A civil defense worker carries the body of Lebanese child recovered from the rubble of a demolished building that was struck by an Israeli airstrike at the village of Qana near the southern Lebanon city of Tyre, Sunday, July 30, 2006. The Associated Press and two other news agencies on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006, rejected challenges to the veracity of photographs of bodies taken in the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike in Lebanon, strongly denying that the images were staged. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)Nasser Nasser will undoubtedly be pleased by the vote of confidence. But the rest of us are left wondering how Associated Press, when presented with the opportunity to express just the smallest amount of doubt about whether their Lebanese photographer was used by Hezbollah, made such a decisive, poor choice.AP - Aug 01 1:30 PM
Yesterday ("Using Dead Lebanese Children for Ammunition") we published some observations and questions about the pictures from Qana. The questions are many, and some of them are sharp. They're bouncing around the Internet. (See EUReferendum as a fine example.) Answers have been slow in coming. They relate to the grotesquery of dead babies being positioned in dramatic poses, in different locations around Qana, by the same handful of men adopting different facial emotions on demand. That the children are dead is true and unbearably painful. But that we know who killed them, when, where and how - that's an entirely different matter.
Did we say answers have been slow in coming? There have been no answers. Associated Press has stonewalled. The Guardian has rallied to the flag ("Attack on photographers in Lebanon is disgraceful"), and others from the journalism-by-wishful-thinking school won't be far behind. AP itself put out the following comprehensive rebuttal of the critics today: