Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

April 23, 2004


Unless you've been hiding in a cave this week, you cannot have missed the controversy surrounding the release of photographs of American coffins coming back from Iraq. The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABCNews, and CNN have all covered the event in depth. Tomorrow, some of these photos will likely adorn the front pages of many major U.S. newspapers

These images are powerful and some observers will certainly see them as a searing visual indictment of current U.S. policy, others as historical images that simply belong within the national dialogue about the war without regard to their political impact in November and beyond. Of the few photos that I have seen, none of them dishonor the dead. Instead, they simply bring home the solemn reality of a war which has hitherto been unduly sanitized through secrecy.

It is not my purpose to introduce global politics to this site, but only to note that the man most responsible for these photos' dissemination, Russ Kirk, who filed the Freedom of Information Act request and subsequent appeal that ultimately caused the Air Force to release these 350 photos, probably needs your support today. All throughout Thursday the servers at have been groaning under the enormous weight of thousands of users seeking to view the images there; the result of this will surely force Kirk to pay hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars in excess bandwidth charges in the next few weeks or months. For a small site operator, these charges can be sufficient to force him/her out of business unless funds are quickly obtained to offset them.

So if you support the free flow of information, which in my view is the indispensable cornerstone of any free society, you might want to stop by and make a donation. If you cannot access the site today, wait a few days, and return to when it is less busy. There is much worthy content there whose dissemination deserves to be supported; the direct link to thememoryhole's donation area is

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