According to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, the Los Angeles Times’ Wednesday decision to run a series of photographs of U.S. troops posing with dead Afghan suicide bombers, after being asked by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta not to run them, was “irresponsible” and “pure voyeurism.” On Wednesday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Kristol took aim at the Times.
“I think the L.A. Times was irresponsible for publishing the photos against the explicit request — not of the terrible [George W.] Bush administration or terrible Don Rumsfeld, but of the Obama administration,” Kristol said. “Which last I looked was not a bunch of warmongers but are people who in this case — I think quite correctly — Secretary of Defense [Leon] Panetta was concerned about the well-being of our troops who are there now.”
Kristol said the Times was engaging in “pure voyeurism” since the running those photos did little to better the situation: The photos were reportedly taken in 2010 and the story reports that those responsible are currently under investigation.
“The leadership of that brigade, the 4th Combat Brigade at 82nd, is not the current leadership — in fact, there were issues with the battalion that was responsible for these troops apparently at the time. It was reported at the time. In any case, the leadership of that battalion and brigade is not the current leadership. So, the exposure does nothing. It’s not a contemporaneous matter where hey, something bad is happening there and they’re trying to expose it. It’s pure voyeurism by the media. It’s unfortunate that these photos were taken. That brigade took 35, had 35 killed. And it’s very rough deployment in that time. The soldiers shouldn’t have done that. But just publishing these photos now is wrong.”