Michael Kamber is one of the original Good Men Project contributors. He is a contract photographer for The New York Times, and he has been taking pictures of the Iraq war since 2003.
When the Iraq war began, embedded photographers were allowed to take pictures of almost everything, but slowly, the military began telling photographers what they weren’t allowed to photograph. Hospitals, morgues, wounded soldiers, and IED scenes were all eventually declared off-limits.
Not surprisingly, the decision not to allow photographers to document prisoners and detainees came down around the time Americans were learning about the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. The justification for this censorship? According to the military, they were protecting the prisoners’ rights.
Sometimes it seems like the only lesson our government learned from the Vietnam War was that the less death and destruction Americans see, the more likely they are to let war continue. As another GMPM contributor, Preston Moore, put it, “‘no worries‘ is a helluva standard for covering war.”