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Choosing to photograph, choosing to publish, choosing to look
Before they started snapping pictures, the amateur photographers of the 82nd Airborne Division whose work was recently made famous by the Los Angeles Times had official business to transact: bombings to investigate, corpses to identify, biometric information to collect. Their assignments were expressly visual: inspect, scan, document. It seems that they performed those duties. They got into trouble, however, when they started doing unauthorized visual work, posing for photos with the corpses to which they had been dispatched. Their transgression, according to George Wright, the Army spokesman quoted in the accompanying article, was "to pose with corpses for photographs outside of officially sanctioned purposes."
By Rebecca A. Adelman
April 26, 2012