Military to Avoid Embarrassing Pictures by Banning Photography

Photos 'Only for Official Purposes,' General Warns

It sounds like the punchline of a bad joke, but after years of dealing with photographs of troops torturing prisoners, desecrating corpses and generally behaving badly, commanders in southwestern Afghanistan have announced that they are going to solve the problem by banning photography.

The command, which covers some 36,000 troops including 15,800 US Marines, announced that troops will only be allowed to take photographs for “official purposes,” and will no longer be taking “happy snaps,” apparently the official name for pictures like those showing US Marines urinating on corpses in the nation.

“This isn’t rocket science,” noted Gen. Charles Gurganus, who emphasized that taking pictures of the various atrocities committed on the ground “can undermine the war effort.”

Though the move will avoid these embarrassing moments for the administration, in many cases the photographic evidence of war crimes collected by the war criminals themselves are materially the only way they are ever discovered.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of