Note to the MSM: Pictures Can Kill, Too

February 1st, 2008 by xformed

General Loan executes a VC
In a war long ago and far away, a “terrorist” was caught and executed. 40 years ago today, as a matter of historical fact.General Loan was murdered that day, and the man who took the photo came to realize it. Eddie Adams spent a lifetime trying to apologize:

Adams caught the instant of death in a photo that made front pages around the world. It would became one of the Vietnam’s War’s most indelible images, shocking the American public and used by critics to dispute official claims that the war was being won.

In later years Adams found himself so defined — and haunted — by the picture that he would not display it at his studio. He also felt it unfairly maligned Loan, who lived in Virginia after the war and died in 1998.

“The guy was a hero,” Adams said, recalling Loan’s explanation that the man he executed was a Viet Cong captain, responsible for murdering the family of Loan’s closest aide a few hours earlier.

“Sometimes a picture can be misleading because it does not tell the whole story,” Adams said in an interview for a 1972 AP photo book. “I don’t say what he did was right, but he was fighting a war and he was up against some pretty bad people.”

It’s about context. In context, in the heat of battle, a combatant not dressed in a uniform…well, the Geneva Conventions allow this.

On the other hand, another Vietnam War photographer (still living), denies it was right, questioned if the man killed had been killing and that gives an entirely different spin on the story, the exact opposite of the “justice” being protrayed:

Sadly Adams is dead, so the programme featured a different, but also distinguished, war photographer Philip Jones Griffiths. And Jones Griffiths described his feelings about the photo and his own decision to track down and photograph the executed man’s widow.

Jones Griffiths had strong views on the photo and gave them to us.

He dismissed the idea that the executed man had been a killer saying both that the idea that the man had just killed others was “kind of propaganda” and that “he wouldn’t have been much of a Vietcong soldier” if he hadn’t tried to kill people. He clearly viewed the photo’s power as being its revelation of the evil of the war and America’s involvement.

Nice to put your spin on the situation your professional peer, now passed away, witnessed, in context.

Anyhow, there’s context with the picture taken 40 years ago this day, and when it was, the shooting killed many things, including the reputation of a fighting man.Rosemary’s Baby dvd

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