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Casket Photo Sparks Outrage: Investigation Launched Into Leaked Photo
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Casket Photo Sparks Outrage: Investigation Launched Into Leaked Photo

An investigation has been opened into a leaked photo according to the Public Affairs Office of part of the Air Force. That photo, depicting a number of members of 345th Training Squadron posing around a metallic casket was taken some time in August but has only recently surfaced to the attention of officials. The photo, which included an airman laying in the casket, pretending to be dead with what appeared to be a noose and chains on his body has caused outrage among military members, veterans and their families.

The photo surfaced one month after the news that the bodies of fallen soldiers at an Air Force mortuary were being mishandled. Dover Air Force Base is the first stop that American soldiers make when they are killed in action. According to reports, that mortuary had reportedly partially cremated and then dumped nearly three hundred unidentified bodies and body parts. Other concerns arose from that report, including the possibility that some bodies were sent to the wrong families.

The photo of the airmen was sent to the Air Force Times earlier in the week with the story and photo published by that magazine the following day. Gerry Proctor, the Public Affairs Officer for the 37th Training Wing has said that there cannot be any speculation about what possible violations have been committed with the photo or what possible punishment could be handed out.The photo, he stated "violates the values" of the Air Force in general and the unit in particular. None of the airmen have been named individually yet.

Inscribed on the bottom of the photo were the words " Da Dumpt, Da Dumpt, Sucks to Be You".

The Air Force has announced that the investigation should be completed in one to two weeks and will be handled by one of the officers on the Lackland Air Force base in Texas. The 345th Training Squadron, based in Fort Lee, Virginia is a detachment from that command.

The US military has already suffered a public relations nightmare when photos surfaced of a "kill team" in Afghanistan. Army Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs was found guilty of murder of Afghan citizens and then posing for photos with their bodies. He was also accused of taking body parts from his kills to give to special friends or to scare others. Gibbs was also accused of planting weapons on the bodies to make them appear to have been combatants instead of random civilians.


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