Nothing to see here

As Iraq bars photographers from bombing scenes, the Pentagon shuts down soldiers' YouTube access.

Published May 14, 2007 7:10PM (EDT)

As George W. Bush has explained, it's "hard" for Americans "to turn on their TV screens and see the horrific violence" from Iraq.

Fortunately, somebody has figured out a way around the problem. Two of them, actually.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry announced Sunday that it will prohibit photographers and camera crews from recording images of bombing attacks. "There are many reasons for this prohibition," Iraqi Brig. Gen. Abdel Karim Khalaf says. "We do not want evidence to be disturbed before the arrival of detectives, the ministry must respect human rights and does not want to expose victims and does not want to give terrorists information that they achieved their goals. This decision does not imply a curtailment of press freedom; it is a measure followed all over the world."

Meanwhile, the Defense Department is implementing a new policy today that will prohibit U.S. soldiers serving overseas from accessing YouTube, MySpace and a number of other file-sharing sites. "This recreational traffic impacts our official DoD network and bandwidth ability while posing a significant operational security challenge," U.S. Gen. B.B. Bell says in a memo to the troops.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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