Images of vulnerable Afghans removed from Pentagon website

Nov 1, 2021, 1:50 PM | Updated: 2:22 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon on Monday said it has temporarily removed from its visual information website tens of thousands of photo and video images of Afghans who supported the U.S. war effort and were deemed vulnerable to Taliban retaliation.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that starting in August during the U.S.-led evacuation, all imagery was removed that shows the faces or other identifiable features of vulnerable Afghans. He said the images will be returned to the public domain when it is deemed safe.

Kirby said 124,000 photos and 17,000 videos were removed and archived on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

“It was a mammoth undertaking and took us a long time — almost two months,” Kirby said, adding that it is not yet completed. “We did it out of an abundance of caution, out of respect for the obligation that we have to these individuals and to their families, and at the right time when it’s appropriate, we will absolutely republish those images.”

Kirby said his decision was in line with a concern throughout the U.S. government that the Taliban, who rapidly defeated the Afghan security forces last summer and took control of Kabul on Aug. 15, would seek to retaliate against Afghans who had helped the United States during its 20-year war effort.

“Those concerns were valid, and we make no apology whatsoever for making this decision. I still believe it was the right thing to do,” he added. “Nothing’s been deleted from the record. It’s simply being archived until we believe it’s the appropriate time to put them back up.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Jerry Emmett, who was born before women won the right to vote in the U.S., leaves the Yavapa...
Associated Press

Top election officials in Arizona county leave amid threats

The elected county recorder and the elections director in Arizona's Yavapai County are resigning after more than a year and a half of threats and heated criticism from backers of former President Donald Trump who accept his lie that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud.
11 hours ago
Airline passengers wait and retrieve their luggage at Chicago's Midway International Airport on the...
Associated Press

Holiday getaway pushes US airport traffic to pandemic high

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — The Fourth of July holiday weekend is providing further evidence that the travel bug is at its most infectious levels since the pandemic began in 2020. About 2.49 million passengers went through security checkpoints at U.S. airports Friday, surpassing the previous pandemic-era record of 2.46 million reached earlier in the week, […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

2 teenagers killed, 1 man wounded in Houston-area shooting

HOUSTON (AP) — Two teenagers were killed and one man was injured in a shooting at Houston-area apartment complex, authorities said Saturday. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said on Twitter that deputies responded to reports of a shooting in the parking lot of the complex in north Harris County, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north […]
11 hours ago
FILE - A plane drops retardant on a wildfire near homes Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Laguna Beach, C...
Associated Press

US testing new fire retardant, critics push other methods

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. officials are testing a new wildfire retardant after two decades of buying millions of gallons annually from one supplier, but watchdogs say the expensive strategy is overly fixated on aerial attacks at the expense of hiring more fire-line digging ground crews. The Forest Service used more than 50 million gallons […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Musk meets pope, uses Twitter to announce the audience

ROME (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose $44 billion bid to buy Twitter remains in limbo, used the social media platform to announce he had met with Pope Francis. “Honored to meet @Pontifex yesterday,” Musk tweeted of the Friday afternoon audience, alongside a photo showing Musk, Francis and four of Musk’s teenage children. The […]
11 hours ago
Friends and family gathered at Vadnais Lake after news of a dead child being pulled out of the lake...
Associated Press

Bodies of 2 of 3 missing kids found in Minnesota lake

VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — The bodies of two young children have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned. Meanwhile, the father of the children died at a different location hours earlier, and their mother is missing. Names have not been […]
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Images of vulnerable Afghans removed from Pentagon website