The appalling revelation that the US military hired a private contractor to haul, incinerate and dump the partial remains of US troops killed in Iraq at a county landfill has outraged both the families of those killed in Washington’s wars as well as many active duty and retired military personnel.
The dumping of remains sent to Dover Air Force Base, which the Pentagon says ended in 2008, took place under cover of a media blackout imposed by the Pentagon and the George W. Bush White House. Bush justified the press ban by declaring “the sensitivity and privacy of families of the fallen must be the first priority.”
Of course, the real reason was the administration’s desire not to feed growing anti-war sentiment. As a former military commander explained, a decision to use military force would have to pass “the Dover test”—that is, the public’s reaction to seeing flag-draped caskets streaming steadily into the Delaware air base. Just as the Bush White House launched the Iraq war on the basis of lies, it sought to deceive the American people by evading this “test” by means of state censorship.