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Court Ruling Allows Public to View Caskets of US Dead

It took a lawsuit to break the blockade of images of soldiers who come back from war in a casket. A suit filed late last year by Ralph Begleiter has prevailed in obtaining the release of...
...still photographs and video from Dover Air Force Base containing images of the memorial and arrival ceremonies for deceased military personnel arriving from overseas. The government apparently has withheld these records pursuant to a policy, first ordered in 1991 by then-Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, through which the government halted the traditional American practice of honoring fallen soldiers when their flag-draped caskets return to United States soil.
On October 4th of last year, Jenner & Block Partner Daniel Mach filed a lawsuit today in a District of Columbia federal district court on behalf of journalism professor Ralph Begleiter of the University of Delaware under the Freedom of Information Act. The lawsuit sought the government's full release to the public of still photographs and video from Dover Air Force Base containing images of the memorial and arrival ceremonies for deceased military personnel arriving from overseas.

Working with the National Security Archive at George Washington University, a research institute in foreign affairs that uses the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information about U.S. government operations, Mr. Begleiter has systematically requested all still and moving images of the return of fallen soldiers to Dover Air Force Base from October 2001 to the present. Mach was aided in the contest by Meredith Fuchs, General Counsel of the National Security Archive. Mr. Begleiter has taught communication, political science, and journalism at the University of Delaware since retiring as CNN's world affairs correspondent in 1999.

DOGSPOT has archived a copy of Begleiter's original complaint

David Roknich,
Editor

DOGSPOT

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