Tuesday, August 05, 2008

“War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Series of Cases, 2003-2007”

The Army looked to censor this MEDICAL TEXTBOOK for treating war injuries.

Here's from the NYT article...

"...Its 83 case descriptions from 53 battlefield doctors are clinical and bone dry..."

Because it's a MEDICAL TEXTBOOK!


"Though it is expensively produced and includes a foreword by the ABC correspondent Bob Woodruff, who was severely injured by a roadside bomb in 2006, “War Surgery” is not easy to find. There were strenuous efforts within the Army over the last year to censor the book and keep it out of civilian hands.

Paradoxically, the book is being issued as news photographers complain that they are being ejected from combat areas for depicting dead and wounded Americans."

Military censors suggested numerous changes, including removing photos showing burning vehicles and the faces of any American wounded. They also wanted to excise references to branches of service and how injuries occurred.

For example, according to unclassified e-mail provided by the authors, one suggested removing this description: “A helmeted soldier suffered a forehead injury during the explosion of an improvised explosive device. He was a front seat passenger” in a Humvee. The censor suggested: “A 22-year-old male was hurt in a blast.”

(Army) Censors also tried to prevent the book from getting a copyright and the international standard book number letting it be sold commercially, Dr. Lounsbury said.

Ultimately, they were overruled."


Christopher Moss Photography said...

This book censorship does not come as a huge shock anymore. Its becoming pretty scary out there, the news media and photojournalists in general are either going the way of big business agenda's (Fox News) or they are becoming military targets. For example in April 2003 the US government targeted all independent journalists in Iraq by bombing televisions stations such as Al-Jazeera, Abu Dhabi while sending tanks to the Palestine Hotel where embedded international journalists where staying, intentionally firing and killing a french television crew, a spanish television crew, and a several people working for an agency called Reuters -an international news agency. Media Blitz what? Check out my blog for a post I wrote on Magnum Photographers and media giants~ P.S. Your work is inspiring!-Chris

zs said...

Thanks, Chris! I will check out that post about Magnum photographs and the media ownership... it's incredible how this kind of attempt to prevent journalists from obtaining and getting out information is happening right in front of our eyes, but it's really nothing new. And yet, as we've seen with the Abu Ghraib photos that came from the soldiers working in the prison, there's a shift in how information is getting out because a we've got a new kind of access to media recording devices, eg. digital cameras, video cameras, cell phones. Those images weren't mean to get out, but there they are... I wonder how it will be with information coming out like that and the need to sort it out after the images or stories are recorded, as opposed to recording a photo or story as journalism.