Thursday, April 22, 2004

Tami Silicio is my Kind of Hero

She recently took a picture in Kuwait that made it to the Seattle Times, with her permission.

Here are the comments of hers that made it into the Seattle Times:
"The way everyone salutes with such emotion and intensity and respect. The families would be proud to see their sons and daughters saluted like that," says Tami Silicio, a contract employee from the Seattle area who works the night shift at the cargo terminal.

For U.S. troops, April has been the worst month of this war, with at least 94 service members killed by hostile fire.

"So far this month, almost every night we send them home," Silicio said. "... It's tough. Very tough."
Reverent for our war dead, and shaken up as well, Ms. Silicio is the kind of person I'd like taking care of my relatives were they to be coming home from Bush's war in a box. That article is from yesterday, and here's the URL for it:

Silicio article

Today we find that she has been fired. Here's how it is playing in Australia in the headlines:
Sacked for Photo Americans Weren't Meant to SeeAnd here's the leading paragraphs from the Reuters story:
A U.S. contractor and her husband have been fired after her photograph of 20 flag-draped coffins of slain U.S. soldiers going home from Iraq was published in violation of military rules.

"I lost my job and they let my husband go as well," Tami Silicio, who loaded U.S. military cargo at Kuwait International Airport for a U.S. company, told Reuters in an e-mail response to questions.

The Pentagon tightly restricts publication of photographs of coffins with the remains of U.S. soldiers and has forbidden journalists from taking pictures at Dover Air Force Base where the caskets of slain soldiers usually first stop on their return to the United States.

The military says the policy is in place to protect the privacy of families of those killed, but critics have said the rules are aimed at sanitizing the war for the public.
I'm almost sickened beyond comment. There is so much wrong here that it is impossible to enumerate. Is it a wonder so many people support this war when we aren't allowed to see the true cost in lives? Why would you fire someone so visibly moved by her work?

I'm sure there will be conservative spin, and the attack dogs of talk radio will personally attack this woman. Remember, there is no shame anymore. But if I were the relative of one of the fallen, I'd be up in arms about this little escapade.

Maybe this is how Bush creates jobs?