Woman Loses Her Job Over Coffins Photo

A military contractor has fired Tami Silicio, a Kuwait-based cargo worker whose photograph of flag-draped coffins of fallen U.S. soldiers was published in Sunday’s edition of The Seattle Times.

Silicio was let go yesterday for violating U.S. government and company regulations, said William Silva, president of Maytag Aircraft, the contractor that employed Silicio at Kuwait International Airport.

“I feel like I was hit in the chest with a steel bar and got my wind knocked out. I have to admit I liked my job, and I liked what I did,” Silicio said.

Her photograph, taken earlier this month, shows more than 20 flag-draped coffins in a cargo plane about to depart from Kuwait. Since 1991, the Pentagon has banned the media from taking pictures of caskets being returned to the United States.

That policy has been a lightning rod for debate, and Silicio’s photograph was quickly posted on numerous Internet sites and became the subject of many Web conversations. Times Executive Editor Michael R. Fancher yesterday appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” news show with U.S. Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., who supported the Pentagon policy prohibiting such pictures.

As a result of the broader coverage, The Times received numerous e-mails and phone calls from across the country — most of which supported the newspaper’s decision.

Pentagon officials yesterday said the government’s policy defers to the sensitivities of bereaved families. “We’ve made sure that all of the installations who are involved with the transfer of remains were aware that we do not allow any media coverage of any of the stops until (the casket) reaches its final destination,” said Cynthia Colin, a Pentagon spokeswoman. [more]

When the Pentagon says that their policy “defers to the senstivities of bereaved families”–they are, of course, completely full of shit. And while the policy was made back in the early nineties, it wasn’t enforced until the Bush administration. Why? Because the Bush administration doesn’t want you to see how many Americans are dying because of their lies, of course.

Once again then, let’s show that pic:

(Hm, this pic doesn’t seem to enlarge on the Seattle Times site when you click on it . . . Also, is this from the same series which Benedict gave us here which he got from the great Bartcop?)

At any rate, in honor of the woman and her husband who lost their job–it behooves you all to show this photo and share this story far and wide.