In an interview with the Washington Post, Pulitzer Prize winning LA Times foreign correspondent David Zucchino (pictured) shares some fascinating background information about how he obtained those grisly photos of U.S. soldiers posing in 2010 with the remains of Afghanistan insurgents.
Although the reporter’s source, a one-time fellow member of the 82nd Airborne Division, came forward because he felt the pictures violated the U.S. Army’s general code of conduct, he also told Zucchino he recognized how a war-is-hell environment can lead to such objectionable behavior. Something Zucchino has witnessed first-hand in Afghanistan:
“I’ve been embedded with Marines, and they complain all the time about how the enemy won’t engage in a direct fight,” Zucchino said. “So when [soldiers] come across their enemy or body parts, you can see the temptation to celebrate a little bit. They’re amped up, and they’re frustrated.”
Over a period of two months, Zucchino exchanged various emails with his source and met with him in person three times. In the WaPo article, famed New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh expresses his support for the LA Times decision to publish the two photos. Read the full Washington Post interview here.
[Photo courtesy LA Times]