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Friday, January 22, 2010

Publishing SAS photographs 

The first reaction of desk jockeys like Herald assistant editor John Roughan and Dominion Post editor Bernadette Courtney to government criticism of their decision to publish photographs of SAS members in Afghanistan is: "But how can mere photos place them in any more danger than they are already?"

The answer is in the long hair and beards, rather than the standard issue short back 'n sides, with optional moustache.

Special forces soldiers often grow their hair out in combat zones like this so that when they are engaged in covert op's (i.e., not in uniform) they don't look so much like soldiers and can blend in better.

Apiata without the uniform could almost pass for Taliban and therefore infiltrate easier. (Equally, he could pass as that guy from "300").

Now that his photo has been widely publicized, including on the web, his ability to blend in is compromised, and thus so is his safety and that of the NZ mission.

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First of all, it was a fantastic photo.

Next, I still can't see the risk. I'm finding it hard to imagain Mohammed-el-krakpot, receiving his latest copy of the Herald to his hideout in Kabul, saying "Shit that mean-arse guy in army gear carrying the big gun we see every day is actually a soldier from NZ!!! Best we get him.
Hey, I'm sure even Osama has wireless in his hills. I think the point was that because he's so decorated he would have a target on his head much like Prince Harry, hence his removal from whereever he was. Albeit a much smaller target. Unlikely but the fact that it even might be a possibility is worthy of consideration at least.
What has happened to pinko-liberal DC? They should have blurred over his face.

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