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Gates orders review of ban on photos of military coffins

Flag-draped coffins are seen aboard a cargo plane in Dover, Del., in an undated file photo.

Department of Defense via thememoryhole.org

Flag-draped coffins are seen aboard a cargo plane in Dover, Del., in an undated file photo.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered a review Tuesday of a Pentagon policy banning media from taking pictures of flag-draped coffins of military dead, signaling he was open to overturning the policy to better honor fallen soldiers. At least two Democratic senators have called on President Obama to let news photographers attend ceremonies at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and other military facilities when military remains are returned to the United States. Obama told reporters Monday he was reviewing the ban. "If the needs of the families can be met, and the privacy concerns can be addressed, the more honor we can accord these fallen heroes, the better," Gates said. The ban was put in place in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, but originally allowed for exceptions. A leading military families group says the policy, enforced without exception during the Bush administration, should let survivors of the dead decide whether photographers can record their return.

Associated Press

Gates orders review of ban on photos of military coffins 02/10/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:48pm]

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