(AP) The Pentagon released five more official photos of honor guard ceremonies for U.S. war casualties and uncensored others that were previously released with the faces of the honor guard members blacked out.
The actions were taken in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by University of Delaware professor Ralph Begleiter, who argued that release of the photographs would honor not only the war dead but also their families. The Pentagon had argued that it would violate the families’ privacy and Pentagon policy.
As part of an agreement to settle the lawsuit, Begleiter said the Pentagon gave him written assurance that it would process “as expeditiously as possible” the ongoing Freedom of Information Act requests for such photos.
Of the five newly released photos, three show an honor ceremony aboard a ship at sea, with a flag-draped coffin visible in two of the three. The other two newly released photos appear to have been taken inside an aircraft and show a flag-draped coffin as well as members of the honor guard with their faces blacked out.
More than two dozen photos that were among 721 released to Begleiter in April were re-released with the black-out marks over the faces removed.
“The Pentagon’s decision to release these images is a significant victory for the honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in war for their country, as well as for their families, for all service personnel and for the American people,” Begleiter said in a statement.