Thursday, February 26, 2009

Official: Pentagon allows coverage of war coffins

The Pentagon lifted its ban Thursday on media coverage of coffins of war victims as they arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
The coverage must be approved by the victims' families, however.
Advocates of opening the base to coverage say the unmarked coffins make it impossible to identify specific remains.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is to announce the change at a news conference at 2 p.m. ET, the senior official said. He ordered a review after President Obama asked for more information on the long-standing policy.
Though the Defense Department won't confirm it, it is widely accepted that the ban began after the December 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, which deposed dictator Manuel Noriega.
After a news conference held by President George H.W. Bush, his press secretary made a humorous comment, causing the president and reporters to laugh.
At the same time, viewers were watching coffins of the first casualties from the invasion being unloaded at Dover.

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