US lifts war dead coverage ban

AN 18-year government ban on media coverage of the return of fallen US servicemen and women ended with a solemn ceremony for the arrival of a flag-draped coffin of an airman killed in Afghanistan.

After receiving permission from family members, the military opened Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for the arrival of the body of Sergeant Phillip Myers on Sunday night.

The ban was put in place by president George HW Bush in 1991, at the time of the first Gulf War. It was presented as a way to shield grieving families.

But critics argued the government was trying to hide the human cost of war.

President Barack Obama asked for a review of the ban which produced a new policy where families will decide if they want coverage. Sgt Myers’ family was the first to be asked, under a new policy, whether it wished to have media coverage of the arrival of their loved one at the Dover base mortuary in Delaware.

Sgt Myers was killed by a roadside bomb.


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