 of 2.7%, $25–$200 million is between $1 and $8 billion 2010 dollars. He died in the Ludlow Street Jail.

Tweed understood the voters. “”I don’t care so much what the papers write about me. My constituents can’t read. But damn it, they can see the pictures.”

The U.S. Marine Corps’ senior commanders in Afghanistan have taken Tweed’s insight to heart. They have forbidden any Marine from taking “happy snaps” photos in a war zone.

Rank-and-file personnel assigned to Regional Command Southwest, headquartered here in Helmand province, have been ordered to take photographs only for official purposes while outside the wire, said Maj. Gen. Charles Gurganus, head of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Recreational souvenir photographs — “happy snaps,” as Gurganus called them — should only be taken on bases in-between missions, he said.

“If it’s not an official purpose, and they’re outside the wire, then they shouldn’t have their camera out,” Gurganus said in an interview this month with Marine Corps Times. “This isn’t rocket science.”

Gen. Gurganus did not earn his two stars for being naive. He knows that Americans don’t read much, but they can understand pictures. Pictures run on the Evening News. Newspaper also get into the act.

Two scandals erupted in 2012, and both were fueled by photos. There was the “let’s unrinate on Taliban corpses” incident. Then there was the “let’s pose with some corpses.” This kind of thing has got to stop! So they will stop. No more photos.

“It’s not the camera,” the general said. “It’s the person behind the camera. You know, ‘I have a dead Taliban over here. Man, wouldn’t that be cool to have a picture to show my friends, but I’m going to be smart enough not to take that picture.’ That’s what I’m after.”

In short, don’t push the button after you have pulled the trigger.

U.S. troops carry digital point-and-shoot cameras on most patrols, using them to collect evidence and intelligence that can be turned over to their commands later. That is still required, but the crackdown has resulted in Marines taking fewer keepsake photographs and video to share with friends and family members, several infantrymen told embedded Marine Corps Times journalists in April.

The trouble is, keepsake pictures keep winding up on YouTube. “It is amazing what ends up on YouTube and flying through email and onto the Internet,” said Lt. Col. David Bradney.

“Undisciplined conduct, especially here, threatens to overshadow all our good work and sacrifice, as well as have an impact on the overall mission,” said Lt. Col. Stewart Upton.

For more details, click the link.

Continue Reading on www.marinecorpstimes.com

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10 thoughts on ““Stop Them Pictures,” Say Marine Commanders in Afghanistan

  1. The problem is not the person behind the camera General! The problem is the INSANE war that we are fighting for no good reason, resulting in the DEATH of innocent people – and our own soldiers – in Afghanistan. And before you slam me for telling the truth – I AM A VET, so maybe you should thank me for my service!

  2. Bobby, I won't thank you for your service to what amounts to a New World Order military complex. However, I will thank you for your bravery in pointing out the ungodliness of what amounts to another unbiblical, imperialistic, banker's war in which they have no compunction about using America's sons *and daughters" as cannon fodder for wicked designs.

  3. barb patton says:

    It is unfortunately 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. I speak as a mother of sergeant who has done a tour of duty in Iraq and getting battle ready to go to Afghanistan FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF DUTY, as well as being married to avIETNAME VET, THUS, I can categorically state that is is impossible to compare apples and oranges. It is most unfortunate that the Muslim world and the rest of the world are sitting on the side lines with bated breath for another unfortunate photo to expose the American soldier as a monster and not as a battle worn man. Such a photo will be blown out of context and the American soldier will be exposed as a crook whilst the Muslim will be the saint. Give me a bloody break. YES – I agree we should get the hell out of all Arab countried let them fight their fights and kill each other – they did not interfere with us during our War of Independence – so why should we interfere with them killing each other off??????????? Let them keep their oil and poppies we have enough oil in this country BUT – people forget that the ayatollah barack hussein obama and the communist hillary clinton is slowly but steadily selling us down the river from within – DO WE DO?????? BOBBY, I suggest you start the ball rolling by flying the flag upside down to let the world know that we are a NATION IN DEEP DIRE DISTRESS Our boys do not want to be there – they want to remain on the soil of America and protect all those who live here. WAKE UP AMERICA The destruction of our country is not on Afghanistan soil but right here in our very White House, Senate, Congress and Federal Government. I weep for the eagle whose very wings have not only been clipped but broken

  4. Joyce from Loris says:

    Amen, sister.

  5. you bleeding heart liberals have had almost four years to stop this (ungodly war) so why are we still there

  6. Alex, don't include me in your "bleeding heart liberal" label. My approach is strictly Biblical. There is only one immutable standard (Yahweh's morality as codified in His commandments, statutes, and judgments) by which everything (including Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Constitutionalists) must be judged, and, by this standard, most of America's entanglements have been ungodly imperialistic wars of aggression, financed by the international bankers.

  7. Anthony says:

    Stupid liberals twist everything. Only a liberal would think it is bad to kill the enemy. I for one am glad they are killing the enemy. Given the opportunity they would kill us. I would much rather that it be them. I do not even care if they urinate on the dead enemy. It simply should not be important issue as the enemy should be despised. Hence, we are back to the stupid liberals who are hard wired to destroy the US by any means possible. So as they run the main stream media they will make an issue out of anything that will make the military look bad. Also liberals will spy for the enemy and commit treason by aiding the enemy. Remember NY Times breaking the warrentless wiretapping of overseas suspected terrorists? As far as I am concerned the liberals are the enemy of the US also. Wouldn't it be a good idea to kill that enemy and urinate on them also?

  8. AD Roberts says:

    Talk about cutting your own throat, these soldiers must really be lacking in rational thought. They know the kind of people they are dealing with, and yet they not only do the things that will cause irrational berzerk response, they then take pictures and put them on the internet.

    This is like a reverse sting operation when you do things that trap yourself.

  9. AD Roberts says:

    If I read my Bible correctly, there are NO INNOCENT people. "All have sinned and fallen short of the the glory of God.." So there goes your first contention. Now about you being a VET, you did not say what your MOS was. I suspect that you were well out of harmes way. You just want to CLAIM that you risked your life for America. LOL.

    As to this or any war being INSANE, yes, any war that you go into without planning to win is insane. If you are going to war, GO TO WIN, AT ALL COSTS. Goldwater was right. If he had won and we had used small nuclear weapons, the war would have been over in days. Just like with the Japanese in WWII, when the enemy knows that you have superior power and are willing to use it, they will quit.

  10. junkbin says:

    Still waiting for the photo of a dead taliban/ ighter being smeared with pig fat. eternity of suffering.