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“It takes only seconds”: Panetta tries to counter perfect Taliban propaganda…

May 6, 2012

By Tim Foxley

Having recently posted briefly here on the subject of war crimes, atrocities and their relationship to the US military and Taliban propaganda opportunities, I just saw this reference to the issue from Defence Secretary Panetta:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged a group of Afghanistan-bound soldiers on Friday to behave with integrity in the war zone, saying thoughtless photos and actions could provoke violence that would endanger their lives and their mission.

“These days it takes only seconds, seconds, for a picture, a photo, to suddenly become an international headline,” Panetta told members of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team at Fort Benning, Georgia.

“Those headlines can impact the mission that we’re engaged in. They can put your fellow service members at risk, they can hurt morale, they can damage our standing in the world and they can cost lives,” a somber Panetta told troopers at the base where he served in 1964 as a young lieutenant.

Panetta’s remarks came as the United States struggles to contain the damage from a series of incidents provoked by U.S. troops this year who burned Korans and other religious material, took videos of each other urinating on what appeared to be corpses of insurgents and posed with Afghan body parts.


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